Anda di halaman 1dari 6

History of the English language 1. Celtic and Roman elements in British place names.

Peoples from a northern section of the main European Iron Age tribes, known by the Greeks as Keltoi and later as the Celts, who lived in northern France and the Netherlands, moved north into Britain in small numbers from the fourth century B.C.E. bringing their language (p-Celtic) with them. The tribes in the south of Britain were known to the Greeks as the that is Pretani (Britons) which probably came from the Celtic language. A little later, a Celtish tribe from southern France and Galicia in Spain, known as the Gaels, settled in Ireland. They spoke Goidelic or Gaelic (q-Celtic). The Britons left behind fragments of names that are now most often found in the west of England and in Wales, places to where they retreated as the next invaders arrived from Europe. Scottish and Irish place names have Gaelic roots. Celtic names are particularly found in isolated spots which suggests that more remote groups remained Celtic-speaking long after other groups had accepted the language of the post-Roman Anglo-Saxons. The names themselves usually contain elements which make up a description of the place. Rivers often have Celtic names: Awon and Ouse are Celtic words for 'water' or 'stream'; Derwent, Darent and Dart are all forms of the British name for 'oak river'; The Thames is the 'dark river'; Trent has been interpreted as meaning 'trespasser', that is, a river with a tendency to flood. Kent and Devon are Celtic, and so are the first elements in Cornwall and Cumberland; the latter means 'the land of the Cymry (that is, the Welsh)'. OE cumb, a word for a type of valley that may have been influenced by the Old British term from which modern Welsh 'cwm' developed. ton (often from OE 'tun' - 'enclosure, farmstead', but also a common development of OE 'dun' - ' large hill with a level top', ham (OE 'ham' - 'homestead' and 'hamm' - 'area enclosed by water, such as a water meadow'), ley (OE 'leah' - 'glade, wood'), worth (OE 'wor' - 'enclosure'), field (OE 'feld' - 'open country') and ing (OE '-ingas' - 'the people of'. Thus Nottingham (OE Snotingaham) was 'the homestead of Snot's people', Langley was 'a long wood' and Aston and Easton were 'eastern farmstead (or village)'. aber - means the mouth of a river in Welsh and Pictish - Aberdovey, Gwyd. Aberdour, Fife baile - means farmstead, village in Irish Gaelic - Ballygomartin, County Antrim beinn (ben) - meaning a hill in Gaelic - Ben Nevis, Highland Bengore, County Antrim cair - fortified town - Carlisle, Cumbria penn - means a hill or hill tor (particularly found in Cornwall) - Penrhyn, Penn, Bucks. gleann (glen) - a narrow mountain valley - Glencoe = valley of the river Coe tre- (tref- in Welsh) - a settlement or farm (particularly found in Cornwall) - Tremaine, Tregaron. Lynn from the Celtic word for lake. Roman The Celts were conquered by the Romans and from 43 and 410 A.D. England was the a distant part of the Roman Empire. The Romans only left behind around 300 place names so it seems that the Roman administrators must have continued to use existing Celtic names. Roman names for their main towns were usually replaced with Old English names by the Anglo-Saxons. Thus Aquae Sulis translated to Bath and Eburacum became York. -ceaster (-chester, -caster) a Roman station or walled town in Old English colonia (-coln) a settlement Lincoln pons- (pont-) a bridge Pontefract = broken bridge porta (-port) a gate, entrance - hence later a harbour portus (-port) a harbour Portsmouth -strata (Strat-, -street) a Roman road Chester Le Street, Durham Ceaster is derived from the Latin castra (camp) and this forms the second element of many English towns and cities such as Manchester, Winchester and Cirencester. A few names contain the much later designations of Magna (Greater) and Parva (Smaller). 2. Anglo-Saxon elements in British place names. With the departure of the Romans, three west Germanic tribes, the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes began to invade the British Isles in 449 AD. They came from Denmark and the coast of Germany and Holland. The Anglo-Saxons named their new country Engaland (the land of the Angles) and their language was called Englisc, now termed 'Anglo-Saxon' or 'Old English'. The Angles settled in the centre (Mercia)and east (Anglia) and the Sazons in the south and west. Essex, Middlesex, Sussex - East, Middle and South Saxons Norfolk, Suffolk - north and south folk of the East Angles The names of others survive only in the history books, like the kingdoms of the Deirans in Yorkshire and the Bernicians in Northumberland. -burna (-borne) a brook, stream Otterbourne, Hampshire

