The Development of English Words

Topics: English language, French language, Germanic peoples Pages: 2 (515 words) Published: April 25, 2011
The development of English words
English belong to the indo-European family. The vocabulary of English is composed of two main elements, the native element and the foreign element. The native element is conventionally used to denote words of Anglo-Saxon origin. Before about 450A.D.there were no words in Britain .The 70% of the English vocabularies consist of loan words and only 30% of the words are native.

Our study of the English vocabulary must obviously begin with the native element which was brought to Britain in the 5th century by German tribes the Angles and Saxons and the Jutes. Almost all words of the Anglo-Saxon origin belong to very important semantic groups, which stand for fundamental things. The native element has the following characteristics: Word-forming ability, wide collectability plurality of meanings.

Referring to English loan words we have to begin at the history of Britain.

In 43AD Britain was invaded again by the Romans under Claudius. Britain subsequently became a roman province and it remained so until the beginning of the 5th century.  They brought Latin in this land. Latin became the official language.

The Anglo-Saxons were not roman Christians when they went to Britain. Rome sent a party of priests to convert the nonbelievers into Christianity. The words borrowed in this period were mostly words of religion. When it comes to the renaissance, writers adorned their pages with Latinisms

In the 8th century, the Vikings from the Scandinavian countries of northern Europe, Norway and Denmark in particular, began to attack the English coast. so Danes has made a really substantial contribution to the English vocabulary, and also include Swedish ,Norwegian, and Icelandic element. It is supposed that the Scandinavian element in modern English amounts to 650 root-word.

On Christmas day, 1066, William was crowned king of England in Westminster abbey, thus beginning the Norman conquest of England....
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