History of the English Language



Otázka: The history of the English language

Jazyk: Angličtina

Přidal(a): KíťaCZ



  • Celts:
    • 2666 years ago Celtic languages
    • parts of Wales, Scotland
    • influence local names ( = a part of proper name)
  • Latin:
    • Romans came 43 BC (před Kristem) to 410 AD (rok 410)
    • only words that have something to do with food, drink, animals, plants,…



  • Manuscripts wasn´t be written, so we have a very poor idea about English



  • start: 597
  • first Roman missionaries led by St. Augustine
  • large number of Latin manuscripts: written in monastic centres
  • in manuscripts many glossaries of English
  • Beowulf= heroic poem
    • a single copy survived from 1000
    • other copy were destroyed during Viking invasion
  • Anglo-Saxons
    • came between fourth and seventh centuries
    • from northern Germany, Holland, Denmark
    • occupied England, southern Scotland, part of Wales
    • language Germanic = old English



  • highly inflected language: the endings (koncovky) determine the function of the word in a sentence
  • word order was flexible or at least more varied
    • clause: it´s a simple sentence with one verb
    • a very different position of the verb: stood before the noun or at the end of the clause
  • sound system: especially vowels
  • both double and triple negatives
    • two negatives increased the emphasis (zvyšují důraz negativní věty)
  • instead using „of“ -> genitive ending´s
    • for example: house´s back = the back of the house



  • Viking: in north and easts of the country
  • from Norway, Denmark
  • came between eighth and eleven centuries
  • language: Old Norse
  • 2 languages co-existed in England:
    • Old English
      • mingle ( an easier form from fighter langue is used for communication
      • means of communication between two communities = PIDGIN)
    • Old Norse
      • CREOLE: pidgin (a language) is taught as a mother tongue


3 language:

  • French:
    • in 1066 came Normans
    • French became the language of government, aristocracy
  • Latin:
    • in church
  • English:
    • ordinary people


  • 12 century:
  • English to the upper class: some children of nobility spoke English as mother tongue
  • during the hundred years war status of French dimished
  • 1362 English was used for the first time at meaning of the Parliament



  • the decay of inflection
    • a) several endings are phonetically similar (-en, -on, -an)
    • b) genetic theory: the loss of inflection as a result of the influence of Scandinavian language
  • loss of word endings
  • subject-verb order



  • the forerunner (předchůdce): Geoffrey Chaucer
  • the most influential text of this time: KING JAMES BIBLE
    • published in 1611
    • appointed (určen) to be read in churches -> that way -> huge influence (vliv) on the English population
  • in 1606 reformers from the Church of England requested (žádat) a new translation of the Bible -> the king proposed (navrhl) a panel of university scholars („žáci, učenci“) who would carry out (vykonat) a preliminary (předběžný) translation
  • 54 translators were divided into 6 companies -> each working on a separate section of the Bible (každá z nich pracovala na odděleném úseku bible)
  • translation of individual translators must have been approved (schválený) by the others members
  • the final agreement (dohoda, souhlas) of the whole company was required (požadovaný) to accept the text
  • but translators were very conservative -> they opted (volili) for older forms, although there existed modern alternatives -> in that way they preserved (zachovali) many old forms and construction
    • a) many irregular (nepravidelných) verbs
    • b) „do“ was not used with negatives and in questions
    • c) they preserved (zachovali) 3rd person of singular ( – eth)
    • d) English orthographic rules were connected with the Bible
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