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HISTORY OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE EBOOK

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Editorial Reviews. From the Author. This book provides you with an introduction to the history of eBook features: . Germanic linguistics, and especially the history of the English language, have been a passion of mine for as long as I can . Editorial Reviews. Review. Named a Book of the Year by the Daily Telegraph, Times Literary Robert Tombs's momentous The English and Their History is both a startlingly fresh and a uniquely inclusive account of the people who have a . History of the English language. byLounsbury, Thomas Raynesford, Publication date Topics English language -- History.


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A Brief History of the English Language and Literature, Vol. 2 by Meiklejohn. No cover available. Download; Bibrec Download This eBook. A history of the English language. [Elly van Gelderen] -- "The English language in its complex shapes and forms changes fast. This thoroughly revised edition. A History of the English Language Fifth Edition Baugh and Cable's A History of the of thousands of eBooks please go to tvnovellas.info

Developed over years of undergraduate teaching, the book helps students both to grasp traditional histories of English and to extend and complicate those histories. Exercises throughout provide opportunities for puzzling out concepts, committing terms and data to memory, and applying ideas. A comprehensive glossary and up-to-date bibliographies help to guide further study. By combining lucid explanation with concrete examples and exercises, K. Aaron Smith and Susan M. Kim have written a text that helps students navigate language change through orthography, phonology, morphology, and syntax.

We even find, what is a very rare thing in the history of grammar, that some foreign pronouns were actually adopted from another language—namely, the Danish words she, they, them, their, which had replaced the [22] Anglo-Saxon forms in the north, and were gradually adopted into the common speech.

From the north, too, spread the use of the genitive and plural in s for nearly all nouns, and not only for those of one declension. Although the development of English was gradual, and there is at no period a definite break in its continuity, it may be said to present three main periods of development—the Old, the Middle, and the Modern, which may be distinguished by their grammatical characteristics.

These have been defined by Dr. Sweet as first, the period of full inflections, which may be said to last down to A.

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Although the grammar of the language by the end of the Middle English period was fixed in its main outlines, there has, nevertheless, been some change and development since that time. Thus the northern are for be, spread southwards in the early part of the XVIth Century, and became current towards its end, where it appears in Shakespeare and [23] the Authorized Version of the Bible, and it has now in modern times almost supplanted the southern be in the subjunctive mood.

The use of auxiliary verbs to express various shades of meaning, although it had begun in the Old, and developed in the Middle English period, has been greatly extended in modern times.

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There is nothing quite like it in any other language except Chinese, and it is a great step in advance towards that ideal language in which meaning is expressed, not by terminations, but by the simple method of word position. And following also this line of development we find a curious case in modern English when the termination used for inflection, the s of the English genitive, has become detached from its noun and used almost as a separate word.

Historical accidents, and the decay of terminations, no doubt help in the creation of new forms, but are not themselves the cause of their creation. It is an intelligence which takes advantage of the smallest accidents to provide itself with new resources; and it is only when we analyse and study the history of some new grammatical contrivance that we become aware of the long and patient labour which has been required to embody in a new and convenient form a long train of [26] reasoning.

And yet we only know this force by its workings; it is not a conscious or deliberate, but a corporate will, an instinctive sense of what the people wish their language to be; and although we cannot predict its actions, yet, when we examine its results, we cannot but believe that thought and intelligent purpose have produced them. This corporate will is, indeed, like other human manifestations, often capricious in its working, and not all its results are worthy of approval.

It sometimes blurs useful distinctions, preserves others that are unnecessary, allows admirable tools to drop from its hands; its methods are often illogical and childish, in some ways it is unduly and obstinately conservative, while it allows of harmful innovations in other directions.

Yet, on the whole, its results are beyond all praise; it has provided an instrument for the expression, not only of thought, but of feeling and imagination, fitted for all the needs of man, and far beyond anything that could ever have been devised by the deliberation of the wisest and most learned experts. If we ask ourselves who are the ministers of this power, and whence its decrees derive their binding force, we cannot find any definite answer to our question.

