A Brief History of the English Language, or Why English is Hard to Spell! How did English get to England? Prepare to fill in the spaces on your notes sheet. How did English get to North America? English immigrants to Jamestown, Plymouth,. . . In the early 1600’s English is a member of the West Germanic group of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages. Whew! Think of it as the Family Tree of our Language! One of the leaves is our language, English. The branch it has come from is West Germanic, which grows out of Germanic, which comes from the roots of The Indo-European family of languages. English is the official language of ___?__ nations. about ? English is the official language of ___?__ nations. about 45 English is spoken by how many people? more than ? English is spoken by how many people? more than 450 million English is one of the two working languages of the United Nations. The other one is __?___.French! Francais! English is the mother tongue of the British Isles. English spread because of British exploration, colonization, and empire building during the Seventeenth Eighteenth And Ninteenth centuries The history of the English Language parallels the history of the English people and the British Islands. In the middle of the fifth century • Tribes of Germanic invaders -- Angles, Saxons, and Jutes - brought their languages across the English Channel to the British Isles. In the sixth century • Christian missionaries arrived in England and brought Latin with them. • Other invaders from Scandinavia established settlements in Britain. By the ninth century • Anglo-Saxon (a dialect spoken in Southern England) had become standard English. Today, • One fifth of the English words we use derive from this Anglo-Saxon English. AngloSaxon But in the eleventh century • The Norman Conquest of Britain brought foreign rulers whose native language was –French. For more than three hundred years, • French was the official language of England. • French was the language of the court. • English was spoken only by peasants. • For example, consider the words “pig” and “pork.” Another half of our English vocabulary is • of French and Romance origins. French/ Romanc e Other AngloSaxon •No, not that kind! In the fourteenth century, • English/Wessex again became the language of the English upper class. • The new standard was a London dialect since London was now the capital city. • During the three hundred years kings of England had spoken French, the English language had changed greatly. • The French spoken by nobles became more like English. The English of the common people was now full of French words. There are three periods of English: 1. Old English or Anglo-Saxon to c. 1150. 2. Middle English to c. 1500. 3. Modern English to today. An Englishman of 1300 wouldn’t have understood the English of 500; nor would he understand the English we speak today. Here’s an example of changes in English pronunciation: • The word name • In Old English was pronounced nämä (the a as in fäther) • In Middle English was pronounced näme (fäther) + (sofa) In Modern English, is pronounced nām Vocabulary Sources of the English Language Words come from all over! From Anglo-Saxon English bread, good, shower, home, stones, fox From Latin Christianity priest, bishop, anthem, candle, epistle, hymn From Scandinavian Settlers Husband, sky, skin, club, gape, root, egg, take, give, window, leg, skin, crawl, die, sister From Norman French and Vulgar Latin Legal terms: judge, jury, tort, attorney, crime, assault Terms of rank: prince, duke, baron, parliament, countess Others: honor, courage, season, manner, study, castle. . . From Latin and Greek during the Renaissance and after Words for science, invention, and technology: conifer, cyclamen, helium, halogen, intravenous, isotope, metronome, polymer, telephone Word Parts from Greek and Latin Prefixes: (“Pre” from Latin means earlier or before) “bi-” from Latin means _____ “extra” from Latin means _________ “fore” from Old English means _____ “il” from _______ means ______ “mis” from Latin means ________ “pre” and “post” mean ___________ Word Parts from Greek and Latin Suffixes: ( from Latin for “to fasten beneath”) For example: “-ment” from Latin is a word part that indicates product, means, action, or state. We often use “-ment” to turn a verb into a noun: Excitement is the state of being excited. Encouragement is the action of encouraging. Discouragement is the product of being discouraged. Want to know lots more words? One of the best ways to increase your vocabulary is to learn word parts (prefixes, suffixes, and roots) that are often used in English. “bio” (life) + “logy” (study of) = biology which is the study of life What about geology, hydrology, psychology? Words from everywhere over the past three hundred years tobacco, banana, pajamas, squash, raccoon, prairie, chowder, canyon, ranch, chop suey, kudzu, pretzel, kindergarten, bagel, pizza coleslaw, bedspread, tomato, jazz, yams The origins of a word is called its Etymology Use a good dictionary to find out where the words you use come from. Part 2: The Etymology of a Few Words tobacco The word “tobacco” comes from the Arabic for “euphoriacausing herb.” Euphoria (from the Greek) means a feeling of happiness or well-being. Tell that to someone in the hospital with lung cancer from smoking cigarettes! Then again, perhaps that’s why people have such a hard time quitting once they start smoking. pajamas This comes from Hindi from a Persian word for “leg or foot” combined with another for “garment.” banana This word comes through Portuguese and Spanish from a native West African name. squash This comes from a Native American word. Can you wrap your tongue around this word? “askootasquash” I looked up the Etymology of the word “like” as in “I sure like chocolate!” I found out it comes from the Old English word “lician,” which means “to please, to be sufficient.” English is hard to spell, but it is a wonderful, versatile, expanding language! Expand your vocabulary!