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In Old English_ for instance

VIEWS: 5 PAGES: 3

									                                          BIL
                                          IN
                                          GU
                                          AL
                                          EN
                                          GL
                                          AN
                                          D
                                       BILIN
                                       GUAL
                                       ENGL
                                       AND

 When William of Normandy transferred this
feudal organization to England, the linguistic
 situation became more complex!At once the
  lowest orders were doubly marked, not
only by inferior economic position but also by
the use of a separate, despised tongue| Since
   the Church, which conducted most of the
schooling of the time, was also taken over by
 Norman-French bishops, abbots, and other
  prelates, instruction in English practically
  ceased. Most of the native speakers became
     necessarily illiterate and remained so for
several generations. The recording of English
  came to an abrupt stop almost everywhere.
  While English thus remained unrecorded in
writing and uncorrected by formal teaching, it
   1 tended to change more rapidly than it had

been doing before 1066. The leveling of forms,
now accelerated, produced a greatly simplified
     grammar. Many of the distinctions of Old
      English were lost in the process. Earlier
    writers like Sir Walter Scott have probably
   exaggerated the cleavage between Norman
  French and English, and the length of time it
    endured. But it was sufficiently marked at
 least to intensify the drive towards simplicity,
        already noticeable in Old English.
                                     EARLY
                                     MIDDLE
                                     ENGLISH

H English re-emerged as a literary language in the
hands of churchly writers in the latter twelfth century.
These men, schooled primarily in Latin and Norman
French, merely adapted the classroom spelling of
these upper-class languages to the native idiom.
Some few may have known a little about the Old
English written before 1066, especially in places
where efforts had been made to keep the old Anglo-
Saxon Chronicle up to date under the Normans. In
all cases they tried to write what they actually heard,
phonetically. Where inconsistencies arose they were
due to regional dialects in English itself, or to a
conflict between French and traditional English
orthography. In Old English, for instance, the word
hitsfor "house" was pronounced with a single long
vowel [hu:s], and was so written. In the so-called
Middle English period, from 1100 to 1400, it was still
being pronounced as before, but under French
influence the spelling became hous for [hu:s]. We
can be fairly certain of the pronunciation because of
the general consistency. Some writers, moreover,
were interested enough in the problem to indicate
the reasons for their spelling, and what it was
supposed to represent

								
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