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Lecture #1 The Subject of History of English
When a child acquires first knowledge of his or her mother tongue, he usually takes all its peculiarities for granted: he has no Mother language to compare it with, and no genarallogical principles to judge it by. Learning one's mother tongue is a natural process, which has been going on em since mankind care into being. Things are quite different with mastering a foreign language: when learning it (at whatever age) the student compares it to his mother tongue. He is often astonished to find great differences in the way ideas are expressed in the two languages, and if the learner is an adult person, he will often be struck by inconsistencies in the foreign language, illogicalities and contradictions in its structure. He will therefore quite naturally be inclined to ask, why is this so? In studying the English language of today, we are faced with a number of peculiarities which appear unintelligible from the modem point of view. These are found both in the vocabulary and in the phonetic and grammatical structure of the language. Let's mention few of them. The Earliest Period of Germanic History
The history of the Germanic group begins with the appearance of what is known as the Proto-Germanic (PG) language (also termed Common or Primitive Germanic, Primitive Teutonic and simply Germanic). PG is the linguistic ancestor or the parent-language of the Germanic group. It is supposed to have split from related lE tongues sometime between the 15th and 10th c. B.C. The would-be Germanic tribes belonged to the western division of the lE speech community. As the Indo-Europeans extended over a larger territory, the ancient Germans or Teutons moved further north than other tribes and settled on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea in the region of the Elbe. This place is regarded as the most probable original home of the Teutons. It is here that they developed their first specifically Germanic linguistic features which made them a separate group in the lE family. PG is an entirely pre-historicallanguage: it was never recorded in written form. In the 19th c. it was reconstructed by methods of comparative linguistics from written evidence in descendant languages. Hypothetical reconstructed PG forms will sometimes be quoted below, to explain the origin of English forms. It is believed that at the earliest stages of history PG was fundamentally one language, though dialectally coloured. In its later stages dialectal differences grew, so that towards the beginning of our era Germanic appears divided into dialectal groups and tribal dialects. Dialectal differentiation increased with the migrations and geographical expansion of the Teutons caused by overpopulation, poor agricultural technique and scanty natural resources in the areas of their original settlement. Lecture #2-3 The Old English period. The main historical events in OE period.
The island of Britain has not been successfully invaded since 1066 AD. Before that date, however, the island had been occupied by Rome, the Anglo-Saxons and the Danish. The first incursions by lulius Caesar into Britain in 55 and 54 RC. The dominant group in Britain were a Celtic people whose language is the ancestor of modern Welsh and Breton. When the British Celts were finally subdued by the Roman Emperor, Claudius, 43 A.D. ; Britain nominally became part of the Roman Empire, though it was not fully brought in line until 78 AD. under the governor Agricola. Roman influence never penetrated the culture of the British Celts the way it did their continental neighbors, and Rome's influence was negligible in the Pictish north and Celtic west. When Rome found itself under attack in the early fifth century the legions were recalled. Britain, after more than three centuries of dependence on Rome's military might, found herself vulnerable, first to the northern Picts, then to the Saxon mercenaries hired to defeat the Picts. According to legend, in 449 AD. the British overlord, Vortigern, invited the lutish brothers Hengist and Horsa into Britain to fight the Picts, offering them land in Kent as payment. A daughter of Hengist's was given in marriage to Vortigern, as part of the alliance. Although the lutes kept their bargain, insofar as they beat back the Picts, they also recognized the opportunity offered in the fertile soil and military weakness of Britain. In what was part invasion, part migration, the lutes sent across the sea to their families, and along with invading tribes of Angles and Saxons, the Germanic people managed to kill or displace the natives and occupy the country. Over the next one hundred years the invasions gave way to a period of settlement. The Celtic view of this period is immortalized in literature as the Arthurian cycle. The native Celts were either killed by the invaders, or pushed back into Wales, Cornwall, and across the English channel into Brittany, taking their Celtic language with them. The dominant language of southern Britain (now England, from Angle-land) came to be that spoken by the Anglo-Saxons. The three main dialects, Northumbrian, Mercian, and West Saxon, corresponded with the three major kingdoms that vied for ascendancy. The first to exert its influence was Northumbria, followed by Mercia and finally Wessex. It is the West Saxon dialect that is most often referred to as Old English and that was the most prominent dialect at the time ofthe Norman conquest in 1066. At the time ofthe original Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain in the fifth century, the language contained approximately 100 Latin words that had been taken into the language before the Anglo-Saxons left the continent, mainly terms dealing with trade or the military. By the time ofthe Norman Conquest, Old English had been further enriched by words drawn from ecclesiastical Latin brought in by the conversion of the English to Christianity by St. Augustine in 597 A.D In the mid eighth century a new wave of Northmen turned their attention toward England, this time the Danish Vikings. What began first as coastal raids developed into a full scale invasion by the middle of the ninth century during the ascendancy of the kingdom of Wessex. Although the Danes made great headway into England, they were pushed back into what became known as the Dane law by the West Saxon king, Alfred the Great, by the end of the ninth century. Partly because of the political supremacy of Wessex and partly due to the higly literate court of Alfred, the West Saxon dialect was the strongest English dialect at the opening of the tenth century. Much, but not all, of the Old English literature which survives, such as, Beowulf and The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles is in the West Saxon dialect. This trend continued until 1066 when Edward the Confessor died childless and William, Duke of Normandy landed in England to press.