It is not the grammarians or philologists who form or carry out its decisions; for the philologists disclaim all responsibility, and the schoolmasters and grammarians generally oppose, and fight bitterly, but in vain, against the new developments. And so in each one of us the Genius of the Language finds an instrument for the carrying out of its decrees.

This in almost all of us is an instinctive process; we feel the advantages or disadvantages of new forms and new distinctions, although we should be hard put to it to give a reason for our feeling.

One of the most elaborate and wonderful achievements of the Genius of the Language in modern times is the differentiation of the uses of shall and will, a distinction not observed in Shakespeare and the Bible, and so complicated that it can hardly be mastered by those born in parts of the British Islands in which it has not yet been established.

Grammarians can help this corporate will by registering its decrees and extending its analogies; but they fight against it in vain. But even they can only select popular forms, or at the most suggest new ones; but the adoption or rejection of these depends on the enactments of the popular will, whose decrees, carried in no legislature, and subject to no veto, are final and without appeal.

Old English contained but a small proportion of borrowed words; but when it ceased to be a literary language, and almost [31] all its learned compounds perished, their place was gradually taken by words borrowed from the French speech of the Norman invaders. The character of the words now borrowed, the objects and ideas they denoted, are full of significance for our early history, and they will be treated from this point of view in a later chapter.

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We are now concerned, however, for the present, more with their formal aspect—their shapes, the sources whence they were derived, and the transformations they had undergone before they reached us.

The conquest of England by the Normans was the third invasion of this island by a Teutonic race from countries across the German Sea; for the Normans were closely related both to the Anglo-Saxons and to their subsequent Danish conquerors, and originally they spoke a language allied to the Anglo-Saxon. But they had travelled far, and acquired much, since they had left their remote Scandinavian birthplace.

For years before they came to England they had been settled in Normandy, where they had lost almost all memory of their original speech, and had adopted a new religion, a new system of law and [32] society, new thoughts and new manners.

They therefore came practically as Frenchmen to their English and Danish cousins; and it was the speech of France, the civilization of France that they brought with them.

But the speech of France was a very different language from Modern French as we know it; indeed, there was not, at this time, any recognized and classical French, but only a number of dialects, among which that of Normandy was the one which was first introduced into England.

These French dialects were descended from the popular and colloquial Latin once common in most of the Roman Provinces, but which underwent divers changes in various regions—changes which have produced the various related forms of speech—French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, etc.

These Latin words suffered many transformations in becoming French; many of the consonants and vowels were so changed, and the words were so shortened and clipped by the omission of unaccented syllables, that their connection with their Latin ancestors is often not very [33] apparent.

As later in the history of English many of these words came into the language in forms more nearly approaching their Latin originals, we can see by comparing them with those adopted from the French, after they had undergone the process of phonetic decay, how greatly they had been changed in that process.

But the French language has undergone considerable and more recent changes since the date when the Normans brought it into England. So, too, the sound of ch has become sh in France; [34] but in our words of early borrowing, like chamber, charity, etc. We keep, moreover, in many cases forms peculiar to the Norman dialect, as caitiff, canker, carrion, etc.

In many cases the g of Norman French was changed to j in the Central dialects, and our word gaol has preserved its northern spelling, while it is pronounced, and sometimes written, with the j of Parisian French.

When in the year Normandy was lost to the English Crown, and the English Normans were separated from their relatives on the Continent, their French speech began to change, as all forms of speech must change, and developed into a dialect of its own, with some peculiar forms, and many words borrowed from the English. This was at first the language of the court and law in England; it was taught in the schools and written in legal enactments, and continued to be used by [35] lawyers for more than three hundred years.

An attempt was indeed made in the XIVth Century to replace French by English in the law courts, but the lawyers went on thinking and writing in French, and developed little by little a queer jargon of their own, which continued in use down to the end of the XVIIth Century.

