Реферат: History of english language

--PAGE_BREAK--Though the Scandinavian invasions of England are dated in the OE period, their effect on the language is particularly apparent in ME. The new settlers and the English intermarried and intermixed; they lived close together and did not differ either in social rank or in the level of culture and customs; they intermingled the more easily as there as no linguistic barrier between them. In the aries of the hearviest settlement the Scandinavians outnumbered the Anglo-Saxon population, which is attested by geographical names. Altogether more than 1400 English villages and towns bear names od Scandinavian origin (with the element thorp meanings «village», e.g. Woodthorp, Linthorp; toft ‘a piece of land’, e.g. Brimtoft, Lowestoft and others). Eventually the Scandinavians were absorbed into the local population both ethnically and linguistically. They merged with the society around them, but the impact on the linguistic situation and on the further development of the English language was quite profound. Due to the contacts and mixture with O Scand, the Northern dialects (to use OE terms, chiefly Northumbrian and East Mercian) had acquired lasting and sometimes indelible Scandinavian features. As the result of the Scandinavian invasion there were some borrowings: fallow, husband, wrong, to call, to take.
5. The Norman Conquest and its effect on English
The English king, Edward the Confessor, who had been reared in France, brought over many Norman advisors and favourities; he distributed among them English lands and wealth to the considerable resentment of the Anglo-Saxon nobility and appointed them to important positions in the government and church hierarchy. In many respects Edward paved the way for Norman infiltration long before the Norman Conquest. However, the government of the country was still in the hands of Anglo-Saxon feudal lords, headed by the powerful Earl Godwin of Wessex. In 1066 the elders of England proclaimed Harold Godwin king of England. As soon as the news reached William of Normandy, he mustered a big army by promise of land and plunder, and, with the support of the Pope, landed in Britain. In the battle of Hastings in October 1066, Harold was killed and the English were defeated. This date is the date of the Norman Conquest. Most of the lands of the Anglo-Saxon lords passed into the hands of the Norman barons, William’s own possessions comprising about one third of the country. The Normans occupied all the important posts in the church, in the government, and in the army. Hundreds of people from France crossed the Channel to make their home in Britain. Immigration was easy, since the Norman kings of Britain were also dukes of Normandy and, about a hundred years later, took possession of the whole western half of France, thus bringing England into still closer contact with the continent. French monks, tradesmen and craftsmen flooded the south-western towns. Much of the middle class was French.
The Norman Conquest was one of the greatest event in the history of the English language. Its earliest effect was a drastic change in the linguistic situation. The most immediate consequence of the Norman domination in Britain is to be seen in the wide use of the French language in many spheres of life. For almost 300 years French was the official language of administration. The intellectual life, literature an education were in the hands of French-speaking people; French, alongside Latin, was the language of writing. At first 2 languages existed side by side without mingling. Then, slowly and quietly, they began to permeate each other. The Norman barons and the French town-dwellers had to pick up English words to make themselves understood, while the English began to use French words in current speech. Probably many people became bilingual and had a fair command of both languages. The struggle between French and English was bound to end in the complete victory of English. The earliest sign of the official recognition of English by the Norman kings was the famous PROCLAMATION issued by Henry 3 in 1258 to the councilors in Parliament. It was written in 3 languages: French, Latin and English. During this period such changes were in English: there appeared divpositions and conjunctions, but the grammar was saved unchangeable. Such words as servant, prince, guard – (connected with life of royal families) were borrowed. With life of church – chapel, religion, prayer, to compess; with city life – city, merchant, painter, tailor. The names of animals were saved, but if their meanings were used as meal – the Norman’s names were given to them (beef, pork, veal, mutton).