It was about mid-5th century that Britain was conquered by Germanic tribes. An old saying names the year 449 as the year of the conquest, and Hengest and Horsa as the two leaders of the invaders. The Britons fought against the conquerors for about a century and a half-till about the year 600. It is to this epoch that the legendary figure of the British king Arthur belongs. The conquerors settled in Britain in the following way. The Angels occupied most of the territory north of the Thames up to the Firth of Forth; the Saxons, the territory south of the Thames and some stretches north of it; the Jutes settled in Kent and in the Isle of Wight. Since the settlement of the Anglo-Saxons in Britain the ties of their language with the continent were broken, and in its further development it went its own ways. It is at this time, the 5th century that the history of the English language begins. Its original territory was England (in the strict sense) except Cornwall, Wales, and Strathclyde (a region in the north-west). These western regions the Britons succeeded in holding, and they were conquered much later: Cornwall in the 9th, Strathclyde in the 11 th, and in the 13th century. The Scottish Highlands, where neither Romans nor Teutons had penetrated, were inhabited by Picts and Scots. The Scots language, belonging to the Celtic group, has survived in the Highlands up to our own days. Ireland also remained Celtic: the first attempts at conquering it were made in the 12th century. Lecture #4 Germanic Settlement of Britain. Beginning of English
Undoubtedly, the Teutons had made piratical raids on the British shores long before the withdrawal of the Romans in A.D. 410, but the crisis came with the departure of the last Roman legions. The Britons fought among themselves and were harried by the Picts and Scots from Scotland. Left to their own resources, they were unable to offer a prolonged resistance to the enemies attacking them on every side. The 5th c. was the age of increased Germanic expansion. About the middle of the century several West Germanic tribes overran Britain and, for the most part, had colonized the island by the end of the century, though the invasions lasted well into the 6th c. Reliable evidence of the period is extremely scarce. The story of the invasion is told by Bede (673-735), a monastic scholar who wrote the first history of England, HISTORIA ECCLESIASTICA GENTIS ANGLORUM. According to Bede the invaders came to Britain in A.D. 449 under the leadership of two Germanic kings, Hengist and Horsa; they had been invited by a British king, Vortigern, as assistants and allies in a local war. The newcomers soon dispossessed their hosts, and other Germanic bands followed. The invaders came in multitude, in families and clans, to settle in the occupied territories; like the Celts before them, they migrated as a people and in that the Germanic invasion was different from the Roman military conquest, although it was by no means a peaceful affair. The invaders of Britain came from the western subdivision of the Germanic tribes. To quote Bede, "the newcomers were of the three strongest races of Germany, the Saxons, the Angles and the Jutes". Modern archeological and linguistic research has shown that this information is not quite precise. The origin and the linguistic affiliation of the Jutes appears uncertain: some historians define them as a Frankish tribe, others doubt the participation and the very existence of the Jutes and name the Frisians as the third main party in the invasion. It is also uncertain whether the early settlers really belonged to separate tribes, Saxons and Angles, or, perhaps, constituted two mixed waves of invaders, differing merely in the place and time of arrival. They were called Angles and Saxons by the Romans and by the Celts but preferred to call themselves Angelcyn (English people) and applied this name to the conquered territories: Angelcynnes land ('land of the English', hence England). The first wave of the invaders, tile Jutes or the Frisians, occupied the extreme south-east: Kent and the Isle of Wight. The second wave of immigrants was largely made up of the Saxons, who had been expanding westwards across Frisia to the Rhine and to what is now known as Normandy. The final stage of the drift brought them to Britain by way of the Thames and the south coast. They set up their settlements along the south coast and on both banks of the Thames and, depending on location, were called South Saxons, West Saxons and East Saxons (later also Mid Saxons, between the western and eastern groups).
