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english essay

By joebryanab Mar 17, 2014 835 Words
 English is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England and is now the most widely used language in the world. It is spoken as a first language by the majority populations of several sovereign states, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and a number of Caribbean nations; and it is an official language of almost 60 sovereign states. It is the third-most-common native language in the world, after Mandarin Chinese and Spanish. Through the spread of American-dominated media and technology, English has become the leading language of international discourse and the lingua franca in many regions. Historically, English originated from the fusion of closely related dialects, now collectively termed Old English, which were brought to the eastern coast of Great Britain by Germanic settlers by the 5th century; the word English is derived from the name of the Angles, and ultimately from their ancestral region of Angeln . The language was also influenced early on by the Old Norse language through Viking invasions in the 9th and 10th centuries. The Norman conquest of England in the 11th century gave rise to heavy borrowings from Norman French, and vocabulary and spelling conventions began to give the appearance of a close relationship with those of Latin-derived Romance languages to what had then become Middle English. The Great Vowel Shift that began in the south of England in the 15th century is one of the historical events that mark the emergence of Modern English from Middle English. In addition to its Anglo-Saxon and Norman French roots, a significant number of English words are constructed on the basis of roots from Latin, because Latin in some form was the lingua franca of the Christian Church and of European intellectual life and remains the wellspring of much modern scientific and technical vocabulary. Owing to the assimilation of words from many other languages throughout history, modern English contains a very large vocabulary, with complex and irregular spelling, particularly of vowels. Modern English has not only assimilated words from other European languages, but from all over the world. The Oxford English Dictionary lists more than 250,000 distinct words, not including many technical, scientific, and slang terms. Etymology

The word English derives from the eponym Angle, the name of a Germanic tribe thought to originate from the Angeln area of Jutland, now in northern Germany. For possible etymologies of these words, see the articles Angeln and Angles. Significance

Modern English, sometimes described as the first global lingua franca, aviation, entertainment, radio, and diplomacy. Its spread beyond the British Isles began with the growth of the British Empire, and by the late 19th century its reach was global. Following British colonisation from the 16th to 19th centuries, it became the dominant language in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The growing economic and cultural influence of the US and its status as a global superpower since World War II have significantly accelerated the spread of the language across the planet. English replaced German as the dominant language of science-related Nobel Prize laureates during the second half of the 20th century. English equalled and may have surpassed French as the dominant language of diplomacy during the second half of the 19th century. A working knowledge of English has become a requirement in a number of fields, occupations and professions such as medicine and computing; as a consequence, more than a billion people speak English to at least a basic level . It is one of six official languages of the United Nations. One impact of the growth of English is the reduction of native linguistic diversity in many parts of the world. The influence of English continues to play an important role in language attrition. Conversely, the natural internal variety of English along with creoles and pidgins have the potential to produce new distinct languages from English over time. History

English originated in those dialects of North Sea Germanic that were carried to Britain by Germanic settlers from various parts of what are now the Netherlands, northwest Germany, and Denmark. Up to that point, in Roman Britain the native population is assumed to have spoken Common Brittonic, a Celtic language, alongside the acrolectal influence of Latin, due to the 400-year period of Roman Britain. One of these incoming Germanic tribes was the Angles, whom Bede believed to have relocated entirely to Britain. The names 'England' and English are derived from the name of this tribe—but Saxons, Jutes and a range of Germanic peoples from the coasts of Frisia, Lower Saxony, Jutland and Southern Sweden also moved to Britain in this era. Initially, Old English was a diverse group of dialects, reflecting the varied origins of Anglo-Saxon England but the West Saxon dialect eventually came to dominate, and it is in this that the poem Beowulf is written. Old English was later transformed by two waves of invasion. The first was by speakers of the North Germanic language branch when Halfdan Ragnarsson and Ivar the Bonel

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