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History of the English Language

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Early Modern English
1500-1800
Introduction of the Printing Press
First printing press in England 1476
Consequences of the printing press
1. Freezing of English spelling
2. Books in English are more available
3. Strengthening of the London dialect
Middle
English
Dialects
The increasing importance of the East
Midland dialect
• Geographically central
• Largest and most densely populated area
• Spoken in Oxford and Cambridge
• Spoken in London
Borrowings
The printing press made books more easily
available for the new middle classes.
Since the new middle classes did not speak Latin
or French, they demanded books in English.
Many Latin and Greek books were translated into
English.
The Latin and Greek translations introduced
many Latin/Greek loan words into English.
Latin loan words: nouns
allusion
occurrence
Frequency
vacuum
denunciation
disability
excursion
expectation
emotion
Latin loan words: verbs
adapt
alienate
assassinate
benefit
emancipate
eradicate
erupt
excavate
exert
harass
exist
extinguish
Latin loan words: adjectives
appropriate
agile
conspicuous
dexterous
expensive
external
habitual
jocular
insane
Latin plural nouns
climax
appendix
exterior
delirium
Latin loan words: bare stems
consultare
>
to consult
exoticus
>
exotic
conspicuus
>
conspicuous
externus
>
external
brevitas
>
brevity
Romance doublets
Middle English
Early Modern English
chamber
choir
prove
frail
gender
jealous
spice
strait
strange
treasure
camera
chorus
probe
fragile
genus
zealous
species
strict
extraneous
thesaurus
Greek loan words
through Latin
direct borrowings
anachronism
atmosphere
system
chaos
crisis
emphasis
enthusiasm
pneumonia
scheme
skeleton
anonymous
catastrophe
criterion
lexicon
polemic
tantalize
French loan words
bizarre
comrade
duel
essay
mustache
progress
ticket
admire
density
identity
chocolate
detail
entrance
explore
probability
surpass
volunteer
compute
hospitality
ramify
Italian loan words
algebra
design
balcony
violin
volcano
Spanish / Portugese loan words
alligator
apricot
barricade
cocoa
embargo
hammock
mango
avocado
hurricane
mosquito
potato
tobacco
chili
maize
tomato
papaya
Word coinages
blatant
chirrup
delve
belt
glance
endear
enshrine
gloomy
wary
Clippings
van
(<vanguard)
rear
(<arrear)
fortnight
(<fourteen-night)
Back formations
difficult
(<difficulty)
unit
(<unity)
Blends
dumbfound
(< dumb + confound)
apathetic
(< apathy + pathetic)
splutter
(< splash + sputter)
Spelling reforms
In the 16th and 17th century, English
scholars tried to reform the spelling of
English.
[fIS]
<ghoti>
[f]
<gh>
�rough’
[I]
<o>
�women’
[S]
<ti>
�lotion’
Pronunciation of English nonce words
lape
morantishly
permaction
phorin
Spelling in Old and Middle English
Throughout the Middle Ages, the English
spelling was not really standardized.
Many regional differences.
English dictionaries
1604 Robert Cawdrey
1721 Nathaniel Bailey
1755 Samuel Johnson
Oxford English Dictionary
Robert Lowth
A Short Introduction
to English Grammar
1762
Double negation
Two negatives in English destroy one another, or
equivalent to an affirmative. (Robert Lowth 1762)
He nevere yet no vileynye ne sayde
In all his lyf unto no maner wight.
He was verry, parfit gentil knight.
(Chaucer: Canterbury Tales)
I didn’t know nothin’ bout gettin’ no checks to
(=for) nothin’, no so (=social) security or nothin’.’
(African American English)
Dangling prepositions
The Preposition is often separated from the
Relative which it governs and joined the verb at
the end of the Sentence … as, �Horace is an
author, whom I am much delighted with.’ … This
is an Idiom which our language is strongly
inclined to; it prevails in common conversations,
and suits very well with the familiar style if
writing; but the placing of the Preposition before
the Relative is more graceful, as well as more
perspicuous; and agrees much better with the
solemn and elevated style.
(Robert Lowth 1762)
Plural of chicken
cicen-u or cicen-s?
Those who say �chicken’ in the singular and
�chickens’ in the plural are completely wrong.
wegen des Wetters
wegen dem Wetter
Grammatical innovations in English
1. This is strictly speaking not good English.
2. Hopefully, they will come.
3. The man who Peter met is my friend.
4. You and me, we should do this together.
5. Peter dreamed of a large cake.
Grammatical innovations in German
1. Wegen dem schlechten Wetter sind wir zu
Hause geblieben.
2. Ich mach das nicht, weil dazu habe ich
einfach keine Lust.
3. Wenn er doch bloГџ bald kommen wГјrde.
4. Das ist mein Vater sein Auto.
5. Ich mach das nur wegen dir.
English or Latin?