Lecture #5 The Periods of the History of English
The historical development of a language is a continuous, uninterrupted process without sudden breaks or rapid transformations. Therefore any per iodization imposed on language history by linguists, with precise dates, might appear artificial. There are some periodizations of the history of English language. The author of the first scientific historical phonetic and grammar of En. Language. H. Sweet suggested the per iodization that corresponds to the morphological structure of different centuries. He called the Old English Period - 'The period of full endings, the M. E. P. - 'The period of reduced endings' , the New En. P. The period of lost endings.' But this per iodization is not full because it is not quite right to divide the logical features, but phonological or syntactical ones (they were not mentioned in the per iodization.) So, thus I consider that any periodization is based on some principles, but can't touch all the sides of the language. One of the prominent and well-known English scientists Henry Sweet worked out several periodisations of the history of English language. He suggested to single out the period of transition and tosubdivide the transitional stage between the Old and the Middle English Periods cover 1100-1200. H. Sweet reckoned 1200 to be the limning of the Middle English based on morphological phenomena the Middle English Period is considered to le the Period of Levelled English. Another periodization is extralinguistical. It's based on the historical events, which influenced on the English language. I must notice that this one is the most traditional. The commonly accepted traditional periodization divides English language history into three periods: Old English, Middle English and New English with boundaries attached to definite dates and historical effects affecting the language. Old English is connected with the German settle in Bri tain (5th century) and with the beginning of writing (7th century) and ends with the Norman Conquest (1066). Middle English begins with Norman Conquest end ends on the introduction of printing (1475). The Middle English period itself may be also divided into two smaller ones - Early Middle English and Late Middle English. Early Middle English covers the main events of the 14th century. It is the stage of greatest dialectal di vergence caused by the feudal system and by foreign influences-Scandinavian and French. The dialectal division of present-day English owes its origin to this period of history. Great changes of the language took place at all the levels, especially in lexis and grammar. Later 14th till the end of the 15th century is a time known as Late or Classical Middle English. This period umbra's the age of Chaucer, the greatest English medieval writer and forerunner of the English Renaissanu, and is characterized by restoration of English to the position of the state and literary language and by literary flourishing, which has a stabilizing effect on language, so that the rate of linguistic changes was slowed down. At the same time the written forms of the language developed and improved.
Lecture #6 Middle English Period, the main historical events in ME period. Norman conquest.
The Middle English period (1150-1500) was marked by momentous changes in the English language, changes more extensive and fundamental than those that have taken place at any time before or since. Some of them were the result of the Norman Conquest and the conditions which followed in the wake of that event. Others were a continuation of tendencies that had begun to manifest themselves in Old English. These would have gone on even without the Conquest, but they took place more rapidly because the Norman invasion removed from English those conservative influences that are always felt when a language is extensively used in books and is spoken by an influential educated class. The changes of this period affected English in both its grammar and its vocabulary. They were so extensive in each department that it is difficult to say which group is the more significant. Those in the grammar reduced English from a highly inflected language to an extremely analytic one. Those in the vocabulary involved the loss of a large part of the Old English word-stock and the addition of thousands of words from French and Latin. At the beginning of the period English is a language that must be learned like a foreign tongue; at the end it is Modern English. Finally, the influence of French may be seen in numerous phrases and turns of expression, such as to take leave, to draw near, to hold one's peace, to come to a head, to do justice, or make believe, hand to hand, on tfie point of, accordlng to, subject to, at farge, by heart, in vain, without fail. In these and other phrases, even when the words are English the pattern is French. These four lists have been presented for the general impression which they create and as the basis for an inference which they clearly justify. This is, that so far as the vocabulary is concerned, what we have in the influence of the Norman Conquest is a merging of the resources of two languages, a merger in which thousands of words in common use in each language became partners in a reorganized concern.It will be observed that the French words introduced into English as a result of the Norman Conquest often present an appearance quite different from that which they have in Modern French. This is due first of all to subsequent developments that have taken place in the two languages. Thus the OE feste passed into Middle English as feste, whence it has become feast in Modern '"'English, while in French the s disappeared before other consonants at the end of the twelfth century and we have in Modern French the form fete. The same difference appears in forest-foret, hostel-hotel, beast-bete, and many other words. The difference is not always fully revealed by the spelling but is apparent in the pronunciation. Thus the English words judge and chant preserve the early French pronunciation of j and ch, which was softened in French in the thirteenth century to [z] and [s] as in the Modern French juge and chant. Therefore we may recognize charge, change, chamber, chase, chair, chimney, just, jewel, journey, majesty, gentle, and many other words as early borrowings, while such words as chamois, chaperon, chiffon, chevron, jabot, rouge, and the like, show by their pronunciation they have come into the language at a later date. Lecture #7-8 The Formation of National Language. ME dialect. London dialect.
