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History of the English

English is a West Germanic language that originated from the Anglo-Frisian

dialects and was brought to Britain by Germanic invaders (or settlers) from what is now
called north west Germany and the Netherlands. It uses a vocabulary unlike other European
languages of the same era. A large portion of the modern English vocabulary comes from
the Anglo-Norman languages. English frequently makes use of loanwords originating from
other languages.
Middle English differed from Old English because of two invasions, which occurred
during the Middle Ages. The first invasion was by people who spoke North Germanic
languages. They conquered and colonised parts of Britain during the 8th and 9th centuries
AD. The second invasion was by the Normans of the 11th century, who spoke Old Norman
and eventually developed an English form of this, called Anglo-Norman. A new vocabulary
introduced at this time heavily influenced many organizations, including the church, the
court system and the government. European languages, including German, Dutch, Latin
and Ancient Greek influenced the English vocabulary during the Renaissance.
Old English initially was a diverse group of dialects, reflecting the varied origins of
the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of Britain. The Late West Saxon dialect eventually became
dominant. Written Old English of 1000 AD was similar to Old Frisian and, to a lesser
extent, other Germanic languages such as Old Saxon, Old High German and Old Norse in
terms of vocabulary and grammar. Written Old English is relatively unintelligible today, in
contrast to written Modern English and written Middle English. Close contact with the
Scandinavians resulted in much grammatical simplification and lexical enrichment of the
English language, which had been based on Anglo-Frisian. These changes did not reach
South West England until the Norman invasion in 1066. Old English developed into a fullfledged literary language, based on the most common manner of speaking in London during
the 13th century.

The languages of Germanic peoples gave rise to the English language. The best
known are the Angles, Saxons, Frisii, Jutes and possibly some people such as Franks, who
traded, fought with and lived alongside the Latin-speaking peoples of the Roman Empire in
the centuries-long process of the Germanic peoples' expansion into Western Europe during
the Migration Period. Latin loan words such as wine, cup, and bishop entered the
vocabulary of these Germanic peoples before their arrival in Britain and the subsequent
formation of England.

Old English
After the Anglo-Saxon settlement, the Germanic language displaced the indigenous
Brythonic languages and Latin in most of the areas of Britain that later became
England[citation needed]. The original Celtic languages remained in parts of Scotland,
Wales and Cornwall (where Cornish was spoken into the 18th century), although large
numbers of compound Celtic-Germanic placenames survive, hinting at early language
mixing.[5] Latin also remained in these areas as the language of the Celtic Church and of
higher education for the nobility. Latin was later to be reintroduced to England by
missionaries from both the Celtic and Roman churches, and it would, in time, have a major
impact on English. What is now called Old English emerged over time out of the many
dialects and languages of the colonizing tribes.[6] Even then, Old English continued to
exhibit local variation, the remnants of which continue to be found in dialects of Modern
English.[6] The most famous surviving work from the Old English period is the epic poem
Beowulf, composed by an unknown poet.

Middle English
For centuries following the Norman Conquest in 1066, the Norman kings and highranking nobles in England and to some extent elsewhere in the British Isles spoke AngloNorman, a variety of Old Norman, originating from a northern langue d'ol dialect.
Merchants and lower-ranked nobles were often bilingual in Anglo-Norman and English,
whilst English continued to be the language of the common people. Middle English was
influenced by both Anglo-Norman and, later, Anglo-French.

Early Modern English

English underwent extensive sound changes during the 1400s, while its spelling
conventions remained largely constant. Modern English is often dated from the Great
Vowel Shift, which took place mainly during the 15th century. The language was further
transformed by the spread of a standardised London-based dialect in government and
administration and by the standardising effect of printing. As a result, the language
acquired self-conscious terms such as "accent" and "dialect".[17] By the time of William
Shakespeare (mid 16th - early 17th century),[18] the language had become clearly
recognisable as Modern English. In 1604, the first English dictionary was published, the
Table Alphabeticall.

