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The Origins of the English language.

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Introduction

English Homework Dominic Williams 18th October 2002 The Origins of the English language. Would you be surprised if I told you that the language you and I speak today has actual similarities with Sanskrit (an Indian; middle east Asian language)? Well it's true. English can be compared to a large plum pudding, each ingredient represented by a different language, some more than others. That is why we have such a large choice of words to choose from that can mean the same thing. E.g. fat, plump, stout, portly, tubby and obese. Most of these are of European derivative, like Anglo-Saxon, but the word 'obese' comes from even further afield, from the Romans in fact, the Latin word being 'obesus'. Well that's enough about being overweight (there's another one!), the purpose of this piece of writing is to outline the origins of the English language, while trying not to bore you to death. ...read more.

Middle

Now we do not rely as much on endings as much as word order to express the meaning of a sentence. After the Anglo-Saxons had got nice and settled, along the Vikings to try and mess everything up in AD793. The Anglo-Saxons were in fact starting a bit of a cultural revolution with the introduction of Latinate words from the Bible. The Vikings nearly destroyed Old English but then having spoken with Alfred the Great the king of England at the time, decided to make a compromise between the two peoples, the resulting treaty called 'Danelaw'. This split England into two rough parts, the South, who spoke Anglo-Saxon and the mid and North who spoke Viking/Dane/Germanic. And now at either extreme of the country you have the remnants of 'Danelaw' i.e. Cornish dialect and Northern 'Geordie' dialect. ...read more.

Conclusion

It was at this time Chaucer started writing his famous pieces, like the Canterbury Tales. London, Oxford and Cambridge were the centres of refined and proper English language. William Caxton was the first ever printer, who started business at this time. But because of all the different dialects and accents in different parts of England, there was no common consensus between writers as to the correct spelling of words so words were spelt phonetically according to your accent. This middle English was nearly like our Modern English and took another 500 years of chopping and changing before it was there. Phew! That was the development of English over about 1600 years. From things to call a fat bloke, to pantaloons, it's all there. So I'd like to thank the Anglo Saxons, Romans, Greeks, Celts, Vikings, Angles, Vandals, Jutes, Normans and of course the Indians. ...read more.

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