The Old English dialects acquired certain common features which distinguished them from continental Germanic tongues; on the other hand, they displayed growing regional divergence. To complicate matters further, Old English had many dialects. The four main dialect forms of Old English were Mercian, Northumbrian (known collectively as Anglian), Kentish, and West Saxon. Each of these dialects was associated with an independent kingdom on the island. Kentish (a dialect spoken in the area known now as Kent and in the isle ofWight) has developed from the tongue of the lutes and Frisland. West Saxon was the main dialect of the Saxon group, spoken in the rest of England south of the Thames and the Bristol channel, except Wales and Cornwall. Mercian was a dialect derived from the speech of Southern Angels and spoken in the kingdom of Mercia. Northumbrian, another Anglian dialect, spoken from the Humber north to the river Forth. Of these, all of Northumbria and most of Mer cia were overrun by the Vikings during the 9th century. The portion of Mercia and all of Kent that were successfully defended were then integrated into Wessex.
The changes in the lingustic situation justify the distinction of the 2 historical periods. In Early Old English from 5th to the 7th centuries English language consisted of a group of spoken tribal dialects having neither a written nor a dominant form. At the time of written Old English the dialects had changed from tribal to regional; they possessed both an oral and a written form and were no longer equal; in the domain of writing the West Saxon dialect prevailed over its neighbours. Alongside Old English dialects a foreign language, Latin, was widely used in writing. After the process of unification of the diverse Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in 878 by Alfred the Great, there is a marked decline in the importance of regional dialects. This is not because they stopped existing; regional dialects continued even after that time to this day, as evidenced both by the existence of middle and modem English dialects later on, and by common sense - people do not spontaneously develop new accents when there is a sudden change of political power. In the course of the 15th century the London literary language gradually spread all over the country, superseding local dialects. Spoken English in various parts of Britain gradually approaches the literary norm and differences between the norm and popular speech tend to become obliterated. This process has been carefully studied by the eminent British scholar Henry Cecyl Wyld. According to this classification written documents of the 15th century can be classified into three types: 1. those written in the more London literary language; 2. those written in a more or less pure local dialect; 3. those written basically in the London literary language but bearing some traces of local dialects. This classification cuts right across another classification that according to the kind of documents: * official documents * literary text * private letters. London documents of the former half of the 15th century are poems by Thomas Occleve, official London papers, and also official documents from other towns. The literary language is also found in letters written by kings, queens, ministers, and other officials. In some texts written basically in London English occasional influence of local dialects is found. These are poems by John Lydgate (1370-1451), showing East Midland influence, prose works by Sir John Fortescue, with slight traces of South-Western dialects; prose works by John Capgrave (1393-1464) with elements of East Midland dialects. In the private letters of John Shilingford, Mayorr of Exeter in Devonshire, written in 1447-1450, there are only slight traces of the local South-Western dialect. The fact that a Devonshire man, writing private letters to his friends also living in Devonshire, does not use the local dialect but the London literary language, is eloquent proof of the authoritative position London English had acquired by the middle 15th century. The formation of national language was greatly fostered by two events of the late 15th century. 1) The most significant event of the period was the Wars of the Roses (1455-1485), which marked the decay of feudalism and the birth of a new social order. They came to an end in the battle of Bosworth, when Richard III was defeated by Henry Tudor, who became king of England as Henry VII. The political result of this prolonged struggle was the rise of an absolute monarchy. This meant a high degree of political centralization and thus contributed to centralization in language as well, that is, to predominance of the national language over local dialects. 2) Another great event was the introduction of printing. Printing was invented in Mayence (Germany) by Johann Gutenberg in 1438. From Mayence printing spread to Strasburg, then to Italy and to the Netherlands. In the town of Bruges, in Flanders, the Englishman William Caxton (1422-1491) became acquainted with this art. He published the first English printed book, The Recuyeil of; the Histories of Troy) in Bruges. Returning to England, he founded j the first English printing office in London in 1476 and in 1477 1 appeared the first book to be printed in English, namely, The Dictes ; and Sayings of the Philosophers. The spread of printed books was bound to foster the normalization of spelling and also of grammatical forms.
