A Brief History of English by jianghongl


									A Brief History of
       Class # 25
   LING 2301 11-18-08
History of English Timeline (from Fennell,
 B. 2001. A History of English. Blackwell)
   General Outline (p. 1, 15)
   Pre-History         before 500 AD (or CE)
   Old English        CE 500 – 1100
   Middle English            1100 – 1500
   Early Modern English      1500 – 1800
   Modern English            1800 – present

11-18-08               LING 2301                2
         Selected Dates from Prehistory of
               English (pp. 15 – 17)
    see time line handout.
       5200 BC First farmers of central Europe spread NW as far as the Netherlands
       3250 BC Earliest writing from W. Mesopotamia: Pictographic clay used for
           commercial accounts
       1900 BC Cretan hieroglyphic writing
       2300 BC Beginning of full European Bronze Age
       1650 BC Linear A script (Crete and the Cyclades)
       1400 BC Linear B script (mainland and islands of Greece)
       750 BC First Greek Alphabetic inscription
       690 BC Etruscan script developed from Greek
       600 BC Latin script
            First Greek Coins
       460 BC Parchment replaces clay tablets for Aramaic administrative
       CE 125 Hadrian's Wall built
       CE 449 Angles, Saxons and Jutes invade Britain
       Things to look up if you want to know more:
       Proto-Indo European (PIE): Grimm's Law, Verner's Law (Consonant shifts in Germanic from PIE)
    11-18-08                                  LING 2301                                        3
               Old English Period (p. 55).
    55    BC Julius Caesar attempts to invade Britain
    CE     43-50 Emperor Claudius invades Britain
    CE     410 Romans withdraw from Britain
    CE     449 Angles, Saxons and Jutes invade Britain
          597 St. Augustine of Canterbury re-introduces* Christianity to the English
          787 Scandinavian invasion begins (Vikings)
          878 King Alfred defeats the Danes at Eddington (Ethandun)
          Treaty of Wedmore (allows a truce b/t Scandinavians who settle on outskirts and the
           Anglo-Saxons in Alfred’s territory which established a line between Anglo-Saxons and
           Danes – Danish side referred to as Danelaw.
           899 King Alfred dies
          1014 King Æthelred driven out by a new wave of Danish (political) aggression
          1016 Danish King Cnut rules England
          1042 Accession of Edward the Confessor (Æthelred's son) to the throne (died
              w/o an heir in 1066)

(* see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Augustine_of_Canterbury for more detail)

    11-18-08                                 LING 2301                                      4
           General OE properties
   When Anglo-Saxons move in the land was inhabited by
   OE synthetic/fusional rather than analytic/isolating
   N, V, Adj, Det, ProN were highly inflected meaning
    word order would not be very ridged
   Strong and weak declensions of nouns and adjectives
   Strong and weak conjugations of verbs
   Word formation by compounding, prefixing and
    suffixing rather than borrowing
   Gender (like other Indo-European languages) – was a
    grammatical feature (based on formal linguistic criteria,
    not logical or "natural" classes)
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               OE Consonants (very similar to
                  modern day English)
                                        labio-        Inter-   alveola   Alveo-
                             bilabial                                              velar
                                        dental        dental      r      palatal
                -vce stop       p                                 t                  k
                +vce stop       b                                 d                  g
                -vce affr                                                  ʧ
                +vce affr                                                  ʤ
                 fricative              f {v}           θ         s      ʃ {ʒ]       h
                   nasal                  m                                n
                  lateral                                                  l
                 retroflex                                                 r
               semi-vowel                 w                                          j