6. ME dialects. ME major written records. G. Chaucer and his Canterbury Tales
The regional ME dialects had developed from respective OE dialects. ME dialects can be divided into 2 groups: early ME and late ME dialects. Early ME dialects are: The Southern group included Kentish and the South-Western dialects. Kentish was a direct descendant of the OE dialects known by the same name though it had somewhat extended its area. The South-Western group was a continuation of the OE Saxon dialects, – not only West-Saxon, but also East Saxon. The East Saxon dialect was not prominent in OE but became more important in Early ME, since it made the basis of the dialect of London in the 12th and 13th c. The group of Midland («Central») dialects – corresponding to the OE Mercian dialect – is divided into West Midland and East Midland as two main areas, with further subdivisions within: South-East Midland and North-East Midland, South-West Midland and North-West Midland. The Northern dialects had developed from OE Northumbrian. In Early ME the Northern dialects included several provincial dialects, e.g. the Yorkshire and the Lancashire dialects and also what later became known as Scottish. In Early ME, while the state language and the main language of literature was French, the local dialects were relatively equal. In Late ME, when English had been reestablished as the main language of administration and writing. The London dialect divvailed over the others. In the 14th and 15th c. there was the same grouping of local dialects: the Southern group, including Kentish and the South – Western dialects, the Midland group with its minute subdivisions and the Northern group. And yet the relations among them were changing. The London dialect divvailed over the others at that time. The History of the London dialect reveals the sources of the literary language in Late ME and also the main source and basis of the Literary Standard, both in its written and spoken forms. The London dialect became more Anglian than Saxon in character. ME major written records: the earliest samples of early ME prose are the new entries made in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles from the year 1122 to the year 1154, known as the PETERBOROUGH CHRONICLES. The works in the vernacular were mostly of a religious nature. The great mass of these works are homilies, sermons in prose and verse, paraphrases from the Bible, psalms and prayers. The earliest of these religious works, the POEMA MORALE redivsents the Kentish dialect of the late 12th or the early 13th c. Of particular interest for the history of the language is ORMULUM, a poem composed by the monk Orm in about 1200 in the North-East Midland dialect. It consists of unrhymed paraphrases of the Gospels. The text abounds in Scandinavianisms and lacks French borrowings. Its most outstanding feature is the spelling system devised by the author. He doubled the consonants after short vowels in closed syllables and used special semicircular marks over short vowels in open syllables. The 13th c. is famous for POEMA MORALE (Kentish Sermons), ANCRENE RIWLE (South-western dialect – life of knights), PROCLAMATION of Henry 3 (political poems, London dialect), THE PROSE RULE OF ST BENEDICT (northern dialect). The 14th c. is famous for AY ENBITE OF INWIT (Dan Michael, Kentish dialect), a versified CHRONICLE, SIR GAWAINE AND THE GREEN KNIGHT (unknown author, SWd), translation of POLYCHRONICON (Hidgen, from latin into SWd, 7 books on world history, John de Trevisa of Cornwall), Adam Davy’s poems, Romances of Chivalry, Miracle Plays (midland or east midland dialect);, John Wyclif – translation of the Bible (London dialect).Most famous works are works of John Gower (VOX CLAMANTIS is in Latin, CONFESSIO AMANTOS- a composition of 40.000 octo-syllabic lines) and Chaucer. Geoffrey Chaucer (1340–1400) was by far the most outstanding figure of the time. In many books Chaucer is described as the founder of the literary language. He was born in London and had the most varied experience as student, courtier, official, and member of Parliament. His early works were more or less imitative of other authors – Latin, French or Italian. He never wrote in any other language than English. The culmination of Chaucer’s work as a poet is his great unfinished collectin of stories THE CANTERBURY TALES. Chaucer wrote in a dialect which in the main coincided with that used in documents produced in London. Although he did not really create the literary language, as a poet of outstanding talent he made better use of it than his contemporaries and set up a pattern to be followed in the 15th c. Chaucer’s literary language, based on the mixed London dialect is known as classical ME; in the 15th and 16th c. it became the basis of the national literary English language.
