Presentation on theme: "English 121 The Mother Tongue"— Presentation transcript:
1 English 121 The Mother Tongue --Language Families--Old English influences--Celtic--Anglo-Saxon--Vikings--Norman (French)--Middle English--William Caxton
2 Language Families: How do we know about the relationship of English to other languages? William Jones:--Noted the similarities of Sanskrit to Latin and Greekex. Sanskrit pitar-Latin/Greek pater
3 A quote from William Jones The Sanscrit language, whatever be its antiquity, is of a wonderful structure; more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely refined than either, yet bearing to both of them a stronger affinity, both in the roots of verbs and the forms of grammar, than could possibly have been produced by accident; so strong indeed, that no philologer could examine them all three, without believing them to have spring from some common source, which, perhaps, no longer exists . .
4 Grimm’s Law The connection between sounds p—f Ex: Latin piscisEnglish fishThe Grimm Brothers also famous for…
6 Philology: the study of the historical relationship between languages
7 Languages contributing to modern Day English Celtic language:--The “original” language of modern-Day Great Britain--Welsh still spoken today in northern, western, and southern WalesSome facts:--508,098 speakers (1991 census)-- Also spoken in Argentina, Canada--Also known as CYMRAEG
10 Anglo-SaxonThe most common words in modern day English as of Anglo-Saxon originthe; a; and; to; it; was; you; thatAll of these are Anglo Saxon wordsIn fact the 100 most common words are originally Anglo-Saxon words
11 Christian influence on Anglo-Saxon words Anglo-Saxons did not have words for things such as—angel, shrine, psalmThe Bible also introduced words with Eastern origins such as camel, cedar, orange, pepper.Anglo-Saxon words borrowed from Latin
13 Wessex remained Anglo-Saxon as King Alfred of Wessex defeated the Vikings in battle. Gradually, the areas of England under Viking rule were reconquered by Alfred's descendents.
14 Viking influence: By 878 the Vikings had conquered all of England except Wessex.
15 King Alfred: King Alfred decided that a book should be written about the Anglo-Saxons. It was called the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and it one main reason why we know so much about the Anglo Saxons.
16 Two cultures—two laws Anglo-Saxon Law Dane Law Feudal system More free land-owners who were not required to work on their lord's lands
17 Danes and Anglo Saxons lived side by side their languages were pidginized Pidgin: a language created out of a mixture of other languages as a means of communication between speakers of different language backgroundsThis coexistence contributed to the loss of word endings (i.e.,inflections) in Old English
19 French as a prestige language in England English not spoken by people in powerFrench the language of government and law: attorney, felony, jailFood names: beef, pork
20 Why didn’t French survive in England? Five main reasons Language of most people in England was in English and not in French--Farmers--Laborers--ServantsFrench had overt prestige but English had covertprestige.
21 2. Intermarrying resulted in a stronger English influence. --French noblemen would marry their English workers and be surrounded by English-speakers
22 3. During the reign of King John, he lost control of areas of France (around 1200) and this forced French nobles to choose between living in England or living in France. The French nobles left for Normandy.
23 4. Hundred Years War (1337-1454): a greater decline in French influence
25 Loss of valuable artisan skills disappeared when large numbers of the working class died. Those who had skills became even more valuable than the rich people. Poor laborers had more influence. They all spoke English.
26 Middle EnglishStill some French influence but now a politically strong language.Many middle English texts, the most famous
28 What did Middle English look like? 1 Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote 2 The droghte of March hath perced to the roote, 3 And bathed every veyne in swich licour 4 Of which vertu engendred is the flour; 5 Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth 6 Inspired hath in every holt and heeth 7 The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne 8 Hath in the Ram his half cours yronne,, 9 And smale foweles maken melodye, 10 That slepen al the nyght with open ye 11 (So priketh hem Nature in hir corages), 12 Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages, 13 And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes, 14 To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes; 15 And specially from every shires ende 16 Of Engelond to Caunterbury they wende,17 The hooly blisful martir for to seke, 18 That hem hath holpen whan that they were seeke.Try to figure out what this says…
29 1 Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote When April with its sweet-smelling showers 2 The droghte of March hath perced to the roote, Has pierced the drought of March to the root, 3 And bathed every veyne in swich licour And bathed every vein (of the plants) in such liquid 4 Of which vertu engendred is the flour; By which power the flower is created; 5 Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth When the West Wind also with its sweet breath, 6 Inspired hath in every holt and heeth In every wood and field has breathed life into 7 The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne The tender new leaves, and the young sun 8 Hath in the Ram his half cours yronne, Has run half its course in Aries, 9 And smale foweles maken melodye, And small fowls make melody,
30 10 That slepen al the nyght with open ye Those that sleep all the night with open eyes 11 (So priketh hem Nature in hir corages), (So Nature incites them in their hearts), 12 Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages, Then folk long to go on pilgrimages, 13 And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes, And professional pilgrims to seek foreign shores, 14 To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes; To distant shrines, known in various lands; 15 And specially from every shires ende And specially from every shire's end 16 Of Engelond to Caunterbury they wende, Of England to Canterbury they travel, 17 The hooly blisful martir for to seke, To seek the holy blessed martyr, 18 That hem hath holpen whan that they were seeke. Who helped them when they were sick.
31 What differences does Middle English have from Old English? What differences does Middle English has from Modern English?
32 Problem of dialects of English at that time: 1. English had emerged as a national language separate from French2. A lack of conventionalized spellings and authoritative sources3. Language change was rapid—the English language was chiefly spoken.