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History of english by ahmed kadhim ali

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History of the English language1 From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia English is a West Germanic language that originated from the Anglo-Frisian dialects brought to Britain by Germanic invaders and/or settlers from various parts of what is now northwest Germany and the Netherlands. Initially, Old English was a diverse group of dialects, reflecting the varied origins of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of Britain. One of these dialects, Late West Saxon, eventually became predominant. The English language underwent extensive change in the Middle Ages. Written Old English of AD 1000 is similar in vocabulary and grammar to other old Germanic languages such as Old High German and Old Norse, and completely unintelligible to modern speakers, while the modern language is already largely recognizable in written Middle English of AD 1400. The transformation was caused by two further waves of invasion: the first by speakers of the Scandinavian branch of the Germanic language family, who conquered and colonized parts of Britain in the 8th and 9th centuries; the second by the Normans in the 11th century, who spoke Old Norman and ultimately developed an English variety of this called Anglo-Norman. A large proportion of the modern English vocabulary comes directly from Anglo-Norman. Close contact with the Scandinavians resulted in a significant grammatical simplification and lexical enrichment of the Anglo-Frisian core of English. However, these changes had not reached South West England by the 9th century AD, where Old English was developed into a full-fledged literary language. The Norman invasion occurred in 1066, and when literary English rose anew in the 13th century, it was based on the speech of London, much closer to the centre of Scandinavian settlement. Technical and cultural vocabulary was largely derived from Old Norman, with particularly heavy influence in the church, the courts, and government. With the coming of the Renaissance, as with most other developing European languages such as German and Dutch, Latin and Ancient Greek supplanted Norman and French as the main source of new words. Thus, English developed into very much a "borrowing" language with an enormously disparate vocabulary. WHY STUDY THE HISTORY OF ENGLISH?2 Language in general is an ability inherent in us. Specific languages such as English are systems that result from that ability. We can know the underlying ability only through studying the actual languages that are its expressions. Thus, one of the best reasons for studying languages is to find out about ourselves, about what makes us persons. And the best place to start such study is with our own language, the one that 1 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_English_language,(23 OCT.2013) 2 Algeo,JohnThe Oigins And Development Of English Language.Boston,Ma.(2010:p17). has nurtured our minds and formed our view of the world. A good approach to studying languages is the historical one. To understand how things are, it is often helpful and sometimes essential to know how they got to be that way. If we are psychologists who want to understand a person’s behavior, we must know something about that person’s origins and development. The same is true of a language. Another reason for studying the history of English is that many of the irregularities in today’s language are the remnants of earlier, quite regular patterns. For example, the highly irregular plurals of nouns like man-men, mouse-mice, goose-geese, and ox-oxen can be explained historically. So can the spelling of Modern English, which may seem chaotic, or at least unruly, to anyone who has had to struggle with it. The orthographic joke attributed to George Bernard Shaw, that in English fish might be spelled ghoti (gh as in enough, o as in women, and ti as in nation), has been repeated often, but the only way to understand the anomalies of our spelling is to study the history of our language. Old English . Old English (Ænglisc, Anglisc, Englisc)3 or Anglo-Saxon is an early form of the English language that was spoken and written by the Anglo-Saxons and their descendants in parts of what are now England and southern and eastern Scotland between at least the mid-5th century and the mid-12th century. What survives through writing represents primarily the literary register of Anglo- Saxon. It is a West Germanic language closely related to Old Frisian and Old Saxon. Old English had a grammar similar in many ways to Classical Latin. In most respects, including its grammar, it was much closer to modern German and Icelandic than to modern English. It was fully inflected with five grammatical cases (nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, and instrumental), three grammatical numbers (singular, plural, and dual) and threegrammatical genders (masculine, feminine, and neuter). The dual forms occurred in the first and second persons only and referred to groups of two. . Old English is a West Germanic language, developing out of Ingvaeonic (also known as North Sea Germanic) dialects from the 5th century. Anglo-Saxon literacy developed after Christianisation in the late 7th century. The oldest surviving text of Old English literature isCædmon's Hymn, 3 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_English,(25 Oct 2013) composed between 658 and 680. There is a limited corpus of runic inscriptions from the 5th to 7th centuries, but the oldest coherent runic texts (notably Franks Casket) date to the 8th century. The history of Old English can be subdivided into:  Prehistoric Old English (c. 450 to 650); for this period, Old English is mostly a reconstructed language as no literary witnesses survive (with the exception of limited epigraphic evidence). This language, or bloc of languages, spoken by the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes, and pre- dating documented Old English or Anglo-Saxon, has also been called Primitive Old English.[2]  Early Old English (c. 650 to 900), the period of the oldest manuscript traditions, with authors such as Cædmon, Bede, Cynewulf andAldhelm.  