Lecture #9 English Vocabulary in ME period. Loan words in English.
The English vocabulary has changed considerably over the centuries. Like many languages deriving from Proto-Indo-European (PIE), many of the most common words in English can trace back their origin (through the Germanic branch) to PIE. Such words include the basic pronouns I, from Old English ic, (cf. Latin ego, Greek ego, Sanskrit aham), me (cf. Latin me, Greek erne, Sanskrit mam), numbers (e.g. one, two, three, cf. Latin unus, duo, tres, Greek oinos "ace (on dice)", duo, treis), common family relationships such as mother, father, brother, sister etc (cf. Greek "meter", Latin "mater", Sanskrit "matr"; mother), names of many animals (cf. Sankrit mus, Greek mys, Latin mus; mouse), and many common verbs (cf. Greek gignomi, Latin gnoscere, Hittite kanes; to know). Germanic words (generally words of Old English or to a lesser extent Norse origin) tend to be shorter than the Latinate words of English and more common in ordinary speech. This includes nearly all the basic pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions, modal verbs etc. that form the basis of English syntax and grammar. The longer Latinate words are often regarded as more elegant or educated. However, the excessive use of Latinate words is considered at times to be either pretentious or an attempt to obfuscate an issue. George Orwell's essay "Politics and the English Language", considered an important scrutinization of the English language, is critical of this, as well as other perceived misuse of the language.
An English speaker is in many cases able to choose between Germanic and Latinate synonyms: come or arrive; sight or vision; freedom or liberty. In some cases, there is a choice between a Germanic derived word (oversee), a Latin derived word (supervise), and a French word derived from the same Latin word (survey). Such synonyms harbor a variety of different meanings and nuances, enabling the speaker to express fine variations or shades of thought. Familiarity with the etymology of groups of synonyms can give English speakers greater control over their linguistic register. See: List of Germanic and Latinate equivalents in English. An exception to this and a peculiarity perhaps unique to English is that the nouns for meats are commonly different from, and unrelated to, those for the animals from which they are produced, the animal commonly having a Germanic name and the meat having a French-derived one. Examples include: deer and venison; cow and beef; swine/pig and pork, or sheep and mutton. This is assumed to be a result of the aftermath of the Norman invasion, where a French-speaking elite were the consumers of the meat, produced by Anglo-Saxon lower classes. Since the majority of words used in informal settings will normally be Germanic, such words are often the preferred choices when a speaker wishes to make a point in an argument in a very direct way. A majority of Latinate words (or at least a majority of content words) will normally be used in more formal speech and writing, such as a courtroom or an encyclopedia article. Lecture #10 The main historical events of Middle English period
The Middle English period (1150-1500) was marked by momentous changes in the English language, changes more extensive and fundamental than those that have taken place at any time before or since. Some of them were the result of the Norman Conquest and the conditions which followed in the wake of that event. Others were a continuation of tendencies that had begun to manifest themselves in Old English. These would have gone on even without the Conquest, but they took place more rapidly because the Norman invasion removed from English those conservative influences that are always felt when a language is extensively used in books and is spoken by an influential educated class. The changes of this period affected English in both its grammar and its vocabulary. They were so extensive in each department that it is difficult to say which group is the more significant. Those in the grammar reduced English from a highly inflected language to an extremely analytic one. Those in the vocabulary involved the loss of a large part of the Old English word-stock and the addition of thousands of words from French and Latin. At the beginning of the period English is a language that must be learned like a foreign tongue; at the end it is Modern English. Finally, the influence of French may be seen in numerous phrases and turns of expression, such as to take leave, to draw near, to hold one's peace, to come to a head, to do justice, or make believe, hand to hand, on tfie point of, accordlng to, subject to, at farge, by heart, in vain, without fail. In these and other phrases, even when the words are English the pattern is French. These four lists have been presented for the general impression which they create and as the basis for an inference which they clearly justify. This is, that so far as the vocabulary is concerned, what we have in the influence of the Norman Conquest is a merging of the resources of two languages, a merger in which