• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The history of the English language shows the influence of successive waves of wars, occupation and colonisation of England. Discuss.

Extracts from this document...


Topic: 'The history of the English language shows the influence of successive waves of wars, occupation and colonisation of England.' Discuss. English as a language was developed through impact of the events that occurred in England and thus reflected the many changes in lifestyle with which its inhabitants were presented. Various aspects of the phonology of modern English resemble the proto-Germanic language spoken by its Anglo-Saxon ancestors. Old Norse, the language brought to England by the Vikings, greatly affected the syntax of Standard English. The versatile nature of the English Language allowed its lexicon to increase significantly with the invasions, expanding to include the Germanic languages and some Romance languages such as French and Latin. Instead of perishing into extinction, English adapted different aspects of the many invaders of England. ...read more.


The syntax of Modern English was vastly constructed by Old Norse, the Language imposed by the Scandinavian invaders of Britain in the mid ninth century. Old English, spoken by the British prior to Viking occupation, used a system involving inflection endings (similar to that of Latin) and word order was unimportant. Old Norse significantly impacted the syntax of the of the English Language by simplifying case endings and omitting prefixes such as 'ge' and 'v', which were used to indicate the past participle of certain verbs. The decline of the inflectional system followed the pattern of Viking raids, first in the North and finally in the South-west, where the Viking occupation was at its lowest. French has also appeared to have an impact in the extinction of case endings, so that ultimately the meaning is determined by word order and the use of function words. ...read more.


The Norman occupation had a considerable impact on English lexicon. The lexicology of the French infiltrated English during this period, as French was seen as the more prestigious language. Lexemes from the fields of business, law, government and religion are mainly from French or Latin descent. Due to this cultural difference of classes, the English words derived from French origin have more sophisticated connotation than synonyms of Germanic descent, for example freedom and liberty. It is due to the many lexemes English borrowed from its invaders that makes it the expressive and versatile language it is today. It is from its versatility and ability to adapt that the English Language survived competition and assimilated features such as phonology, syntax and lexicon without losing its identity. Through the many invasions and influences of the Celts, Germanic tribes, Vikings and the French, English has evolved to be the language it is today. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Language: Context, Genre & Frameworks section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Language: Context, Genre & Frameworks essays

  1. How do Politicians gain support through language? AQA English coursework

    He also uses them to connote the trouble that politicians have with being dishonest. The simple sentence "Figures are fiddled." implies that politicians are untruthful about numbers and statistics in order to give a better impression. The use of the past tense verb "fiddled" emphasises this.

  2. Language and occupation

    This means that the papers stories are short, too the point and simple. We can see this by the use of lexis. The language used is very informal, especially in regards to the royal family. For example 'chatting to fellow soldiers' and 'Climbing into an Audi Estate' this is a metaphor, as he is not actually climbing into the car.

  1. "It's easy to become a football hooligan!" - Discuss

    Secondly, the intense interest of the media has caused hooligan incidences to escalate and make it significant. Media people print articles aimed at running scare stories about hooligan fears, raising caution and tense for the host place, resulting in the bad behaviour of the police.

  2. An Open Investigation into Current Affairs Panel Shows

    The audience that watch this show would most likely be looking to it as a source of 'infotainment'. Where they can be informed of current affairs but in a light hearted way.

  1. Do you detect any general trend or trends in the pattern of English politics ...

    It is likely that such relationships go back to the beginning of the Anglo-Saxon period; Kirby points out that this would hardly be surprising, since Tacitus describes similar hierarchies in Germany. However, we do see overlordship being exercised over increasingly large areas: the traditional starting point here is Bede's list

  2. Choose at least three of the following items; discuss why they are significant in ...

    They monopolised the Government establishments, places of Law and justice and the Church. So the direct result of this was that those who were in power spoke French. Which made French the new 'Powerful language' that had replaced Classical Latin.

  1. The Influence of English Mass Culture on Estonia

    Some Estonians say, 'Do not interfere in our affairs; you are Westerners and thus you represent just another cultural subset and have no right to make universal claims.' I think we need to remind ourselves that there are Western intellectuals, and a number of them at that, who have adopted

  2. Has England Lost Its Identity?

    During almost three centuries of union, the Irish, the Scots and the Welsh kept their distinct national personalities alive and have a ready supply of symbols to light patriotic fires. The English, by contrast, may have let their singular identity become extinguished within Britain.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work