Late Old English (c. 900 to 1066), the final stage of the language leading up to the Norman conquest of England and the subsequent transition to Early Middle English. The Old English period is followed by Middle English (12th to 15th century), Early Modern English (c. 1480 to 1650) and finally Modern English (after 1650). Middle English: describes dialects of English in the history of the English language between the High and Late Middle Ages, or roughly during the three centuries between the late 12th and the late 15th century. Middle English developed out of Late Old English in Norman England (1066–1154) and was spoken throughout the Plantagenet era (1154–1485). The Middle English period ended at about 1470, when the Chancery Standard, a form of London-based English, began to become widespread, a process aided by the introduction of the printing press to England by William Caxton in the late 1470s. By that time the variant of the Northumbrian dialect(prevalent in Northern England) spoken in southeast Scotland was developing into the Scots language. The language of England as used after 1470 and up to 1650 is known as Early Modern English. Unlike Old English, which tended largely to adopt Late West Saxon scribal conventions in the period immediately before the Norman conquest of England, written Middle English displays a wide variety of scribal (and presumably dialectal) forms. This diversity suggests the gradual end of the role of Wessex as a focal point and trend-setter for writers and scribes, the emergence of more distinct local scribal styles and written dialects, and a general pattern of transition of activity over the centuries that followed, as Northumbria, East Anglia, and London successively emerged as major centres of English literature, each with their own particular interests. Middle English literature of the 12th and 13th centuries is comparatively rare, as written communication was usually in Anglo-Norman or in Medieval Latin. Middle English became much more important as a literary language during the 14th century, with poets such as Chaucer and Langland. Transition from Old English Norman in the Kingdom of England The Norman conquest of England in 1066 resulted in only limited culture shock. However, the conquest saw the replacement of top levels of English-speaking political and ecclesiastical hierarchies by the Norman-speaking rulers who used Latin for administrative purposes. Thus Norman came into use as a language of polite discourse and literature, and this fundamentally altered the role of Old English in education and administration, even though many Normans of the early period were illiterate and depended on the clergy for written communication and record- keeping. Even now, after nearly a thousand years, the Norman influence on the English language is still apparent, though it did not begin to affect Middle English until somewhat later. Consider these pairs of Modern English words. The first of each pair is derived from Old English and the second is of Anglo-Norman origin: pig/pork, chicken/poultry, calf/veal, cow/beef,wood/forest, sheep/mutton, house/mansion, w orthy/honourable, bold/courageous, freedom/liberty.[2] The role of Anglo-Norman as the language of government and law can be seen in the abundance of Modern English words for the mechanisms of government that derive from Anglo- Norman: court,judge, jury, appeal, parliament. Also prevalent in Modern English are terms relating to the chivalric cultures that arose in the 12th century, an era of feudalism and crusading. Early on, this vocabulary of refined behaviour began to work its way into English, imports of the Normans who made their mark on the English language as much as on the territory of England itself. This period of trilingual activity developed much of the flexible triplicate synonymy of modern English. For instance, English has three words meaning roughly "of or relating to a king":  kingly from Old English,  royal from French and  regal from Latin. Likewise, Norman – and, later, French – influences led to some interesting word pairs in English, such as the following, which both mean "someone who defends":  Warden from Norman, and  Guardian from French (Both "warden" and "guardian" are derived from Germanic.) Old and Middle English The end of Anglo-Saxon rule did not of course change the language immediately. Although the most senior offices in the church were filled by Normans, Old English continued in use in chronicles such as the Peterborough Chronicle until the middle of the 12th century. The non- literate would have spoken the same dialects as before the Conquest, though these changed slowly until written records of them became available for study, which varies in different regions. Once the writing of Old English comes to an end, Middle English has no standard language, only dialects that derive from the dialects of the same regions in the Anglo-Saxon period. Early Middle English Early Middle English (1100–1300) has a largely Anglo-Saxon vocabulary (with many Norse borrowings in the northern parts of the country), but a greatly simplified inflectional system. The grammatical relations that were expressed in Old English by the dative and locative cases are replaced in Early Middle English with prepositional constructions. This replacement is, however, incomplete: the Old English genitive "-es" survives in the modern Saxon genitive—it is now called the "possessive": e.g., the form "dog's" for the longer "of the dog". But most of the other case endings disappeared in the Early Modern English period, including most of the roughly one dozen forms of the definite article ("the"). The dual grammatical number (expressing exactly two of a thing) also disappeared from English during the Early Modern English period (apart from personal pronouns), further simplifying the language. Deeper changes occurred in the grammar. Gradually, the wealthy and the government Anglicised again, although Norman (and subsequently French) remained the dominant language of literature and law for a few centuries, even after the loss of the majority of the continental possessions of the English monarchy. The new English language did not sound the same as the old; for, as well as undergoing changes in vocabulary, the complex system of inflected endings Old English had, was gradually lost or simplified in the dialects of spoken Middle English. This change was gradually reflected in its increasingly diverse written forms as well. The loss of case endings was part of a general trend from inflections to fixed word order that also occurred in other Germanic languages, and therefore cannot be attributed simply to the influence of French-speaking sections of the population: English did, after all, remain the language of the vast majority. It is also argued[3] that Norse immigrants to England had a great impact on the loss of inflectional endings in Middle English. One argument is that, although Norse- and English- speakers were somewhat comprehensible to each other, the Norse-speakers' inability to reproduce the ending sounds of English words influenced Middle English's loss of inflectional endings. Another argument is that the morphological simplifications were caused by Romano- Britons who were bilingual in Old English and either Brittonic (which lacks noun case) or British Romance (which may have lacked noun case, like most modern Romance languages). Late Middle English Further information: Early Modern English The Late Middle English period was a time of upheaval in England. After the deposition of Richard II of England in 1399, the House of Plantagenet split into the House of Lancaster and the House of York, whose antagonism culminated in the Wars of the Roses (1455–1487). Stability came only gradually with the Tudor dynasty under Henry VII. During this period, social change, men coming into positions of power, some of them from other parts of the country or from lower levels in society, resulted also in linguistic change. Towards the end of the 15th century a more modern English was starting to emerge. Printing began in England in the 1470s, which tended to stabilise the language. With a standardised, printed English Bible and Prayer Book being read to church congregations from the 1540s onward, a wider public became familiar with a standard language, and the era of Modern English was under way.