thousands of words in common use in each language became partners in a reorganized concern.It will be observed that the French words introduced into English as a result of the Norman Conquest often present an appearance quite different from that which they have in Modern French. This is due first of all to subsequent developments that have taken place in the two languages. Thus the OE feste passed into Middle English as feste, whence it has become feast in Modern English, while in French the s disappeared before other consonants at the end of the twelfth century and we have in Modern French the form fete. The same difference appears in forest- foret, hostel-hotel, beast- bete, and many other words. The difference is not always fully revealed by the spelling but is apparent in the pronunciation. Thus the English words judge and chant preserve the early French pronunciation of j and ch, which was softened in French in the thirteenth century to [z] and [s] as in the Modern French juge and chant. Therefore we may recognize charge, change, chamber, chase, chair, chimney, just, jewel, journey, majesty, gentle, and many other words as early borrowings, while such words as chamois, chaperon, chiffon, chevron, jabot, rouge, and the like, show by their pronunciation that they have come into the language at a later date. Lecture #11-12 English around the world. American English. Black English
In the course of the last few centuries the English language spread over various parts of the globe. In the 18th century the English penetrated into India and it came under English power. In this huge territory, which since 1947 is divided between two states, India and Pakistan, English has not, however ousted the local language. Its sphere is limited to large cities and to a certain social layer. In India to-day the English language is a state language alongside the native languages Hindi and Urdu. In the course of the Seven Years' War (1756-1763) the English ' conquered Canada, which had been a French colony. A few decades later English settlers appeared in Australia. During the 19th century the hole of Australia, and also New Zeeland and many islands in Oceania were colonized. In the early years of the 20th century the English penetrated into South Africa and made themselves masters I of the Cape Colony and of the Transvaal. In all of these territories the English language had to complete with other colonizers' languages and with those of the local populations. In some cases a compromise was the result. Thus, in Canada English did not entirely supersede French. The French Canadian dialect, which shows a strong influence of English, is still ' used in several regions of Canada. In the republic of South Africa the Ditch dialect, called Afrikaans, has survived and enjoys equal rights with English.
'Black English' is commonly featured in popular music, often stereotyped in television serials and popular film, and abundantly present on game shows, 'reality' media, and the internet. Yet what is 'Black English'? Who speaks it? When do they speak it? What stereotypical or caricatured associations does it often have? What is the reality? Black English (or, the African-American Variety of English [AA VE], Black English Variant [BEV], or 'Ebonics' [derived from 'Black English phonetics']) is recognized as a distinct sublanguage with its own syntactical structure. BE is based on West African grammatical patterns with superimposed English vocabulary (thus forming a "pidgin"). Black English is derived from (,and-thus in part reflects) the 'central African-American cultural experience'; it is a social dialect of the African-American community. Related to the study of Black English is the continually-changing linguistic relationship between Black Americans and other racial and ethnic groups in the United States. What terms can be used by whom, and when, and how are these continuing to change? Black English is not spoken by all Blacks, or at least not by all Blacks all the time (cf. "code-switching" between BE and standard, "educated" English). Black English is not a 'corrupted form' of SAE; while like any language it is continually evolving, it has standard syntactic rules. Certain features of BE may be employed, at least in part, also by non-Blacks, as words, phrases and forms of speech cross over into SAE, or white rappers such as Eminem expand traditionally 'black' art forms into a more general audience. BE is basically Southern regional in stereotype (cf. map), but not regionally confined (cf. northern urban variants), nor confined to Blacks-only within the South (cf. Southern white use). BE differs between rural and urban locations, according to the need for vocabulary, environmental references, and pressure of social contacts. BE often functions as an "in-group lingo" to denote group solidarity (cf. American Tongues and suburban black father), or "fool Whitey." Even where it is not the intention, BE often cannot be easily understood by SAE speakers (see Lexical Differences Between BE and SAE and Judge Calls Rap a Foreign Language, as well as the excerpt from the TV series Weeds).
