Summary Slide First Invasions The Beginning of English Viking Invasions Middle English The Great Vowel Shift Modern English The Roman Invasions 55 b.C.—Julius Caesar invades Britain. 43 a.d.—Emperor Claudius conquers Britain. Occupy Britain for nearly 400 years. Founded cities Built walls, baths, roads, theaters Intermarried with Celts. Place names—Lancaster, Manchester, Winchester, London, Bath Latin becomes the prestige language of education and social life Roman Empire is threatened by invading Germanic tribes. 410 a.d.—Emperor Honorius summons all Roman troops back to Rome. Celtic tribes in Britain are left defenseless against future invasions. So what language is being used in British Isles at this time? Celtic languages—the native language of the people. Latin—the language of Rome was the prestige language. Education Government Written language Anglo-Saxon Invasions With the Romans gone, a power vacuum existed Germanic tribes from the mainland soon began to fill that vacuum. 450 a.d. By this time Angles, Saxons, Jutes, and Frisians have a firm foothold in Britain Celts are conquered and/or driven out The Beginning of English What we know as English today begins with these Germanic invasions. The word English comes from Angles Old English, or Anglo-Saxon, is an early form of German Old English (450-1150 a.d.) Four dialects emerge Northumbrian Mercian Kentish West Saxon West Saxon Most important OE dialect Most OE literature is in West Saxon Dialect of King Alfred (d. 899) Dialect of government and church Return of Latin 597 a.d. Roman Church sends St. Augustine to England England is Christianized Latin Latin is the language of the church Latin once again becomes prominent in education Latin is the written language of the time So what language is being used in British Isles at this time? Various dialects of Old English All these dialects are forms of German These dialects also adopt some words from Celtic languages and from Latin Viking Invasions Most powerful people of their time 793 a.d. Vikings invade England Eventually, Vikings control much of England This area is called the Danelaw Anglo-Saxons continued to control much of the south Alfred the Great Danelaw So what language is being used in British Isles at this time? Various dialects of Old English These dialects continue to be influenced by Latin and Celtic They are also now influenced by Scandinavian languages Where do words come from? Anglo-Saxon words: to, and, for, in, man, wife, child, fight, love, sleep, eat, house, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday Latin words: altar, monk, preach, priest, hymn, noon, candle, offer Viking words: lift, take, give, husband, sky, dirt, skull, leg, rotten, crawl, clasp Here come the French! Here come the French! 1066 a.d. William the Conqueror invades from Normandy, France Brings 600 ships and 10 to 12 thousand men Defeats King Harold at the Battle of Hastings Battle of Hastings What Changes? William the Conqueror was French He did not speak English French now becomes the language of the government and aristocracy For the next 300 years all English royalty speak only French Common folk speak English Church speaks Latin and French So what language is being used in British Isles at this time? Common folk speak English, which is slowly simplifying its form (losing tense and verb endings, etc) English is also adopting many, many French words Upper class folk speak French Church speaks French and Latin Latin and French are also written languages Middle English (1150-1500) Grammar is simplified Case and number endings are reduced Fixed word order is developed Word order dictates meaning Chaucer first major writer to use English So what language is being used in British Isles at this time? Middle English, in various dialects, is now dominant French begins to disappear from the scene Latin remains prominent among the educated Vocabulary French Words: action, adventure, marriage, power, vision, beef, venison, honest, prefer, master, court, crown Almost half of modern English vocabulary comes from Latin and French The Great Vowel Shift (1450-1550 a.d.) Middle English looks a lot like Modern English But it sounds a lot different Between the mid fifteenth century and the mid sixteenth century all this changes This is called the Great Vowel Shift Great Vowel Shift (continued) Why does this happen? Nobody knows for sure What happened? Six vowel sounds changed pronunciation For example: Middle English “five” was pronounced “feeve” Middle English “house” was pronounced “hoose” Middle English “reed” was pronounced “raid” Great Vowel Shift (continued) Middle English also pronounced the vowel e at the end of words For example: “sweete” was pronounced as two syllables “swait”-”uh” The Great Vowel Shift changes all this. Modern English By the end of the 16th century, we have Modern English William Shakespeare and company are about to show the world what wonders can be worked with this language Spelling has yet to be standardized But that’s another story entirely!