But why not all in English, a tung of it self
both depe in conceit, and frank in deliverie? I
do not think that anie language, be it
whatsoever, is better able to utter all
arguments, either with more pith, or greater
planesse, then our English tung is, if the
English utterer be as skillful in the matter,
which he is to utter, as the foren utterer is.
[Robert Mulcaster 1582]
English or Latin?
I do write in my naturall English toungue, bycause
though I make the learned my judges, which
understand Latin, yet I meane good to the
unlearne, which understand English, and he that
understands Latin very well, can understand
English farre better, if he will confesse the trueth,
though he thinks he have the habite and can
Latin it exceedingly well.
[Robert Mulcaster 1582]
Latin loan words
Some seeke so far for outlandish English, that they
forget altogether their mothers tongue. And I dare
sweare this, if some of their mothers were aliue,
thei were not able to tell what they say: … The
vnlearned or foolish phantasticall, that smelles but
of learning … wil so Latin their tongues, that the
simple can not but wonder at their talke, and thinke
surely they speake by some reuelation.
Latin loan words
I know them that thinke Rhetorique to stande
whole vpon darke wordes, and hee that can
catche an ynke horne terme by the taile, him they
coumpt to be a fine Englishman, and a good
Rhetorician.
[Thomas Wilson 17th century]
Latin loan words
And though for my part I use those words (i.e.
Latin loans) as little as any, yet I know no
reason why I should not use them, and I finde it
a fault in my selfe that I do not use them: for it is
in deed the ready way to inrich our tongue, and
make it copious, and it is the way which all
tongues have taken to enrich them selves…
[George Pettie]
Word coinages – �Caucerisms’
Latin
English word coinage
lunatic
crucified
parable
prophet
muscles
triangle
conclusion
definition
irony
mooned
crossed
biword
foresayer
fleshstrings
threlike
endsay
saywhat
dry mock
[Sir John Cheke]
[Sir John Cheke]
[Sir John Cheke]
[Sir John Cheke]
[Arthur Golding]
[Robert Recorde]
[Robert Recorde]
[Robert Recorde]
[Robert Recorde]
Word coinages
blatant
chirrup
delve
belt
glance
endear
wary
gloomy
Clippings
van
(<vanguard)
rear
(<arrear)
fortnight
(<fourteen-night)
Blends
dumbfound
(<dumb + confound)
apathetic
(< apathy + pathetic)
splutter
(< splash + sputter)
Back formations
difficult
(<difficulty)
unit
(<unity)
Language Change: Progress or Decay
Language Change: Progress or Decay
The standard of speech and pronunciation in
England has declined so much … that one is
almost ashamed to let foreigners hear it.
[The Guardian]
Language Change: Progress or Decay
Through sheer laziness and sloppiness
of mind, we are in danger of losing our
past subjunctive.
[Daily Telegraph]
Language Change: Progress or Decay
We seem to be moving … towards a social
and linguistic situation in which nobody says
or writes anything more than an
approximation to what he or she means.
[Kingsley Amis: The laments about
language in general]
Language Change: Progress or Decay
We go out of our ways to promulgate
incessantly … the very ugliest sounds and
worst possible grammars.
[Evening Standard]
Language change is decay
The history of all the Aryan languages [i.e.
Indo-European languages] is nothing but a
gradual process of decay.
[Max MГјller 1868]
Language change is progress
In the evolution of languages the discarding
of old flexions goes hand in hand with the
development of simpler and more regular
expedients that are rather less liable than
the old ones to produce misunderstandings.
[Otto Jesperson 1922]
Language change is neither progress
nor decay
Progress in the absolute sense is impossible, just
as it is in morality or politics. It is simply that
different states exist, succeeding each other,
each dominated by certain general laws imposed
by the equilibrium of the forces with which they
are confronted. So it is with language.
[Joseph VendryГЁs 1923]
William Shakespeare 1564-1616
William
Shakespear
Julius Caesar
1599
Shakespeare JC Act2-Scene1.au
Julius Caesar – Act 2
BRUTUS
Lucius, who's that knocks?
Re-enter LUCIUS with LIGARIUS
LUCIUS
He is a sick man that would speak
with you.
BRUTUS
Caius Ligarius, that Metellus spake of.
Boy, stand aside. Caius Ligarius! how?
LIGARIUS Vouchsafe good morrow from a feeble
tongue.
Julius Caesar – Act 2
BRUTUS
O, what a time have you chose out,
brave Caius,
To wear a kerchief! Would you were
not sick!
LIGARIUS I am not sick, if Brutus have in hand
Any exploit worthy the name of honour.
BRUTUS
Such an exploit have I in hand, Ligarius,
Had you a healthful ear to hear of it.
Julius Caesar – Act 2
LIGARIUS By all the gods that Romans bow before,
I here discard my sickness! Soul of Rome!