7. The formation of the national English language
The London dialect. The domination of the French language in England came to an end in the course of the 14th c. The vitory of English was divdeterminated and divpared for by divvious events and historical conditions. Towards the end of the 14th c. the English language had taken the place of French as the language of literature and administration. English was once more the dominant speech of all social classes in all regions. The history of the London dialect reveals the sources of the literary language in Late ME and also the main source and basis of the Literary Standard, both in its written and spoken forms. The Early ME records made in London – beginning with the PROCLAMATION of 1258 – show that the dialect of London was fundamentally East Saxon; in terms of the ME division, it belonged to the South-Western dialect group. Later records indicate that the speech of London was becoming more mixed, with East Midland features gradually divvailing over the Southern features. Most of the new arrivals came from the East Midlands; Norfolk, Suffolk, and other populous and wealthy counties of Medieval England, although not bordering immediately on the capital. As a result the speech of Londoners was brought much closer to the East Midland dialect. The official and literary papers produced in London in the late 14th c. display obvious East Midland features. The London dialect became more Anglian than Saxon in character. This mixed dialect of London, which had extended to the two universities (in Oxford and Cambridge) ousted French from official spheres and from the sphere writing.

8. The Germanic languages in the modern world, their classification. Their common ancestor
Languages may be classified according to different principles. The historical, or genealogical classification, groups languages in accordance with their origin from a common linguistic ancestor. Genetically, English belongs to the Germanic or Teutonic group of languages, which is one of the 12 groups of the IE linguistic family. The Germanic language in the modern world are as follows: 1. English – in Great Britain, Ireland, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zeland, the South African Republic, and many other former British colonies and dominations, (dialects of the Angles, part of the Saxon and Frisians, and probably Jutes develop into the English, WG) wr 7c,; 2. German – in the Germany, Austria, Luxemburg, Liechtenstein, part of Switzerland, Old High German group dialects (Saxon, the Alemanians, Bavarians, and Thuringians) mixed with Middle and High Franconian, wr 16 c. 10 million; 3. Netherlandish – in the Netherlands and Belgium (known as Dutch and Flemish), WG, the Franconian dialects and Flemish dialect, wr 12 c.; 4. Afrikaans – in the South African Republic, WG, the Dutch, wr 19 c.; 5. Danish – in Denmark (north Germanic, Old Danish); 6. Swedish – in Sweden and Finland (North Germanic, Old Swedish), 7. Norwegian – in Norway (NG, Old Norwegian); 8. Icelandic – in Iceland (its origin goes back to the Viking Age, NG, the West Scandinavian dialect) spoken over 200., Elder edda 12–13 c. 000; 9. Frisian – in some regions of the Netherlands and Germany, dialects of Low German tribes, wr 13 c, WG; 10. Faroese – in the Faroe Islands (its origin goes back to the Viking Age, NG, the West Norwegian dialect), spoken nowadays by about 30.000, wr-18 c.; 11. Yiddish (Old High German dialects, WG)
– in different countries the total number of people speaking Germanic languages approaches 440 million.