    {voiced fricatives} were allophones – predictable by rules in context
     of voiceless segments (no contrast as in present day fan & van)
    It also included some clusters that no longer exist phonetically: /kn/
     /gn/ (knee, gnaw)
    11-18-08                              LING 2301                                        6
                          Vowels in OE:
    A major feature of vowels in OE from Germanic is called "front mutation"
     or "i-umlaut"
       If a stressed syllable was followed by an unstressed syllable containing
         [i] or [j],
       the vowel sound of the stressed syllable was fronted or raised (or partly
         assimilated to the following high front [i] or [j]).
       The vowel that caused the mutation would then be dropped out of the
         changed forms (so it does not occur itself in the new forms)
    Example:
       The plural for mūs 'mouse' would have been mūsiz. The vowel of /-iz/ raised
         and fronted the /ū/
       Then the /iz/ would be dropped
       Thus changed to mȳs 'mice'
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germanic_Umlaut
    Also produced vowel mutation plurals forms such as 'foot'  'feet'
    And adjectives strang, strengra, strengest & old, elder, eldest
    And some verb forms lie/lay, sit/set
    11-18-08                           LING 2301                                  7
                               OE syntax
   also used case inflections for grammatical function of
    nouns (different suffixes on nouns showing the
    following relations within the sentence)
   An example of Cases that would be inflected:
          Nominative case  subjects
               the DOG put the bone on the pillow.
          Accusitive case  direct objects
               the dog put THE BONE on the pillow.
          Genitive case  Possessives
               the dog put HIS bone on the pillow.
          Dative case  for indirect objects
               the dog put the bone on THE PILLOW.
          Instrumental case  "with/or by means of" phrase (rare in
               the dog chewed the bone WITH HIS TEETH.
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             Words from Latin in OE:
   Some probably from regular Roman life
          street, wine, butter, pepper, cheese, silk, copper, pound, inch,
   Some came in with the Church
      (St. Augustine 597)
       bishop, candle, creed, mass, monk, priest

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 Words Borrowed from Scandinavian
       (the Danes) into OE:
   /sk/ shall, fish, shirt, skirt, sky, scale
   birth, egg, guess, root, seat, sister, tidings
      Other factors from Scandinavian —
       pronouns (they, them, their) replaced 3rd Pl
       inflected forms
      prepositions (till, fro – as in to and fro),

      infinitives (att + do as in 'ado')

      and parts of the verb 'to be' (are)

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             Middle English (p. 94).
   1066 Battle of Hastings; Norman Conquest (William, Duke of
    Normandy [2nd cousin to Edward] takes throne by force as William
    the Conqueror whose son William Rufus succeeded him)
   1100 William II Rufus dies suspiciously in a hunting accident and
    his younger brother Henry takes the throne as Henry I.
   1189 Richard I (the Lionheart of Robin Hood fame spoke little or
    no English and only spent 6 months in England) succeeds Henry II
    (Henry I’s Grandson)
   1199 Richard died w/o heirs and his brother John was crowned
   1204 King John looses lands in Normandy (his own and that of
    the Barons)
   1205 John looses war with France and Norman Lands belonging
    to Norman rulers in Britain given up
   1215 The Magna Carta signed (forced upon King John by the
    Barons to limit the king's will to the rule of law)*

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                 Middle English (p. 94).
   1216 Henry III acquires the throne
      Thus marking the end of Northern French domination
        and began Southern French domination
   1272 Edward I (Henry III’s son) takes the throne (as the
    "first King for generations to have a good command of
   1362 Parliament opened in English
          (Time of Chaucer 1340–1400)
   1381 Peasants' Revolt (increased the importance of
    English to give the lower persons a voice in the affairs of
    the country)
   1476 Caxton introduces the printing press (by 1500
    35,000+ books have been printed – most in Latin)
   1489 French no longer used as the language of Parliament
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                             General Changes
    During the Middle English period saw changes such as the loss of inflections, the
     development of more fixed word ordering and a great deal more borrowing.
    While many consonants did not change some did. For instance —
    Loss of w between Consonants and /o/ Vowel:          swa  so & hwa  ha
    Loss of some final consonants: drivan  drive
    Simplification of /sw/ cluster: swuster  suster 'sister'
    Loss of initial /h/ in words:       hring  ring & hrof  rof ('roof'')
    Loss of inflections (suffixes on the ends of words to indicate case)
          Gaps in inflection system gave space for new prepositions
                  conversion of other forms: along (OE adj  prep)
                  compound prep: out + of, in + to  into,
                  borrowed : except from Latin, till from ONorse,
                         according to, around, during from French