-burh (-burg) a fortified place, castle Tewkesbury, Glos. -broc a brook or stream Drybrook, Glos. -brycg a bridge Bristol Pembridge, Hfds. -cumb (coombe) a deep valley Ilfracombe, Devon -cot a cottage Didcot, Oxon. -den a valley Micheldean, Glos. -dun a hill or down Swindon, Glos. -eg (later -ey) an island or raised ground surrounded by marsh Godney, Somerset -feld open space later a field Sheffield -ford a river ford Hereford -halh a nook, corner of land Shifnal, Shropshire -ham a homestead Birmingham -hamm an enclosure, water-meadow Passenham, Northants. -hrycg a ridge Lindridge, Worcs. -hyrst a wooded hill Midhurst, West Sussex -hyll a hill Sedgehill, Wilts. -ingas (-ing) the people of ... Hastings, East Sussex Pickering, North Yorkshire -leah (-ley) a woodland clearing Hatherley, Glos. -mer (-mere) a lake Ringmer, East Sussex -mutha a river mouth or estuary Lynmouth, Devon Barmouth, Wales -stede a place, site of a building Hampstead, London = the homestead -tun an enclosure, farmstead, estate Castleton, Derbyshire -wella a spring or stream Hartwell, Northants. -wic Romano-British settlement Ipswich, Suffolk Harwich, Essex -wick produce (of a farm, particularly dairy) Giggleswick, North Yorkshire -worth an enclosure, homestead Knebworth, Herts. 3. Comparison of OE and MoE noun. The OE noun had two grammatical categories: number and case. In addition, nouns distinguished three genders, but this distinction was not a grammatical category proper, it merely accounted for the division of nouns into morphological classes declensions. The category of number consisted of two members, singular and plural. As to cases, the noun had four of them: Nominative (who?), Genitive (whose?), Dative (to whom?), Accusative (whom?). The most remarkable feature of OE nouns was their elaborate system of declensions. (kndkond), which was based on a number of distinctions: the stem-suffix, the gender of nouns, the phonetic structure of the word, phonetic changes in the final syllables. It is possible to distinguish between the "strong" (vocalic) and "weak" (n-stems) declensions of nouns. These are subdivided into further declensions. The strong declension includes nouns with vocalic stems (a-, o-, r-, u-sfems) and the weak declension comprises n-sfems only. There are also some minor types in terms of consonantal stems. The stem suffix was a remnant of the pre Old English period. During OE it merged with other components of the word and was sometimes left out completely. Thus, not knowing the original form of the word, the division of nouns into declensions according to their stem suffixes may seem a little illogical and confusing. 4. OE pronoun, adjective, numeral. OE pronouns fell roughly under the same main classes as modern pronouns: personal, demonstrative, interrogative, indefinite and relative. Personal Pronouns - Unlike ME, which has got two numerical categories (single and plural), OE had three categories in personal pronouns: the singular, the dual, the plural. Demonstrative Pronouns - There were two demonstrative pronouns in OE: the prototype of ModE that, which distinguished three genders in the singular and had one form for all the genders in the plural and the prototype of this with the same subdivisions. Interrogative Pronouns - Hwa (who), hwat (what), hwelc (which) lndefinite Pronouns - Examples: sum (some), aeni3 (any), nan (none), nanin3 (nothing). Relative Pronouns - e (that, which). Ex. a beorgas, e mann haet Alpis (those mountains that are called the Alps). OE Adjective In combination with nouns, adjectives made use of three genders and two numbers. The OE adj. resembles the modern German and Swedish adj since it is divided into two main declensions: the strong declension and the weak declension. In OE the weak adj was used with personal pronouns in constructions like 'my good son", "their lovely houses', etc. In all other combinations, strong adj-s were used. The strong declension comprised some minor declensions according to word stems: a-, o-, ja-, jo-, wa-, wostems. The weak declension used the same markers as n-stems of nouns and is much less complicated. Degrees of Comparison - Like adj-s in other lg-s, most OE adjectives distinguished between three degrees of comparison: positive, comparative and superlative. The regular means that were used to form the comparative and superlative from the positive were the suffixes -ra and -est/-ost. Sometimes suffixation was accompanied by an interchange of the root-vowel.

