The evolution of the English language Love it or loath it, the English language is evolving, says Christopher Howse. The Evolution of English. Language is there to be played with, and a game is not worth playing without rules By Christopher Howse 7:
Midlands f fox Southern v vox Here is an example of Middle English: The words in blue link you back to their glossary.
Heere bigynneth the Tale of the Wyf of Bathe. The elf-queenewith hir joly compaignye, Daunced ful ofte in many a grene mede. This was the olde opinion, as I rede; I speke of manye hundred yeres ago.
For ther as wont to walken was an elf, Ther walketh now the lymytour hymself In undermeles and in morwenynges, And seyth his matyns and his hooly thynges As he gooth in his lymytacioun.
Wommen may go saufly up and doun. And so bifel it that this kyng Arthour Hadde in his hous a lusty bachelerThat on a day cam ridynge fro ryver; And happed that, allone as she was born, He saugh a mayde walkynge hym biforn, By verray force he rafte hir maydenhed ; For which oppressioun was swich clamour And swich pursute unto the kyng Arthour, That dampned was this The evolution of enlish for to be deedBy cours of lawe, and sholde han lost his heed - Paraventureswich was the statut tho - But that the queene and othere ladyes mo So longe preyeden the kyng of grace, Til he his lyf hym graunted in the place, And yaf hym to the queene al at hir wille, To chese wheither she wolde hym save or spille.
The evolution of the personal pronouns gives you a sense of the changes from Anglo-Saxon through Middle English to Modern English oblique replaces accusative and dative: This accounts for a great deal of the difference between English words and their Frisian and Dutch counterparts.
For better or worse, our spelling still reflects these earlier pronunciations. This is known as the Great English Vowel Shift! Originally, the long vowels were literally long versions of the short vowels, that is, they were held longer, as they are still in Dutch.
Long i which was pronounced like ee today and long ou like oo in boot today had no where higher to go, so they became the diphthongs they are today as in bite and bout. The short vowels, on the other hand, moved very slightly "down.
In some positions, long u our oo in boot became our long u as in mute. Note also that the "silent e" was not originally silent! It was originally pronounced like a short e, became the nondescript "schwa" like the a in agoand then finally disappeared, but not before defining the preceding vowel as long!
Consonants also changed, but not as dramatically. In fact, it was the Frisians and Dutch who changed their consonants more! One more is the silent k in words like know and knight, which was originally pronounced.
Knight, in fact, was originally pronounced as spelled, which makes it much closer to the Dutch knecht, meaning man-servant!
Here are the changes in IPA: The grammar of English is perhaps the most interesting story: It went from a typical old Indo-European language, with many complex and irregular verb conjugations and noun declensions, to arguably the most isolating Indo-European language to date.
Afrikaans - a close relative of Dutch spoken in South Africa - probably beats it by a smidgen. Anglo-Saxon nouns, their articles, and even adjectives were complex. There were three genders, masculine, feminine, and neuter:English speakers today would be able to communicate with English speakers in the last part of the Sixteenth Century.
The Evolution of English George Boeree. The English language begins with the Anglo-Saxons. The Romans, who had controlled England for centuries, had withdrawn their troops and most of their colonists by the early s.
Attacks from the Irish, the Picts from Scotland, the native Britons, and Anglo-Saxons from across the North Sea, plus the. Evolution of English pronouns. Pronouns such as whom and him (contrasted with who and he), are a conflation of the old accusative and dative cases, as well as of the genitive case after prepositions The Development of Old English - A Linguistic History of English, vol.
II, p. The gods were Odin, Thor and Freya. Odin’s-day became Wednesday in English, Thor’s-day became Thursday and Freya’s-day became Friday. Britain had other colonies in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and India. The English language also became part of these colonies.
These colonies are now independent, but English still is one of the languages . The evolution of English: From Romans to Shakespeare. Part one: The history of colonialism was a major factor in the development of English. Follow the global spread of .
English Evolution Over The Last Millennium And Where It May Be Heading. by Alastair Kane. As the second most spoken language in the world behind Mandarin, the English language sits right at the top of the linguistic evolutionary tree.