History of English This page is a short history of the origins and development of the English language The history of the English language really started with the arrival of three Germanic tribes who invaded Britain during the 5th century AD. At that time the inhabitants of Britain spoke a Celtic language. But most of the Celtic speakers were pushed west and north by the invaders - mainly into what is now Wales, Scotland and Ireland.
Knowledge of the pre-Wycliffite English renditions stems from the many actual manuscripts that have survived and from secondary literature, such as book lists, wills, citations by later authors, and references in polemical works that have preserved the memory of many a translation effort.
Origins and basic characteristics English belongs to the Indo-European family of languages and is therefore related English langu most other languages spoken in Europe and western Asia from Iceland to India.
The parent tongue, called Proto-Indo-European, was spoken about 5, years ago by nomads believed to have roamed the southeast European plains.
Germanicone of the language groups descended from this ancestral speech, is usually divided by scholars into three regional groups: Though closely related to English, German remains far more conservative than English in its retention of a fairly elaborate system of inflections.
Frisian, spoken by the inhabitants of the Dutch province of Friesland and the islands off the west coast of Schleswigis the language most nearly related to Modern English. Icelandic, which has changed little over the last thousand years, is the living language English langu nearly resembling Old English in grammatical structure.
Approximate locations of Indo-European languages in contemporary Eurasia. Modern English is analytic i. During the course of thousands of years, English words have been slowly simplified from the inflected variable forms found in SanskritGreekLatinRussianand German, toward invariable forms, as in Chinese and Vietnamese.
The German and Chinese words for the noun man are exemplary. German has five forms: Chinese has one form: English stands in between, with four forms: In English, only nouns, pronouns as in he, him, hisadjectives as in big, bigger, biggestand verbs are inflected.
English is the only European language to employ uninflected adjectives; e. As for verbs, if the Modern English word ride is compared with the corresponding words in Old English and Modern German, it will be found that English now has only 5 forms ride, rides, rode, riding, riddenwhereas Old English ridan had 13, and Modern German reiten has In addition to the simplicity of inflections, English has two other basic characteristics: Flexibility of function has grown over the last five centuries as a consequence of the loss of inflections.
Words formerly distinguished as nouns or verbs by differences in their forms are now often used as both nouns and verbs. One can speak, for example, of planning a table or tabling a plan, booking a place or placing a book, lifting a thumb or thumbing a lift.
In the other Indo-European languagesapart from rare exceptions in Scandinavian languagesnouns and verbs are never identical because of the necessity of separate noun and verb endings.
In English, forms for traditional pronouns, adjectives, and adverbs can also function as nouns; adjectives and adverbs as verbs; and nouns, pronouns, and adverbs as adjectives.
One speaks in English of the Frankfurt Book Fair, but in German one must add the suffix -er to the place-name and put attributive and noun together as a compoundFrankfurter Buchmesse. In French one has no choice but to construct a phrase involving the use of two prepositions: Foire du Livre de Francfort.
In English it is now possible to employ a plural noun as adjunct modifieras in wages board and sports editor; or even a conjunctional group, as in prices and incomes policy and parks and gardens committee.
Any word class may alter its function in this way: Openness of vocabulary implies both free admission of words from other languages and the ready creation of compounds and derivatives.
English adopts without change or adapts with slight change any word really needed to name some new object or to denote some new process. Words from more than languages have entered English in this way. Although a Germanic language in its sounds and grammarthe bulk of English vocabulary is in fact Romance or Classical in origin.
English possesses a system of orthography that does not always accurately reflect the pronunciation of words; see below Orthography.
Characteristics of Modern English Phonology British Received Pronunciation RPtraditionally defined as the standard speech used in London and southeastern Englandis one of many forms or accents of standard speech throughout the English-speaking world.
Other pronunciations, although not standard, are often heard in the public domain. It is considered the prestige accent in such institutions as the civil service and the BBC and, as such, has fraught associations with wealth and privilege in Britain.
Elizabethan English pronunciationHear the original pronunciation of Elizabethan English as demonstrated and explained by British linguist David Crystal and his actor son, Ben Crystal. Inland Northern American vowels sometimes have semiconsonantal final glides i. Aside from the final glides, that American accent shows four divergences from British English: In several American accents, however, these glides do occur.
The 24 consonant sounds comprise six stops plosives: Like RussianEnglish is a strongly stressed language.Find the right language teacher and take a private lesson in our virtual classroom (even easier than Skype lessons)!
English language resources, schools, and courses that teach English give you the tools you need to pursue any job opportunity. English is the language of global business and continues to become increasingly important in the global market. Welcome to Langu. Learn IELTS, English, Spanish, French, Italian, German & more online with a real teacher in a real classroom - no matter where you are.
English is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England and is now a global lingua franca. Named after the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes that migrated to the area of Britain that would later take their name, Writing system: Latin script (English alphabet), English Braille, Unified English Braille.
Welcome to r-bridal.com, your online resource for research, statistics and the latest news surrounding the issue of making English the official language of the United States. As the nation's oldest and largest non-partisan citizens' action group.
English is spoken widely in South Africa and is an official or co-official language in several countries.
In South Africa, English has been spoken since , co-existing with Afrikaans and various African languages such as the Khoe and Bantu languages.