OE Numeral 1. n 2. twgen 3. re Unlike in ME, the first three numerals were declinable in OE. They were declined like strong adj. 4. fower 5. fif 6. siex 7. seofon 8. eahta 9. n3on [i] 10. ten 11. endlefan 12. twelf 13. rotene 14. fowertene 15. fiftene 16. siextene 17. siefontene 18. eahtatene 19. n3ontene 20. twent3 21. n and twent3 22. ... 30. rti3 40. fowerti3 50. fifti3 60. siexti3 70. hundseofonti3 80. heundeahtati3 90. hundn3onti3 100. hund 1 000. send 5. General characteristics of OE verb. According to the broad classification of OE verbs, there were 1) strong and 2) weak verbs. It could be said that OE strong verbs correspond to ME irregular verbs and OE weak verbs to ME regular verbs (with some reservations). Strong Verbs - There were about three hundred strong verbs in OE. They were native words and basic items of the vocabulary that was widely used in word derivation and word compounding. The strong verbs could be divided into seven classes, all of which use vowel gradation as a means of distinguishing between different verb forms. These verb forms, in turn, are: 1) the infinitive 2) past singular 3) past plurat 4) past participle Weak Verbs - The number of weak verbs in OE by far exceeded that of strong verbs. In fact, all the verbs, with the exception of strong verbs and some minor groups, were weak. Their number was constantly growing since all new verbs derived from other stems were conjugated as weak. Weak verbs did not distinguish between singular and plural past forms. 6. Norsemen and Danelaw. Norsemen were Scandinavian in origin, and retained their Scandinavian speech. Old Norse had a considerable influence on English. Scandinavian Vikings' basic cause of the harrying of Europe was mainly overpopulation in a region of poor natural resources. The custom of leaving the inheritance to the eldest son meant that there were always younger sons wanting to carve out inheritances for themselves. Political conflicts drove many noblemen into exile. They were great traders, but it is for their more predatory activities that they are most remembered. They produced the magnificent ocean-going sailing-ships which served the Vikings for trade, piracy and colonization. The Vikings consisted of Swedes, Norwegians and Danes. Swedes mostly went eastwards while the Norwegians and Danes tended to go westwards and southwards. Viking armies came very near to conquering the whole of England, but King Alfred held the south and the west against them, the turning-point being his defeat of Guthrum in Edington in 878; the boundary between Alfred's territories and the Viking-controlled territories known as the Danelaw ran roughly along a line from London to Chester. In the tenth century, the West Saxon kings reconquered the north and east, but in the meantime the Vikings established kingdoms in those areas, and there was sufficient Scandinavian settlement to

influence the English language in significant ways. orp - 'secondary settlement, outlying farmstead' is a good sign of Danish settlement (though it also occurs in Anglo-Saxon place-names). In Danelaw there were Danes, the densest areas of place-name formation being in Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Norfolk. Old English and Old Norse were reasonably similar and Englishmen and Danes could probably understand each other, and pick up each other's language, without too much difficulty. 7. The status of English after the Norman Conquest. The Norman Conquest of 1066 was not such a violent break in English history as people sometimes imagine. There was already strong French influence in England before the Conquest, at any rate at the higher levels of society: Edward the Confessor was half Norman, and his court had close relations with France. However, the Conquest, and the centuries that followed, had a profound influence on the English language. For some centuries, English ceased to be the language of government, and there was no such thing as a national, standard literary English; and when English did once again become a major literary language across the whole country it had changed a good deal under the influence of the conquerors. The native aristocracy were largely destroyed, and their lands where distributed to William's Norman followers, who became the new ruling class. Many key ecclesiastical positions, such as bishoprics and abbacies, were also given to Normans in the years following the Conquest, so that the church and education were dominated by them. French was the language of aristocracy and the court, and it remained so for over two hundred years, although there are signs that English became the day-to-day language of even aristocrats within generation or two: the literary and courtly French employed in England was probably essentially a second language for many of its speakers within a few generations. For at least three centuries there was no single form of English recognized as a norm across most of the country, and people wrote in the language of their own region. 