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Triptico Match Maker – Definitions https://triptico.co.uk/index.php?pg=34
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Before 1066, there was old English or OE ndscreen ndscreen Beowulf, the epic poem, was written in old English. It is a blend of German, Latinate and Scandinavian Languages as well as old Celtic. It’s extremely difficult to understand and decipher today.
The Normans The Battle of Hastings ry/newsid_ / stm ry/newsid_ / stm
Bill Bryson calls the Norman conquest of 1066 the "final cataclysm [which] awaited the English language." (1) When William the Conqueror became king of England, French took over as the language of the court, administration, and culture - and stayed there for 300 years. Meanwhile, English was "demoted" to everyday, unprestigious uses. These two languages existed side by side in England with no noticeable difficulties; in fact, since English was essentially ignored by grammarians during this time, it took advantage of its lowly status to become a grammatically simpler language and, after only 70 or 80 years existing side-by-side with French, Old English segued into Middle English. Vocabulary During the Norman occupation, about 10,000 French words were adopted into English, some three-fourths of which are still in use today. This French vocabulary is found in every domain, from government and law to art and literature - learn some. More than a third of all English words are derived directly or indirectly from French, and it's estimated that English speakers who have never studied French already know 15,000 French words.
After 1066, the English language changed forever… For several generations after the conquest all important positions in England were taken by French speaking Normans. William’s coronation in Westminster Abbey was spoken in both French and Latin. From 1066 there were three languages in use – Religion/ Law and Science were all conducted in languages other than English. In England there was bitter resentment to this. In court, church and government circles French was seen as smart and Latin as the professional Language. To this day, anatomy, wildlife and many aspects of religion have a decidedly Latinate slant. Similarly, French is still the language of sophistication. C’est la vie!
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So… Why is Chaucer such an important part of the proliferation of the English language? It is sometimes argued that the greatest contribution that this work made to English literature was in popularising the literary use of the vernacular, English, rather than French or Latin.
The Canterbury Tales A sequence of tales regaling the pilgrimage of 24 Pilgrims from different parts of England to Cantebury, the religious heartland of Enlgand.
In or around 1378, Chaucer began to develop his vision of an English poetry that would be linguistically accessible to all—obedient neither to the court, whose official language was French, nor to the Church, whose official language was Latin. Instead, Chaucer wrote in the vernacular, the English that was spoken in and around London in his day. Undoubtedly, he was influenced by the writings of the Florentines Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio, who wrote in the Italian vernacular. Even in England, the practice was becoming increasingly common among poets, although many were still writing in French and Latin.
Have a go at the middle English Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote The droghte of March hath perced to the roote, And bathed every veyne in swich licour Of which vertu engendred is the flour, Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth Inspired hath in every holt and heeth The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne Hath in the Ram his halve cours yronne, And smale foweles maken melodye, That slepen al the nyght with open ye (so priketh hem Nature in hir corages), Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages, And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes, To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes; And specially from every shires ende Of Engelond to Caunterbury they wende, The hooly blisful martir for to seke, That hem hath holpen whan that they were seeke. When April with his showers sweet with fruit The drought of March has pierced unto the root And bathed each vein with liquor that has power To generate therein and sire the flower; When Zephyr also has, with his sweet breath, Quickened again, in every holt and heath, The tender shoots and buds, and the young sun Into the Ram one half his course has run, And many little birds make melody That sleep through all the night with open eye (So Nature pricks them on to ramp and rage)- Then do folk long to go on pilgrimage, And palmers to go seeking out strange strands, To distant shrines well known in sundry lands. And specially from every shire's end Of England they to Canterbury wend, The holy blessed martyr there to seek Who helped them when they lay so ill and weak.
Why is Chaucer important? Because from the 14 th century, English people could read in the same language they spoke.
Finally, some questions for consideration… If we had lost WW2, would we still speak English in England? After the war of independence in the USA, many of the legal papers were written in German due to the amount of German immigrants living there. It was slowly phased out, however, there was an opportunity for German to become the language of the USA. What would have happened to English if this was the case? If we had no dictionaries or ways of standardising speech, how many languages would there be in England (including Geordie)?