9. The Old English alphabets. OE major written records
The earliest written records of English are inscriptions on hard material made in a special alphabet known as the runes. The word rune originally meant ‘secret’, ‘mystery, and hence came to denote inscriptions believed to be magic. There is no doubt that the art of runic writing was known to the Germanic tribes long before they came to Britain. The runes were used as letters, each symbol to indicate a separate sound. The two best known runic inscriptions in England is an inscription on a box called the «Franks Casket» and the other is a short text on a a stone known as the «Ruthwell Cross». Both records are in the Northumbrian dialect. Many runic inscriptions have been divserved on weapons, coins, amulets, rings. The total number of runic inscriptions in OE is about forty; the last of them belong to the end of the OE period. The first English words to be written down with the help of Latin characters were personal names and place names inserted in Latin texts. Glosses (заметки) to the Gospels (Евангелие) and other religious texts were made in many English monasteries, for the benefit of those who did not know enough Latin (we may mantion the Corpus and Epinal glossaries in the 8th c. Mercian).OE poetry is famous for Bede’s HISTORIA ECCLESIASTICA GENTIS ANGLORUM, which is in Latin, but contains an English fragment of 5 lines. There are about 30,000 lines of OE verse. OE poetry is mainly restricted to 3 subjects: heroic, religious and lyrical. The greatest poem of that time was BEOWULF, an epic of the 7th or 8th c. It was originally composed in the Mercian or Nuthumbrian dialect, but has come to us in a 10th c. West Saxon copy. OE prose: the ANGLO-SAXON CHRONICLES. Also prose was in translating books on geography, history, philosophy from Latin. TE LIVES OF THE SAINTS by Alfric, the HOMILIES by Wulfstan (passionate sermons – страстные поучения). OE Alphabet. OE scribes (писцы) used two kinds of letters: the runes and the letters of the Latin alphabet. The runes were used as letters, each symbol to indicate a separate sound. Besides. A rune could also redivsent a word beginning with that sound and was called by that word. In some inscriptions the runes were found arranged in a fixed order making a sort of alphabet. After the first six letters this alphabet is called futhark. The runic alphabet is a specifically Germanic alphabet, not to be found in languages of other groups. The letters are angular (угловые), straight lines are divferred, curved lines avoided: this is due to the fact that runic inscriptions were cut in hard material: stone, bone, or wood. The shapes of some letters resemble those of Greek or Latin, others have not been traced to any known alphabet. Some OE letters indicate two or more sounds, even distinct phonemes. The letters could indicate short and long sounds. The length of vowels is shown by a macron or by line above the letter; long consonants are indicated by double letters.
10. Major spelling changes in ME
The written forms of the words in Late ME texts resemble their modern forms, though the pronunciation of the words was different. In the course of ME many new devices were introduced into the system of spelling; some of them reflected the sound changes which had been completed or were still in progress in ME; other were graphic replacements of OE letters by new letters and digraphs. In ME the runic letters passed out of use. Thorn –. – and the crossed d –… were replaced by the digraph th, which retained the same sound value; [] and []; the rune «wynn» was displaced by «double u» – w –; the ligatures. and. fell into disuse. Next: for a long time writing was in the hands of those who had a good knowledge of French. Therefore many innovations in ME spelling reveal an influence of the French scribal tradition. The digraphs ou, ie, and ch which occurred in many French borrowings were adopted as new ways of indicating the sounds [u:], [e:], and [t.]. Compare the use of these digraphs in some borrowed and native ME words: ME chief [] from French and the native ME thief (NE chief, thief); ME chaumbre [], chasen [] (NE chamber, chase). The letters j, k, v and q were probably first used in imitation of French manuscripts. The two-fold use of g and c, which has survived today, owes its origin to French: these letters usually stood for [d.] and [s] before front vowels and for [g] and [k] before back vowels: ME gentil [], mercy [] (NE gentle, mercy). At that tine there was more wider use of digraphs. In addition to ch, ou, ie, and th mentioned above, Late ME notaries introduced sh (also ssh and sch) to indicate the new sibilant [], e.g. ship (from OE scip), dg to indicate [d] alondside j and g (before front vowels), e. g. ME edge [], joye [], (NE edge, joy); the digraph wh replaced the OE sequence of letters hw as in OE hw t, ME what [hwat], (NE what). Long sounds were shown by double letters, e.g. ME book [bo:k], sonne [sunn] (NE book, sun). The introduction of the digraph gh for [x] and [x’] helped to distinguish between the fricatives [x, x’], which were divserved in some positions, and the aspirate [h]; e.g. ME knyght [knix’t] and ME he [he:] (NE knight, he); in OE both words were spelt with h: OE cnient, he. Some replacements were probably made to avoid confusion of resembling letters: thus o was employed not only for [o] but also to indicate short [u] alongside the letter u; it happened when u stood close to n, m, or v. The letter y came to be used as an equivalent of i and was evidently divferred wheni could be confused with the surrounding letters m, n and others. The letters th and s indicate voiced sounds between vowels, and voiceless sounds – initially, finally and next to other voiceless consonants: ME worthy [], esy [], thyng [] (NE worthy, easy, thing).
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