BE tends to be highly figurative, metaphorical, rhythmic, and often melodic, reflecting various aspects of the Black American oral cultural tradition (see excerpts from Dr. Martin Luther King's 28 August 1963 'I Have a Dream' speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. and Barack Obama's 04 November 2008 Victory Speech . BE differs substantially from the speech patterns of SAE (see How Black and White Styles of Communication Differ, and misunderstanding or even conflict can emerge as a consequence of this difference. BE is increasingly being encountered in literature, televised and filmed drama, etc., as 'authentic' speech of Black American history (see examples of Black English in American literature by Alice Walker, Janles Baldwin and Gloria Naylor). Urban variants of BE, which have their own distinctive jargons (higWy male-oriented, dismissive of females, concerned about violence, crime and poverty, etc.) are also prominent in contemporary rap music (cf. Ice Cube's How to Survive in South-Central L.A.). social function by permitting communication about life experiences, including certain experiences unique to African Americans -- escape from slavery, contemplation of an extracorporeal realm as a psychological antidote to pain, compensatory feelings to offset a sense of worthlessness, and a host of metaphorical and analogical expressions about emotions, morals, marginality, survival, and ultimately, hope and regeneration. Black English represents a unique dialect with social, historical, and cultural roots. To equate this vernacular with slang, as though it were merely an unsystematic and casual form of communication, is not only scientifically inaccurate, but also psychologically denigrating to its speakers. In the long run, this dialect is perhaps best recognized as a system of communication which has legitimate roots but whose social utility is now defunct. To not recognize it as such will ironically only continue to put up barriers between middle class teachers and minority students. This in turn will further hamper academic learning and hinder the processes that enable a larger number of Blacks to become fully acculturated into American society.
Lecture #13 English in Canada. Canadian English
Canadian English is the variety of English used in Canada. More than 26 million Canadians (85% of the population) have some knowledge of English (2006 census). Approximately 17 million speak English as their native language. Outside of Quebec, 76% of Canadians speak English natively. The phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, and lexicon for most of Canada are very similar to that of the Western and Midland regions of the United States.
Given the similarities shared between Canadian English and American English, both are often grouped together as North American English. Canadian English also contains elements of British English in its vocabulary, as well as several distinctive Canadianisms. In many areas, speech is influenced by French, and there are notable local variations. However, Canada has very little dialect diversity compared to the United States. The phonological system of western Canadian English is identical to that of the Pacific Northwest of the United States, and the phonetics are very similar. Canadian English spelling is a blend of British and American conventions. The term "Canadian English" is first attested in a speech by the Reverend A. Constable Geikie in an address to the Canadian Institute in 1857. Geikie, a Scottish-born Canadian, reflected the Anglocentric attitude prevalent in Canada for the next hundred years when he referred to the language as "a corrupt dialect," in comparison to what he considered the proper English spoken by immigrants from Britain. Canadian English is the product of four waves of immigration and settlement over a period of almost two centuries. The first large wave of permanent Englishspeaking settlement in Canada, and linguistically the most important, was the influx of British Loyalists fleeing the American Revolution, chiefly from the Mid-Atlantic States - as such, Canadian English is believed by some scholars to have derived from northern American English, and is nothing more than a variety of it. The second wave from Britain and Ireland was encouraged to settle in Canada after the War of 1812 by the governors of Canada, who were worried about anti-English sentiment among its citizens. Waves of immigration from around the globe peaking in 1910 and 1960 had a lesser influence, but they did make Canada a multicultural country, ready to accept linguistic change from around the world during the current period of globalization. The languages of Aboriginal peoples in Canada started to influence European languages used in Canada even before widespread settlement took place, and the French of Lower Canada provided vocabulary to the English of Upper Canada. Canadian spelling of the English language combines British and American rules. Most notably, French-derived words that in American English end with -or and -er, such as color or center, usually retain British spellings (colour, honour and centre), although American spellings are not uncommon. Also, while the United States uses the Anglo-French spelling defense (noun), Canada uses the British spelling defence. Lecture #14-15 English Language in Australia and New Zealand. Australian and New Zealand English
