modern english final

Topics: English language, England, Middle English Pages: 14 (3758 words) Published: November 26, 2014
 Modern English (1500 to the present):  There were some big developments in the world at the beginning of Modern English period. The Renaissance
The Great Vowel Shift
The Invention of Printing
The Industrial Revolution
The British Colonialism.
The new spirit of renaissance provided the people new disciplines and inquiries; industrial development opened the new vistas and dimensions of earning and life, in the same way the colonization brought cultures and norms to one center. Modern English developed after William Caxton established his printing press at Westminster Abbey in 1476.Printing also brought the standardization of the English language. Early Modern English (1500-1800)

The early modern English period follows the Middle English period towards the end of the fifteenth century and coincides closely with the Tudor (1485–1603) and Stuart (1603-1714) dynasties. The first edition of the King James Bible and the works of William Shakespeare both belong to the late phase of Early Modern English Towards the end of Middle English, a sudden and distinct change in pronunciation (the Great Vowel Shift) started, with vowels being pronounced shorter and shorter. The Renaissance of Classical learning meant that many new words and phrases entered the language. The invention of printing also meant that there was now a common language in print. Books became cheaper and more people learned to read. Spelling and grammar became fixed, and the dialect of London, became the standard form. Late Modern English (1800-Present)

The main difference between Early Modern English and Late Modern English is vocabulary. Late Modern English has many more words, arising from two principal factors: firstly, the Industrial Revolution and technology created a need for new words; secondly, the British Empire at its height covered one quarter of the earth's surface, and the English language adopted foreign words from many countries. The industrial revolution had also influenced greatly on the modernized form of the language and its urged varieties in the later centuries. The Great Vowel Shift

The evolution of Middle English into early Modern English involved a systematic change in the pronunciation of long, stressed vowels. The term “Great Vowel Shift” was coined by the Danish linguist Otto Jespersen. The Great Vowel Shift is not something that happened overnight, but gradually evolved over several generations. The Great Vowel Shift was a major change in the pronunciation of the English language that took place in England between 1350 and 1700, separating Middle English from Modern English, a radical change in pronunciation Many languages have undergone vowel shifts, but the major changes of the English vowel shift occurred within the relatively short space of a century or two, quite a sudden and dramatic shift in linguistic terms. It was largely during this short period of time that English lost the purer vowel sounds of most European languages, as well as the phonetic pairing between long and short vowel sounds. Causes:

The causes of the shift are still highly debated, although an important factor may have been the very fact of the large intake of loanwords from the Romance languages of Europe during this time, which required a different kind of pronunciation. At the time of the Great Vowel Change there were migrations in English which brought people from the Midlands into contact with people from London. The mix of dialects coming into close contact may have resulted in social pressures to create pronunciations which would have new social status and prestige. Another factor at this time is the loss of prestige for French and the growing prestige for English. As French lost status, there would have been social pressures to develop a new prestige for English.

The Great Vowel Shift involved six vowels:
All were long, stressed monophthongs -- vowels in stressed positions which were pronounced long and...

References: Boeree, “The Evolution of English”.
Course Notes: History of English language.
Saif-ul-Haq, Importance of Communication”, Teaching of English. History of English language.
American and British English.
Tahir, Modern Approach to Teaching of English.
Vocabulary changes:
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