    11-18-08                                 LING 2301                             13
                                 ME Vowels
   Long vowels: raised and rounded of /a/
          so /a/  /o:/ ban  bon 'bone' & bat  bot 'boat'
          unrounding of /y:/ to /i:/ bryd  /brid/ 'bride'
   One of the most significant changes in ME was the "general obscuring
    of unstressed syllables" which is one of the fundamental causes of the
    loss of inflection.
   Many unstressed vowels  schwa /ə and many unstressed final vowels
    were eventually lost
          OE oxa  ME oxə 'ox' OE foda  ME fodə 'food'
   Other vowels were lengthened before /ld/, /mb/, & /nd/ such as:
          ʧɪld  ʧi:ld 'child' (but not if a 3rd syll as in ʧɪldrən)
          a, e, and o also got longer in "open syllables of disyllabic words“ (meaning those
           syllables in a word that are CV rather than CVC) namɛ  na:mə
   Or shortened in some context like before double consonants and clusters
           cepte [ke:ptɛ]  cept [kept]
   Also diphthongs started to develop where vowels were followed by glides
    (/w/ & /j/) and the velar fricative /ɤ/, and as in claw, day, new, grow, bow,
    owe, & joy.

11-18-08                                    LING 2301                                           14
           “Social Status” of French and
                 Borrowed Words:
   With William I's conquest much of the nobility in both
    church and state was now made of Normans rather
    than English.
   Thus "French" was associated with higher status while
    English was the language of "the masses". THUS, many
    of the native terms for livestock remained
      – ox, sheep, swine, deer, calf…
   The French words were used for the flesh of these
    however, as it was probably more commonly eaten by
    the upper classes (the lower class diet consisting of
    more grains and such).
      beef, mutton, pork, bacon, venison, veal…

11-18-08                   LING 2301                    15
            Words from French (cont):
   Similarly the power dichotomy is seen in the French
    origin of:
          master, servant, bottle, dinner, supper, banquet
          (smith & baker remained from OE origin)
          while butcher, barber, carpenter, draper, grocer, mason & tailor are all
   The core of family life remained English (possibly used
    more regularly):
          Mother, father, sister, brother, son, daughter
   But extended family was influenced by French:
          uncle, aunt, cousin, nephew, niece
          or hybrids: grandmother, grand— father, son, daughter, etc.
   Numbers and body parts generally kept their English
    names except for the word face.
11-18-08                                 LING 2301                               16
           Other French semantic fields of
                  borrowed words:
   Government & Administration:
          parliament, bill, act, council, county, tax, custom
   Law & Property:
          court, assize, judge, jury, justice, prison, chattel, money, rent
   Titles:
          Prince, duke, marquis, viscount, baron
   War:
          battle, assault, siege, standard, banner, fortress, tower

11-18-08                              LING 2301                                17
               Early Modern English (p. 135).
   1509 Henry VIII
   1534 Act of Supremacy (Henry’s succession from the
    Catholic Church and influence of Latin)
   1536 Monasteries dissolved and England becomes a
    Protestant country
      Statutes incorporates all of Wales with England
   1539 English translation of the Bible in every church
   1574 First company of Actors and the building of theatres
      (time period of William Shakespeare 1564 – 1616)
   1584 Colonist at Roanoke
   1600 English E. India Co. Formed