Australian English began diverging from British English shortly after the foundation of the Australian penal colony of New South Wales (NSW) in 1788. British convicts sent there, including Cockneys from London, came mostly from large English cities. They were joined by free settlers, military personnel and administrators, often with their families. In 1827 Peter Cunningham, in his book Two Years in New South Wales, reported that native-born white Australians of the time - known as "currency lads and lasses - spoke with a distinctive accent and vocabulary, with a strong Cockney influence. The transportation of convicts to Australia ended in 1868, but immigration of free settlers from Britain, Ireland and elsewhere continued. The first of the Australian goldrushes, in the 1850s, began a much larger wave of immigration, which would significantly influence the language. During the 1850s, when the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was under economic hardship, about two per cent of its population emigrated to the Colony of NSW and the Colony of Victoria. Among the changes wrought by the gold rushes was "Americanisation" of the language - the introduction of words, spellings, terms, and usages from North American English. The words imported included some later considered to be typically Australian, such as dirt and digger. Bonza, which was once a common Australian slang word meaning "great", "superb" or "beautiful", is thought to have been a corruption of the An1erican mining term bonanza, which means a rich vein of gold or silver and is itself a loanword from Spanish. The influx of American military personnel in World War II brought further American influence; though most words were short-lived; and only okay, you guys, and gee have persisted. Since the 1950s American influence has mostly arrived via pop culture, the mass media - books, magazines, television programs, and computer software - and the world wide web. Some words, such as freeway and truck, have even naturalised so completely that few Australians recognise their origin. British words predominate: as mobile or mobile phone. Some American and British English variants exist side-by-side, as TV and telly (an abbreviation of television). In many cases - telly versus TV and SMS versus text, freeway and motorway, for instance - regional, social and ethnic variation within Australia typically defines word usage. Australian English is most similar to New Zealand English, each having a shared history and geographical proximity. Both use the expression different to (also encountered in British English, but not American) as well as different from.
There is also some influence from Irish English, but perhaps not as much as might be expected given that many Australians are of Irish descent. Influences include the Irish word 'Ta' for thank you and also the pronunciation of the name of the letter "H" as "haitch" /h eitf /, which can sometimes be heard amongst speakers of "Broad Australian English", rather than the unaspirated "aitch" / eitf / more common among English speakers worldwide.
Pronunciation is broadly similar to Australian English, with the largest difference being the flattened i of New Zealand English. Vocabulary and usage show the influence of contact with the Moori language and there are also clear Scottish influences, particularly in the southern regions of the South Island. A distinct New Zealand variant of the English language has been in existence since at least 1912, when Frank Swinnerton described it as a "carefully modulated murmur," though it probably goes back further than that. From the beginning of British settlement on the islands, a new dialect began to form by adopting Moori words to describe the flora and fauna of New Zealand, for which English did not have any words of its own. Where there is a distinct difference between British and US spelling (such as colour/color and travelled/traveled), the British spelling is universally used in New Zealand. Some Americanisms have begun to creep in through their exposure in mass media (for example, the use of "math" rather than "maths" as an abbreviation for mathematics), though these spellings are non-standard. The British name for the last letter of the alphabet, zed, is used in New Zealand. Many local everyday words have been borrowed from the Moori language, including words for local flora, fauna, and the natural environment. There are also a number of dialectical words and phrases used in New Zealand English. These are mostly informal terms most common in casual speech. The first comprehensive dictionary dedicated to New Zealand English was probably the Heinemann New Zealand dictionary, published in 1979. Edited by Harry Orsman, it is a comprehensive 1,300-page book, with information relating to the usage and pronunciation of terms that were both widely accepted throughout the Englishspeaking world and those peculiar to New Zealand. It includes a one-page list of the approximate date of entry into common parlance of many terms found in New Zealand English but not elsewhere, such as "haka" (1827), "Boohai" (1920), and "bach" (1905). In 1997, Oxford University Press produced the Dictionary of New Zealand English, which it claimed was based on over forty years of research. This research started with Orsman's 1951 thesis and continued with his editing this dictionary. To assist with and maintain this work, the New Zealand Dictionary Centre was founded in 1997. Since then it has published several more dictionaries of New Zealand English, culminating in the publication of The New Zealand Oxford Dictionary in 2004. A more light-hearted look at English as spoken in New Zealand, A personal Kiwi-Yankee dictionary, was written by American-born University of Otago psychology lecturer Louis Leland in 1980. This slim but entertaining volume lists many of the potentially confusing and/or misleading terms for Americans visiting or migrating to New Zealand. A second edition was published during the 1990s. 
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