Presentation on theme: "Development of the English Language"— Presentation transcript:
1 Development of the English Language Humble Beginnings,Grand Destiny
2 Overview Three periods of development: Old English (O.E.) BeowulfMiddle Eng. (M.E.) ChaucerModern Eng. (Mod.E.) ShakespeareDid you say Shakespeare? Modern?No way!Yes, way.
3 I. Old English Period Before the English (The Way it Was) 1. Celtic people in Britain for centuriesbefore Julius Caesar in 55 B.C.2. Part of Roman Empire 55 B.C. to A.D. 4103. But the Celts (Britons) kept own language4. Romans left in 410, Britain invaded by:a. Picts from the North (also Celts)b. Scots from the West (Gaelic, Irishmen)The Britons were defenseless
4 I. Old English Period B. The coming of the English 1. Britons appealed to Rome for help; got none2. Saxons, Angles, Jutes invaded in 449—Old English period begins—Britain can be thought of as England(Angle Land)3. They defeated the Picts and Scotsand subjugated the Britons4. Most Celts fled to Wales, Cornwall, Brittany
5 I. Old English Period C. Three Germanic dialects joined into one: Anglo-SaxonEnglish (now called Old English)
6 II. Middle English Period A. Transition periodfrom the Norman Conquestto time of the first printed booksB. The Conquest, 10661. In 9th Century, Scandinavians settled in Normandy and in England2. William’s Claima. Edward the Confessor of England, last successor to Alfred the Great, died without an heirb. Harold II, son of an earl, elected king by noblesc. William, Duke of Normandy, a distant relative, claimed English throne
7 II. Middle English Period B. The Conquest, 1066 (cont’d)3. William invaded England at Hastings4. William and the Normans were French, culturally and linguisticallyC. French influenced English greatlybut it did not dominateFrench = language of government, commerce, lawEnglish = language of the common people
8 II. Middle English Period D. The Conquest made the difference:1. Thousands of Latin-origin words entered the English language through the French2. Caused the transition from Old English to Modern English over the 400-year period we now call Middle English
10 Hear the Difference Middle English from The Canterbury Tales Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote (1) The droghte (2) of March hath perced (3) to the roote, And bathed every veyne (4) in swich licour (5) Of which vertu engendred is the flour (6); Whan Zephirus (7) eek with his sweete breeth Inspired (8) hath in euery holt (9) and heeth The tendre croppes (10), and the yonge sonne Hath in the Ram his half cours yronne (11), And smale foweles maken melodye, That slepen al the nyght with open eye (12) (So priketh (13) hem nature in hir corages (14)), Thanne longen (15) folk to goon on pilgrimages…
11 Hear the Difference Early Modern English from Macbeth Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrowCreeps in this petty pace from day to day,To the last syllable of recorded time;And all our yesterdays have lighted foolsThe way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor playerThat struts and frets his hour upon the stageAnd then is heard no more. It is a taleTold by an idiot, full of sound and fury,Signifying nothing.
12 Final Thoughts The difference is striking. And we owe it all to political events.Is it the same language?Vocabulary greatly changedBasic structure the sameThat’s all, folks
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