Modern English
The first authoritative and full featured English dictionary, the Dictionary of the
English Language, was published by Samuel Johnson in 1755. To a high degree, the
dictionary standardised both English spelling and word usage. Meanwhile, grammar texts
by Lowth, Murray, Priestly, and others attempted to prescribe standard usage even further.
Early Modern English and Late Modern English vary essentially in vocabulary. Late
Modern English has many more words, arising from the Industrial Revolution and the
technology that created a need for new words as well as international development of the


Characteristics of the language

Among the different languages of the world, English is the most widely spoken and
written languages of the world. Today, English occupies the prestigious place of an
International language. It is utilized by the largest number of the people of many nations in
all the five continents in the world.
The reason, which comes to our notice is that, it is not due to the qualities of its own
but there are important historical, political and economical reasons for its worldwide
popularity. The other obvious reason is that English speaking nations, like England and
America have made it prominent. However, no language can become so important, unless it

has some outstanding and special characteristics for its phenomenal growth and popularity.
The main characteristics for this stride of English language are as under:
1. Receptiveness
The first outstanding characteristic of English language is receptiveness. This is regarded
as extra-ordinary feature of the language. It has accepted and adopted words from Asian,
European, African, Indian, Japanese, Chinese and other languages. English has kept opendoor policy of accepting words from classical languages like Latin, Greek and Sanskrit.

2. Heterogeneousness
Heterogeneousness means mixed form or the lack of purity. English language contains
words from so many other languages that it has become the most mixed language. Original
words from other languages have crept into English. Some words have retained their
original meanings and some words have changed their meanings. The spellings and
pronunciations have also changed. E.g. The word Tur from French has become Tower in
modern English.

3. Simplicity of Inflexion:
The next important characteristic of English is its simple Inflexion. Inflexion means that it
can indicate the relationship of words into a sentence with only the minimum of change in
their shapes. In this regard we can quote that Chinese has the minimum inflexions but in
other European languages, there are still inflexion. However, English has lost number of
inflexion. E.g. India Indian.


Fixed word order:

Another characteristics of English language is its fixed word order. This arrangement
becomes necessary for proper relationship of the words in a sentence, and to avoid
ambiguity. The place of each word in a sentence decides its relationship to others.

5. Use of Periphrases:
In English language there is a very significant use of periphrases. Periphrases mean round
about ways of expressing ideas or feelings in other words it is possible to say the something
in many different ways in English. Periphrases is a very important quality of any language;
because it makes the language rich and varied.

6. Development of intonation
The last but the significant quality of English is the great development of intonation to
express different shades of meanings. Intonation can easily change the meaning of a
sentence completely. Intonation can be described as the pitch and intensity or the tone of
the voice.

English speaking countries

1. Antigua y Barbuda
2. Australia
3. Bahamas
4. Barbados
5. Belice
6. Botsuana
7. Camern
8. Canad
9. Dominica
10. Estados Unidos
11. Filipinas
12. Fiyi
13. Gambia
14. Ghana
15. Granada
16. Guayana
17. India
18. Irlanda
19. Islas Marshall
20. Islas Salomn
21. Jamaica
22. Kenia
23. Kiribati
24. Lesoto
25. Liberia
26. Malasia

27. Malaui
28. Malta
29. Mauricio
30. Micronesia
31. Nauru
32. Nigeria
33. Nueva Zelanda
34. Pakistn
35. Palaos
36. Papa Nueva Guinea
37. Reino Unido
38. Ruanda
39. Samoa
40. San Cristbal y Nieves
41. San Vicente y las Granadinas
42. Santa Luca
43. Sheychelles
44. Sierra Leona
45. Singapur
46. Suazilandia
47. Sudfrica
48. Sudn
49. Sudn del Sur
50. Tanzania
51. Tonga
52. Trinidad y Tobago
53. Tuvalu
54. Uganda
55. Vanuatu
56. Zambia
57. Zimbabue