    11-18-08                 LING 2301                     18
               Early Modern English (p. 135).
   1603 James I in Power
   1607 Colony planted by London Co. at Jamestown
   1611 King James Bible published
      "To provide a politically more acceptable alternative      to the
        Geneva Bible and to shore up the position of the king, while at the
        same time criticizing the clergy and casting aspersions on 'Popish
        persons'." Later became "the Authorized Version" used
        overwhelmingly in Britain until 1960's
   1616 John Bullokar publishes An English Exposition (English
   1640 approximately 20,000 book titles available in English
   1755 Samuel Johnson publishes a 2 volume set comprising of 2300
    pages and 40,000 entries A Dictionary of the English Language (The
    original purpose was “to 'fix' the language and establish a standard for
    the use of words and their spellings”)
   1775-1783 American war of Independence
   1788 Penal Colonies established in Australia
    11-18-08                       LING 2301                            19
       EME Change in Consonants:
   Loss of /l/ after low back vowels and before labial or
    velar consonants
          almond, folk, palm but not after other vowels film, hulk…
   Loss of /t/ or /d/ in consonant clusters with /s/
          castle, hasten, handsome, landscape
   loss of initial /k/ and /g/ before /n/
          knock, knee, knight, gnome,…
   Loss of /w/ before /r/
          wreak, wrong …
   Loss of /r/ before /s/
           ME bares  bass (a type of fish)
   In 18th century /r/ was lost in standard English before
    a consonant and word finally.
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             EME Changes in Vowels:
   Unstressed vowels were reduced to [ɪ] or [ə] in
    ME and continued in EME
   The Great Vowel Shift
          http://facweb.furman.edu/~mmenzer/gvs/seehear.htm
          http://facweb.furman.edu/~mmenzer/gvs/what.htm
          http://courses.fas.harvard.edu/%7Echaucer/vowels.html
      (see other ppt and handout on language change
   Clark Language… p 250, 337

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               EME Pronouns:
   Main Significant change in Early Modern
    English was the shift to using you for 2nd person
    over other choices of 2nd person pronouns

11-18-08                 LING 2301                      22
                    EME Verbs:
   100+ of around 300 previously strong verbs {those
    irregular forms like ride/rode/(has) ridden or
    sink/sank/(has) sunk}
    have been made weak {jump/jumped}. For Example:
      help, brew, climb, bide (from bide/bided instead of
        bode/bided/bidden), crow, flay, mow (mow mowed
        mowed/mown), dread, wade
   verbs that are still irregular

11-18-08                    LING 2301                        23
                    EME Nouns:
    Possessives based on a contraction of the possessive
     pronoun (e.g. his)
       The King his crown  the King's crown

          But was attached to the head noun as in

          "The King's Crown of England" (maybe would have
           been like The King his Majesty of England)
          Rather than our modern day
           "The King of England's crown".

    11-18-08                LING 2301                   24
                        EME Vocabulary:
    Due to increased communication and the expansion and
     new experience due to colonialism English speakers were
     coming into contact with ideas and phenomena that they
     had not encountered before.
          The vocabulary had to adjust to this.
          Many new words (in many cases illustrated by the vocabulary of
           Shakespeare) are coming into the lexicon.
          agile, critical, demonstrate, emphasis, horrid, impertinency, modest,
           prodigious, accommodation, apostrophe, assassination, dexterously, frugal,
           obscene, pedant, premeditated, reliance, vast…
    Other words at this time coming in via the Renaissance:
          Ambuscade, armada, barricade, bastinado, cavalier, mutiny, palisade,
           pell-mell, renegade…
    11-18-08                             LING 2301                                 25
Latin and Greek (the Renaissance)
    Again Latin and Greek were seen as scholarly
     languages –
          as the crusaders started to learn about the science of the Arabs
           who had translated many of the works from Latin and Greek.
           Many modern languages were being advocated as a medium of
          While English eventually became accepted by the academe many
           of the Science and Literary authors such as Sir Francis Bacon,
           John Milton, and Sir Isaac Newton wrote their major works in
          Eventually the use of Latin declined, but the vocabulary was
           brought into English to "fill the gaps"
    Some words were borrowed from Greek via Latin or
     French: anachronism, climax, pathetic, system, & antithesis