1200s saw the gradual movement away from French. The 1204 date represented a time that no English Norman could keep lands in both England and France (because King John lost control of Normandy). In 1215, the Magna Carta took some power away from the king and spread it more locally; this might have made English more functional for official uses away from the central court. Gradually those Normans who stayed in England began to identify with the English. By the 1300s, English was on the rise. The late 1300s saw the rise of Chaucer and the king's opening speech to parliament given in English (1362). At this time, school education also shifted to English. Finally, by 1400 (1399, Henry IV), England had a king whose native language was English. 8. Norman French loan words in English. The impact of French loan words was the greatest near the end of the ME period when French itself was on the decline. Many of the French loan words reflect this cultural and political dominance: they are often words to do with war, ecclesiastical matters, the law, hunting, heraldry, the arts and fashion. French words tended to penetrate downwards in society. Titles of rank tended to be taken from French. These include (in their modern spellings) baron, count, duke, marquess, peer, prince, and sovereign; words to do with administration include chancellor, council, country, crown, government, nation, parliament, people, and state. The law courts were long conducted in French and we have borrowed the words accuse, attorney, court, crime, judge, justice, prison, punish, sentence, and verdict. French dominance of ecclesiastical life is reflected in such loans as abbey, clergy, friar, parish, prayer, relic, religion, saint, saviour, sermon, service, and virgin. Many of the military terms that were borrowed are now obsolete, but there are also armour, battle, castle, tower, and war. Words reflecting French dominance in the arts and fashion include apparel, costume, dress, fashion; and art, beauty, chant, colour, column, music, paint, poem, and romance. Also borrowed were many abstract nouns, especially the names of mental and moral qualities, such as charity, courtesy, cruelty, mercy, and obedience. There are other indications of the aristocratic stamp of medieval French loanwords. Things connected with ordinary people tend to retain their English names, whereas upper-class objects often have French names. Thus we have English home and house but French manor and palace; English child, daughter and son, but French heir and nurse; English maid, man and woman, but French butler and servant; English calf, ox, sheep and swine, but French veal, beef, mutton and pork. In Modern English we often have French and Germanic words surviving side-by-side with similar meanings; in such cases the Germanic word tends to be more popular, and perhaps more emotionally charged, while the French word is often more formal, refined, or official. Thus we have such pairs as doom and judgement, folk and nation, hearty and cordial, holy man and saint, stench and odour. 9. Changes in pronunciation and spelling during the Middle English period. The change of y and , to , alongside the latter, . The two phonemes have been kept distinct to the present day: for example, OE gt has become goat, while OE gs has become goose. The phonemes usually called E (long open e) and me (long close e), ME was descended from OE and a, and was pronounced *:], a half-open vowel similar to that of Modern French faire. E was descended from OE and o, and was pronounced *e:+, a half-close vowel similar to that of Modern German zehn. Once again, however, the two phonemes were not usually distinguished in ME spelling, and it was not until early modern times that it became common to spell the first as ea or ei and the second as ee or ie. The two phonemes were still kept distinct in the English of Shakespeare's day, but have fallen together in present-day English, so tha t we use the same vowel in sea (from OE s ) as in see (from OE son). The disappearance of OE , which in most dialects fell together with a; the monophthongization of all the OE diphthongs, both long and short; the development of ME diphthongs, especially by the fusion of a vowel with a following [j] or [w]; and the weakening of the vowels in unstressed syllables, all of them appearing as ME e