Brave son, derived from honourable loins!
Thou, like an exorcist, hast conjured up
My mortified spirit. Now bid me run,
And I will strive with things impossible;
Yea, get the better of them. What's to do?
Julius Caesar – Act 2
BRUTUS A piece of work that will make sick
men whole.
LIGARIUS But are not some whole that we must
make sick?
BRUTUS That must we also. What it is, my Caius,
I shall unfold to thee, as we are going
To whom it must be done.
Julius Caesar – Act 2
LIGARIUS Set on your foot,
And with a heart new-fired I follow you,
To do I know not what: but it sufficeth
That Brutus leads me on.
BRUTUS
Follow me, then.
Exeunt
Morphosyntactic changes
Old English had extensive inflectional
morphology and relatively flexible word order.
Middle English had very little inflectional
morphology and a rather rigid word order.
Inversion in Present Day English
1. Negative inversion
Under no circumstances would I do that.
2. Locative inversion
Behind the barn stood an old oak tree.
The rise of the dummy auxiliary �do’
Negative sentences
1. I haven’t eaten yet.
2. She isn’t coming.
3. I cannot come.
4. You must not do that.
5. He does not speak to me.
The rise of the dummy auxiliary �do’
Yes-no Questions
1. Have you eaten lunch?
2. Is she coming?
3. Can I come in?
4. May I speak to her?
5. Does she speak English?
The rise of the dummy auxiliary �do’
WH Questions
1. What have you eaten?
2. When is she coming?
3. Where can I sleep?
4. What must she do?
5. What did she say?
The rise of analytical verb forms
• Future
will leave
• Present Perfect
have gone
• Progressive
is sleeping
The rise of SVO
Though SVO had become the dominant
word order in Middle English, it was not
yet as rigid as in Modern English.
thou - you
Old English
Middle English
Early Modern
English
SG
ГѕЕ«
PL
yД“
thou (familiar)
ye (polite)
ye (you = OBJ)
ye
ye (you = OBJ)
Possessive marker
Peter’(i)s
=
Peter his
• John Browne his meadow
• Ann Harris her lot
Possessive clitic
1. The queen’s crown
2. The Queen of England’s crown
1. Peter’s car
2. Peter and Mary’s car
Relative pronoun
a.
the book that fell from the table.
b.
the book that I read
c.
the book that I gave him
d.
the book that I talked about
Subject relatives
a.
Who’s that knocks?
b.
I have a brother is condemn’d to die.
(Shakespeare)
c.
d.
e.
f.
There was a farmer had a dog.
There was a ball of fire shot up through the
seats in front of me.
There’s something keeps upsetting him.
There�s a lot of people don�t know him.
�Which’ and �who’ relatives
• As a relative pronoun �which’ emerged in the
14th century
• �Whose’ and �whom’ emerged in EME;
later �who’ was formed by analogy.
Accessibility hierarchy
SUBJ > DO > OBL > GEN
Comparative forms of the adjectives
(1)
(2)
happy – happier –happiest
difficult – more difficult –most difficult
(1)
(2)
in the calmest and most stillest night.
against the envy of less happier lands.
(Shakespeare)
The rise of the dummy auxiliary �do’
(1)
(2)
Say you so?
I know not.
Causative �do’
(1)
He did them build a castle.
�He caused them to build a castle.’
The rise of the dummy auxiliary �do’
I doubt it not.
(Shakespeare)
I do not doubt you.
(Shakespeare)
Why look you so upon me?
(Shakespeare)
Why do you look on me?
(Shakespeare)
The rise of the dummy auxiliary �do’
(1) *I do not can go.
(2) *She does not may leave.
(3) *Is Peter may go home?
Lexical diffusion
SUBJ VERB not
Verb 1
Verb 2
Verb 3
Verb 4
…
I know not
п‚®
п‚®
SUBJ do not VERB
Verb 1
Verb 2
Verb 3
Verb 4
…
I do not know
S-shaped development
time
The psychological mechanisms of
language change
Hypothesis:
Grammatical change involves the
change of grammatical rules.
3+4=7
Change of rules
1. NEG п‚® SUBJ VERB not
2. NEG п‚® SUBJ do not VERB
What motivated the development of
the �do’ pattern?
In negative sentences, �do’ reinforced the
negative meaning of the sentence.
The development of �do’ in questions
What
is
she
doing?
Where
can
I
find
this book?
When
did
Peter
see
Mary?
Why auxiliaries and modals were not
involved in the change
1. If the sentence includes a modal or auxiliary,
there is an <WH AUX S V O> pattern even
without �do’.
2. Modals and auxiliaries are the most frequent
verbs. Frequently used linguistic structures are
so deeply entrenched in mental grammar that
they do not change easily.
