Theme: “The significance of studying history of English language and its connection with the other disciplines”
Effectuated by : Rotaru Cristina, group 402 B
English Present and Future
The History of English language as a cultural subject
It was observed by the remarkable twelve-century chronicler Henry of Huntingon that an interest in the past was one of the distinguished characteristics of humans as compared with the other animals. The medium by which speakers of s language communicate their thoughts and feelings to others, the tool with which conduct their business or the government of millions of people, the vehicle by which has been transmitted the science, the philosophy, the poetry of the culture is surely worthy of study. It is not to be expected that everyone should be a philologist or should master the technicalities of linguistic science. But it is reasonable to assume that a liberally educated person should know smth of the structure of his or her own language, its position in the world and its relation to the other tongues, the wealth of its vocabulary together with the sources from which that vocabulary has been and is being enriched, and the complex relationships among the many different varieties of speech that are gathered under the single name of the English language. The diversity of cultures that find expression in it is a reminder that the history of English is a story of cultures in contact during the past 1,500 years. It understates matters to say that political ,economic, and social forces influence a language. These forces shape the language in every aspect, most obviously in the number and spread of its speakers, and in what is called “the sociology of language”, but also in the meaning of words, in the accents of the spoken language, and even in the structures of the grammar. The history of a language is intimately bound up with the history of the peoples who speak it. The purpose of this work is to treat the history of English not only as being of interest to the specialized student but also as a cultural subject within the view of all educated people, while including enough references to technical matters to make clear the scientific principles involved in linguistic evolution. Influences at work on language
The English language of today reflects many centuries of development. The political and social events that have in course of English history so profoundly affected the English people in their national life have generally had a recognizable effect on their language. The Roman Christianizing of Britain in 597 brought England into contact with latin civilization and made significant additions to our vocabulary. The Scandinavian invasions resulted in a considerable mixture of the two peoples and their languages. The Norman Conquest made English for two centuries the language mainly of the lower classes while the nobles and those associated with them used French on almost all occasions. And when English once more regained supremacy as the language of all elements of the population, it was an English greatly changed in both form and vocabulary from what it had been in 1066. in a similar way, the Hundred Year war , the rise od an important middle class, the renaissance, the development of England as a maritime power, the expansion f British empire and the growth of commerce and industry, of science and literature, have, each in their way , contributed to the development of the language. Moreover, English, like all other languages, is subject to that constant growth and decay that characterize all forms of life. It is a convenient figure of speech to speak of languages as living as dead. When a language ceases to change, we call it a dead language. Classical Latin is a dead language because it has not changed for nearly 2,000 years. The change that is constantly going on in a living...