(perhaps presenting []). For example, the OE words feder 'father', heorte 'heart', stram 'stream', mgden 'girl', fugol 'bird' and lagu 'law' appear in Middle English with such spellings as fader or feder, herte, strem, meiden, fowel and lawe, though with much regional variation. 10. Middle English verb. The morphology of the verb displayed two distinct tendencies of development: it underwent considerable simplifying changes, which affected the synthetic forms, and became far more complicated due to the growth of new, analytical forms and new grammatical categories. In infinitive forms there took place the following change: wrtan -> wrten Strong and weak verbs and irregular verbs (those that change completely within one paradigm, e.g. be/was/been) remained the same. In Mid E four principal verb forms were made use of. During the Mid E period a complicated system of tenses was built up. The perfect and continuous tenses started to be used much more frequently. The passive voice also started to be used, but not exactly as they are used in Mod E, since two different auxiliary words could be made use of (be, weorthan). Word order became fixed (lg became more analytic), i.e. subj + verb + obj In Middle English and Modern English the system of inflections becomes much reduced, but a complicated system of tenses is built up by means of the primary auxiliaries (be, have and later do) and the modal auxiliaries (shall, should, will etc). The future tense with shall and will is established in ME, although there are signs of its development beginning in Late Old English. Phrasal past tenses formed with auxiliaries and the past participle also begin to appear in Late Old English. Shall and will function (signalling prediction or futurity) developed in the ME period. The perfect tenses with habban or bon and the passive forms with bon or weoran came to be used more frequently in ME. In the perfect, have spread at the expense of be, but be was common with verbs of motion and verbs of change of state, and this continued to be the case even in Early Modern English. The continuous tenses, formed with be and the present participle ('He is coming', 'We are eating'), also arise in ME. -ung changed to -ing in ME. 11. The Great Vowel Shift and other sound changes during the late Middle English and Early Modern English periods. In general, the 16th century is considered to be the start of Mod E. In pronunciation great changes took place in the 15th and 16th centuries. The main series of changes is called the GVS, which began early in the 15th century and lasted till the 18th century. It affected all the long vowels which became closer in quality. Basically, all long vowels moved upwards in terms of their sound quality. At first, it affected [i:] and [u:], which were diphthongized, e.g. time [ti:m ->tiem ->taim]; mouse [mu:s ->mus >maus]. [e:] started to transform into Mod E [i:], e.g. green [gre:n ->gri:n] [o:] started to transform into Mod E [u:], e.g goose [go:s ->gu:s] This process lasted up to the 20th century. Other changes: [a: ->ei] (make [ma:k - meik], table [ta:ble - teibl]) [au -> o:], (law, cause) Here the changes were relatively few compared to long vowels. During the late Mid E and early Mod E Periods [a -] [u -> a] (in some contexts it remained [u], esp when followed by [] or preceded by [w] (wolf, bull). New consonant phonemes arose: [n], [3]. [] used to be simply an allophone of [n] in words like sing and sink. [3] arose from [zj] (vision). In some positions consonants were lost, e.g. k, g, in initial positions were pronounced until the 17h century [k] when they were followed by [n] (knee). Similar change took place with initial [w] (write). [w]was lost before some vowels, e.g. sword, who, answer. GVS was asymmetrical, in that there were four long front vowels, but only three long back vowels. Most of the other ME diphthongs became pure vowels during the early modern period. 12. Early Modern English noun, adjective and verb. Nouns The process of eliminating -(e)n plural forms, which had started in the Mid E period, went on during the EME period as well. The present system established itself(-s). Mutated forms found in Mod Eng evolved by the EME period (mouse-mice; goose-geese). Nouns, which used to be marked as 'weak ones', preserved their markers (child-children; ox-oxen). Nouns, which already in the Mid E took on no plurality markers, became fixed (swine, sheep, fish, deer, trout, cod). The Genitive Case A two-case system evolved during the EME period. A special ending denoting the Dative case fell