New consonant phonemes
Bilabial Labiodental
Stop
Interdental
p b
Alveola Alveola Velar
r
-palatal
t d
Affricate
Fricative
Nasal
f v
m
Lateral
Retroflex
Glide
w
T
D
s
n
l
r
z
k g
tS dZ
S Z
ГЋ
y
h
�Silent consonant’
1.
Compensentory lengthening
[sICt] > [sit] �sight’
2.
half, palm, folk, talk
�Silent consonant’
3.
castle, hasten, wrestle, handsome
4.
know, knife, knee, knight, gnaw
�Silent consonant’
5.
wrong, wrinkle, wrist
6.
British
American
[ka]
[kar]
�car’
[bi@]
[bi@r]
�beer’
Spelling pronunciations
1.
anthem, throne, author, orthography
2.
habit, hectic, history, horror, human
Re-spelling based on Latin source
French loans:
faut, assaut, facon, vaut
Respelled:
fault, assault, falcon, vault
Early Modern English
1500-1800
Morphosyntactic changes
Old English had extensive inflectional
morphology and relatively flexible word order.
Middle English had very little inflectional
morphology and a rather rigid word order.
The rise of the dummy auxiliary �do’
I doubt it not.
(Shakespeare)
I do not doubt you.
(Shakespeare)
Why look you so upon me?
(Shakespeare)
Why do you look on me?
(Shakespeare)
The Great English Vowel Shift
Middle English
1550
1450
1650
The Great English Vowel Shift
A:
B:
A:
B:
A:
B:
Is Tat Ti tSild
yE hIr nam@ Is an
@ god and hOlI nam@
son@ Se wIl be Tre yerIz Ov adZ@
wIl Se spEke to me
yE Se spEkT wUnd@r lud@
A:
B:
A:
B:
A:
B:
Iz D{t D@I tS@Ild
yE h@r n{m Iz {n
@ gud and hOlI nam
sun Si wIl bi Tri yirz @v {dZ
wIl Si spEk tu mi
yE Si speks w@nd@r l@Ud
The Great English Vowel Shift
A:
B:
A:
B:
A:
B:
Is Tat Ti tSild
yE hIr nam@ Is an
@ god and hOlI nam@
son@ Se wIl be Tre yerIz Ov adZ@
wIl Se spEke to me
yE Se spEkT wUnd@r lud@
A:
B:
A:
B:
A:
B:
Iz D{t D@I tS@Ild
yE h@r n{m Iz {n
@ gud and hOlI nam
sun Si wIl bi Tri yirz @v {dZ
wIl Si spEk tu mi
yE Si speks w@nd@r l@Ud
The Great English Vowel Shift
Sound changes
[a]
[i]
[o]
[e]
[E]
[u]
>
>
>
>
>
>
Dialect differences
advanced (B)
[n{m]
[speks]
[{]
[@I]
[u]
[i]
[e]
[@U]
conservative (A)
[nam]
[spEk]
The Great English Vowel Shift
i
u
@I
@U
e
o
E
{
a
The Great English Vowel Shift
1550-1650
A:
B:
A:
B:
A:
B:
Iz D{t D@I tS@Ild
ye h@r n{m Iz {n
@ gud {nd hOlI n{m
sun Si wIl bi Tri yIrz @v {dZ
wIl Si spek tu mi
ye Si speks w@nd@r l@Ud
The Great English Vowel Shift
1650-1750
A:
B:
A:
B:
A:
B:
Iz D{t D@I tSaIld
ye h@r nem Iz {n
@ gud {nd holI nem
sun Si wIl bi Tri yIrz @v edZ
wIl Si spik tu mi
ye Si spiks w@nd@rfUlI laUd
The Great English Vowel Shift
1650-1750
A:
B:
A:
B:
A:
B:
Iz D{t D@I tSaIld
ye h@r nem Iz {n
@ gud {nd holI nem
sun Si wIl bi Tri yIrz @v edZ
wIl Si spik tu mi
ye Si spiks w@nd@rfUlI laUd
The Great English Vowel Shift
Sound changes
[@I]
[{]
[O]
[{]
[@U]
[aU]
>
>
>
>
[aI]
[e]
[o]
[e]
>
The Great English Vowel Shift
i
u
e
@I
@U
aI
aU
E
o
O
{
a
The Great English Vowel Shift
i
u
e
@I
@U
aI
aU
E
o
O
{
a
The Great English Vowel Shift
The Great English Vowel Shift is a Chain Shift.
A chain shift consists of a series of interrelated
changes that are motivated by the pressure to
restore a symmatrical system of speech sounds.
Changes of short vowels
•
In unstressed syllables [@] was lost.
•
ME [a] became [{] in EME.
•
[U] was converted to [Г¶] unless it was
followed by [S] [l] [T] (e.g. run, mud,
cut vs. full, pull, bush, butcher)
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