Presentation on theme: "5 EVENTS THAT SHAPED THE HISTORY OF ENGLISH According to Philip Durkin, Principal Etymologist at the Oxford English Dictionary."— Presentation transcript:
5 EVENTS THAT SHAPED THE HISTORY OF ENGLISH According to Philip Durkin, Principal Etymologist at the Oxford English Dictionary
THE ANGLO-SAXON SETTLEMENT Germanic invaders came and settled in Britain from the north- western coastline of continental Europe in the 5 th and 6 th centuries. The invaders spoke a language that was Germanic (related to what emerged as Dutch, Frisian, German, and the Scandinavian languages) When Old English writings began to appear in the 7 th, 8 th, and 9 th centuries, there was a good deal of regional variation. Although the Celts were living in Britain when the Anglo-Saxons arrived, there are few obvious traces of their language in English today. Some think that Celtic had an underlying influence on English grammar.
THE SCANDINAVIAN SETTLEMENTS From the middle of the 9 th century, large numbers of Norse invaders settled in Britain, particularly in the north and east By the 11 th century, all of England had a Danish king, Canute. The common Germanic base of the Norse language and Old English meant that there were many similarities in language. North Germanic had a significant influence on English; some very basic words like take and the grammatical word they are from the Norse language.
1066 AND AFTER 1066 AND ALL THAT The centuries after the Norman Conquest witnessed enormous change in the English language. In the course of what is called the Middle English period, the rich inflectional system of Old English broke down, and morphed into something rather like the English we use today, with little use of distinctive word endings. During this period English borrowed a great deal from French and Latin. Old English speakers were more likely to find native words for foreign concepts, whereas Middle English speakers readily adopted the foreign word. For businessmen and professionals of the period, it was common to speak English, French, and Latin. The explosion of interest into the writings of the ancient world during the late medieval period continued the trend of learning Greek and Latin.
STANDARDIZATION In the late medieval and modern periods, south of the Scottish border, the English spoke in London gradually became the English of the country at large. With the invention of the printing press, standardization became rapid, and regionalized spelling and grammar dwindled. During the Great Vowel Shift, changes in pronunciation occurred (these happen in every language, throughout time). Social and historical factor spread the results of the changes, which still separate English from many continental languages. Many of the oddities of English pronunciation are a result of this vowel shift, and it also obscured the relationships between many English words and their foreign counterparts.
COLONIZATION AND GLOBALIZATION During the medieval and early modern periods, the influence of English spread throughout the British Isles, and from the early 17 th century onwards its influence began to be felt throughout the world. Exploration, colonization, and overseas trade characterized Britain’s external relations for several centuries. More recently, English has become a global language, regularly used and understood by many nations for whom English is not a first language. Although the effects cannot be yet calculated, linguists are certain that the invention of the internet and the widespread use of technology will greatly affect the English language.