into disuse. Gradually 'of', phrase as a genitive case marker arose. Its use coincided with that of Mod Eng (mostly used with inanimate objects). The apostrophe + s evolved at the end of the 17th century (singular nouns in the Genitive case). For plural forms, the apostrophe found its way into everyday use at the end of the 18th century. Adiectives The Mid E weak declension marker 'e' was dropped. During the EME weak adj-s fell into disuse. Degrees of Comparison - Gradation with sound interchange (according to the pattern long-lenger-lengest), which was very widespread in O and Mid E and is still very productive in some Germanic lg-s (jung-jnger), ceased to be a productive degreeforming device. Its only remnant in Mod E is old-elder-eldest. The formation of the degrees of comparison followed the pattern that evolved during the Mid E period: both synthetic and analytic forms could be used. It was even possible to use synthetic and analytic forms simultaneously: more braver; the most bravest; the most unkindest. Moreover, it was also possible to use suffixes -er and -est with very long words (beautifuller, famousest). Verbs The 2nd person singular '-st' and the 3rd person singular '-eth' were still used in the EME, especially in formal style. In the EME an interesting linguistic phenomenon took place: some Mid E strong verbs became weak v-s and vice versa (strong ->weak: to milk, step, yield; weak ->strong; hide, dig, sting). The EME also saw the rise of the so-called invariable verbs (cut, shut, hurt, put). Tenses, Aspect and Voice - The modern system of tenses gradually evolved during the EME. As far as perfect tenses are concerned, there were still significant differences compared to how they are formed in Mod E. In Mid E as well as in EME, the perfect tenses of stative verbs had to be formed with the help of the auxiliary 'have', whereas those of verbs expressing motion/action took on 'is'. Towards the end of the EME, the latter became optional but was, nevertheless, widely used. Continuous tenses were used, but much less frequently than in Mod E. Their use was more or less optional. The present simple or past simple could be used to denote actions taking place at the moment of speaking. Voice - In passive sentences 'be' became the only auxiliary. In EME it was not possible to use passive sentences with continuous tenses. Mood - Subjunctive: in EME both synthetic and analytic subjunctive forms were used: lf he told the truth, he would regret it OR lf he told the truth, he regret it. Auxiliary "do" - "l do know" was normal in EME. It was not emphatic but simply a variant of "l know". "Do" was optional. The sentences "l do not know" and "l know not" were synonymous. The same goes for interrogative sentences: "Do you know?" OR "Know you?". There was no significant difference between 'do' and 'make' (What are you making? To do a mistake. To make somebody a favour. 13. English in Scientific Age: standardization of the language. A powerful force for standardization was the introduction of printing, and by the middle of the sixteenth century, although there was still no standard system, there were quite a number of widely accepted conventions. By the end of the early modern period, spelling had become standardized in printed books, though there was still considerable variation in people's private writings. The standardization of spelling was just one aspect of a more general attempt to regulate the language, an attempt which was especially prominent in the second half of the 18th century. From 17th century onwards, there was a growing feeling that English needed to be 'ruled' or 'regulated'. A ruled language is one in which acceptable usage is explicitly laid down, for example by grammars and dictionaries, or by the rulings of an academy. Some people believed that a properly ruled language would also be unchanging. The 17th century saw the publication of the first grammars and dictionaries of English. The 18th century brought the first really comprehensive dictionaries of English, and an enormous number of English grammars, esp in the second half of the century. Selection - 1400 - 1500, Elaboration - 1500 - 1650, Codification - 1600 - 1800, Acceptance - 1800~ Standardization and Codification Eng spelling started to be influenced by spelling pronunciation (19th century). i.e. a word is given a new pronunciation through the influence of its spelling. Schedule: EME 'sedule' or 'cedule' [sedjl] In the 19th century it became a matter of prestige to pronounce words according to foreign lg influences (French, Italian, German). Thanks to the processes of standard. and codif. new spellings appeared (schedule) and words started also to be pronounced according to them [edjl]. Due to the Latin influence the [h] sound appeared, e.g. habit, host, humble, honour (used to be pron without [h]).