Encyclopedia: The History of English Language

The history of English began since English Language was born in Britain Island aproximately 1.500 years ago. English Language is a West German Language which is originally Anglo-Frisian dialects that was brought to the Britain Island by German immigrants from some parts of the north-western regions which is now known by Netherland and Germany. In the old times, Old English Language was a group of dialects which reflects the origin of various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in England. One of this dialects, Western Saxon Dominated in last. Then the original Old English Language was affected by two invasion waves.

The first invasion wave was done language speakers from the Scandinavian branch, German language family. They conquered and lived in different Britain regions in the 8th and 9th centuries.

Then the second invasion wave was the Norman tribes in the 11th century which spoke a French language dialect. These two invasions caused English language “mixed” to a specific quantity (although, English never literally become a mixed language).

Living with the member of Scandinavian ethnic groups has created Grammar simplifications and Anglo –English enrichment of English Language.

The Ancient English (Proto English)

German ethnic groups which pioneered English language (Anglian tribes, Saxon, Frisian and probably Franks too), do marketings and had wars against the civilians of Roman which spoke Latin language in the German nation invasion process to Europe from the east. By that there are lots of Latin words which became German nation’s vocabularies before they reached the Britain Island. Some of the examples are camp (kamp), cheese (keju), cook (memasak), dragon (naga), fork (porok, garpu), giant (raksasa), gem (permata), inch (inci), kettle (ketel), kitchen (dapur), linen (kain linen), mile (mil), mill (kincir angin), noon (siang), oil (oli, minyak),  pillow (bantal), pin (paku), pound (pon), soap (sabun), street (jalan), table (meja), wall (tembok), dan wine (anggur). The Romans also gave English language some words which was borrowed from other languages like: anchor (jangkar), butter (mentega), cat (kucing), chest (dada), devil (iblis), dish (piring,

According to Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, around the year 449, Vortigern, The Britain archipelago king, invited “Angle kin” (The Anglian tribe which was leaded by Hengest and Horsa) to help him find a way out of his conflict the Pict tribe. As a reward, the Angles tribe was given a land at the southern-east of England. Then the next help was needed and as a reaction “came the people of Ald Seaxum from Anglum and Iotum” (Saxon nation, Anglian tribes, and Jute tribe) This Chronicle is talking about the coming of many imigrants or comers who, in the last, made seven kingdoms which is known by Heptarchy. The modern experts said that most of this story is a legend and has a politic motive.

The Old English

The comers who invaded the Britain Island dominated the local civilians who spoke Celtic language. At last, the Celtic language is able to spread in Scotland, Wales and Britain which is known by The Old English nowadays, and at last Anglo-Saxon language. After that, this language was influenced by the north German language; Ancient Norwegian language which was spoke by the Vikings who invaded and stayed at the north-east of England. The comers who arrived before them were speaking German languages from various branches. A lot of their language keywords are similar, even if the grammar was somehow different, including the Prefix,  Suffix and Inflections of many words. The German language which came from Britain who spoke English language were influenced by their contacts with Norwegians who Invaded Britain.

The Literature work which is still eternal from the Ancient English era is an epic fragment known as “Beowulf”.  The author is unknown, and this work was greatly modificated by the Christian churchmen, long after it’s arranged.

After the introduction of Christian religion in Britain, there was a new wave which brought many borrowed words from Latin and Greek language.

The era of ancient English was officially over with Norman Conquer, when English language drastically influenced by the Norman tribe’s language which was called “Norman language” which is originally French language dialect.

Mid-English language

For 300 years long after the Norman tribe’s invasion in Britain, year 1066, the Norman kings were only speaking French language with Norman dialects which was called by the Anglo-Saxon language. Meanwhile English language stayed being the citizens’ language. Meanwhile, Anglo-Saxon Chronicle was still written until 1154, most of the big literature families of this era wrote in Ancient French language and Latin.

Most of the Norman words were borrowed in Ancient English and resulted many synonyms (as an example: ox/beef (beef), sheep/mutton (kambing) etc.). The influence of the Norman has strengthened English language in the next centuries and resulted a language which is known by Mid-English language. One of it’s changes is the increase of a unique aspect usage which is defined by Continuous tense with the suffix –ing.

English language spelling is also influenced by French language of this period. Sounds /?/ and /ð/ is now spelled as th and not by the ancient English letters þ and ð, which doesn’t exist in French language.

In the 15th century, Mid-English language changed more. This change is known by The Great Vowel Shift, and began with spreading English language with London dialect, which started to be used by the government and the appearance of published books. The appearance of Modern English language itself can be considered in William Shakespeare’s era. The well-known writer in this mid-English era is Geoffrey Chaucer, with his famous work The Canterbury Tales.

There are many sources from the same era which states that in 50 years after the Norman Invasion, most of The Norman tribe outside the Palace changed their language and Spoke English instead. French language was still the official language of the government outside the social dynamics. As an example, Orderic Vitalis, a Historian who was born in 1075 and the son of a Norman hero, clarified that he learned French language as a second language.

English literature began to appear again in 1200 AD, when the politic climate changed and the fall of Anglo-Norman, made this more acceptable. In the end of this era, even in the kingdom regions changed their language and spoke English instead. Meanwhile Anglo-Norman is still used in certain circles. For few years, until it died.

The Beginning of Modern English language

Since the 15th century, English language became a Modern English language, which is often dated before the Great Vowel Shift.

After that English started to take adopted words from different languages, especially, Latin and Greek language since the Renaissance era. Because there were many words adopted from various languages, and the spelling of English language can be considered inconsistent, so the pronunciations of one of the words are somehow high.

The history of English began since English Language was born in Britain Island approximately 1.500 years ago. English Language is a West German Language which is originally Anglo-Frisian dialects that was brought to the Britain Island by German immigrants from some parts of the north-western regions which is now known by Netherland and Germany. In the old times, Old English Language was a group of dialects which reflects the origin of various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in England. One of this dialects, Western Saxon Dominated in last. Then the original Old English Language was affected by two invasion waves.

In 1755 Samuel Johnson published the first important English Dictionary, which was titled Dictionary of the English Language.

Humam M Cairo

from

Sumenep


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