    11-18-08                         LING 2301                          26
   A popular time for dictionaries to be printed to
    help standardize the large influx of words or to
    "help fix" the language.
   Johnson — "The chief intent is to preserve the
    purity and ascertain the meaning of our English

11-18-08                 LING 2301                     27
      Present-Day English (pp. 167 – 168)
    1844 First Telegraph line used b/t Washington and Baltimore
    1865 Atlantic cable completed
    1870 Compulsory Education in Britain
        (led to leveling of dialects and slowed down the pace of linguistic change)
    1876 Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone
    1877 Edison invents the phonograph
    1899 First magnetic sound recordings
    1903 Orville and Wilber Wright make the first successful flight
    1914–1918 WWI
    1921 British Broadcasting Corporation founded (BBC)
    1925 John Logi Baird transmits a picture of a human face via television
    1927 Charles Lindberg – first “nonstop” transatlantic flight
    1929 First use of teleprinters and teletypewrighters
        First scheduled TV broadcast in NY
    1936 BBC London television service begins
    1939–1945 WWII
    1942 First computer developed in the US
    1947 Transistor invented at Bell Labs
    1951 Color TV introduced into USA
    1968 Intelsat communication satellite launched.
    11-18-08                                LING 2301                                  28
 PDE varies very little from EME.
   Remnants of the previous case system are limited to the
    pronouns (I, me, he, him, she, her… the shift from
    whom to who is currently underway as in "To whom did
    you send the letter?" vs. "To who did you send the
   Currently uses more comparatives and superlatives than
    inflectional ones (for instance shift to more & most over
    –er & –est) or even double forms the most coolest… .

11-18-08                    LING 2301                      29
                  New words in PDE
   New words (neologisms) – or uses of old words for a
    new idea are formed for all kinds of reasons:
          kingon – an unexplained icon that appears on a computer
          mickey – the unit of measuring a computer mouse distance –
           .005 inch
          shareware
          crippleware – demo software that lacks the full features
          netpreneur – internet entrepreneur
          Others?

11-18-08                          LING 2301                         30
                  PDE affixation
   using affixes in more productive manner
       un– un-American, un-English, un-freedom
       –ee franchis-ee, contract-ee…

       –ize burglarize

        (From the verb to burgle which was a backformation
        of the older noun burglar by analogy with the –er
        (one who does) suffix)
       regularize, hospitalize

11-18-08                    LING 2301                        31
                    PDE Borrowing
   Current changes between EMW and PDE are
    mostly in the lexicon. Much of this is due to
    developments of scientific–technological
    vocabulary and the rapid progress of
    computer/communications technology.
          Some borrowing from Japanese (e.g. karaoke,
           hibachi, etc.)

11-18-08                       LING 2301                 32
    More focused on Global society:
   In late 1800s and early 1900 in Britain, the Agricultural
    Revolution as well as Technological Revolution brought
    people off the farms and out of rural life into the cities
    (as few as 22% lived in rural areas by 1911).
          The new call was for factory workers and prompted
          While urbanization "promotes diversity" it also brings cultures
           and language varieties in to contact leading to "uniformity".
          As people come together they tend to accommodate to one
           another, developing compromise forms of behavior (including
           language) in order to maximize intelligibility and to achieve the
           greatest amount of social acceptance by those to whom they
           are speaking.
       Increased communications and social mobility also
    have the impact of helping to standardize the language
    and development of rules of English grammar and usage.
11-18-08                            LING 2301                            33
 On to become a World Language
   Two major forms of English today are American
    English, and British English. However there are
    also many others. Some 1st language speakers
    (e.g. Australia, possibly India, Singapore) some
    2nd (or more) e.g. Parts of Europe, Countries in
    the South, East and West of Africa, China,
    Korea, Japan, etc.
          (More on that when we get to the Global language

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     for more on History of English
   http://ebbs.english.vt.edu/hel/hel.html

11-18-08                LING 2301             35

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