From this dialect or technical law-jargon many words were adopted into English, not only strictly legal terms like jury, larceny, lease, perjury, etc. In the meantime, however, the Central or Parisian French dialect, having [36] become the language of the French Court and of French literature, began to be fashionable in England, and many words were adopted from it into English. It is by no means always easy to distinguish between the sources of French words, whether they came to us from Anglo-or Parisian French.

In many cases the forms are the same, but as a rule the early and popular words may be put down to Anglo-French, and the later adoptions and the learned words to borrowings from the literary language of Paris. In addition to these two classes, the first borrowings from Anglo-French, and the later ones from the Parisian French, we have in English a third class of words borrowed from French in more recent times.

Speaking in general terms we may say that down to about the French words that were borrowed were thoroughly naturalized in English, and were made sooner or later to conform to the rules of English pronunciation and accent; while in the later borrowings unless they have become very popular an attempt is made to pronounce them in the French fashion.

The tendency in English is to put the accent on [37] the first syllable, and this has affected the words of older adoption. But in words more recently borrowed, like grimace, bizarre, etc. If words like baron, button, mutton, had been recent and not old borrowings we should have pronounced them baroon, buttoon, muttoon, as we pronounce buffoon, cartoon, balloon, and many others derived from the French words ending in on.

In these modern borrowings, moreover, we preserve as much as we can the modern pronunciation of the French consonants, as we can see in the soft ch of chandelier and chaperon as compared with the older chandler and chapel and the soft g in massage, mirage, prestige, while the older sound is kept in message and cabbage.

There are no words in English so unfixed and fluctuating as these late borrowings from the French, and there is often no standard [38] by which we can decide how we are to speak them.

Some, like envelope and avalanche, have two pronunciations, one English, and one as nearly French as possible, and one word, vase, is spoken in at least three ways. As so often in the case of language, we find two tendencies at work, one following the old rule to pronounce the words as English words, to give the vowels and consonants their English sounds, and to throw back the accent.

This affects words which have become popular and familiar and are in common use, like glacier and valet. This tendency, due, perhaps, to the wider study of French, has had a curious effect in changing the pronunciation and spelling of a number of old-established and long-naturalized words. Thus biscuit, which, in the form of bisket, is found as an old English word, has recently put on a French costume, although its pronunciation has not yet been changed, and blue has been altered from the older blew [39] owing to French influence.

Several old words have had their accent changed by the same cause. Police is an old word in English, and still retains its English accent like malice in parts of Ireland and Scotland; and our old word marine has had its pronunciation changed, owing to the influence of the French marine.

Even a word like invalid, of Latin origin, has when used as a noun thrown its accent forward to correspond to the French invalide. This tendency to give a foreign character to old-established words is a curious manifestation of that capricious force called the Genius of the Language; when a word has what we may call a French or foreign meaning, as in rouge or ballet, a foreign pronunciation, or an attempt at it, may perhaps make it more expressive; but there is surely no reason why such words as trait and vase should not be pronounced after the English fashion; and we might well be spared the discomfort and embarrassment of our attempts to keep the nasal sound of the French n in words like encore, ennui, nonchalant, nuance.

As we have seen, the main additions to the English language, additions so great as to [40] change its character in a fundamental way, were from the French, first of all from the Northern French of the Norman Conquerors, and then from the literary and learned speech of Paris. But the French language, as we have also seen, is mainly based on Latin—not on the Latin of classical literature, but the popular spoken language, the speech of the soldiers and uneducated people; and the Latin words were so clipped, changed, and deformed by them not, however, capriciously, but in accordance with certain definite laws that they are often at first unrecognizable.

From early times, however, a large number of Latin words were taken into French, and thence into English, from literary Latin; and as they were never used in popular speech, they did not undergo this process of popular transformation.

But when we speak of learned words adopted from the Latin, we must not suppose that the scholars and literary men of that time borrowed, as we should now borrow, from the classical Latin studied in our schools, the language of the great orators and poets of Rome.

The Latin from which they borrowed [41] was not a dead, but a living language, a language which they spoke and wrote, and which, although it was descended from classical Latin, and preserved many of its forms, yet differed from it in many ways, and was regarded as barbarous by the scholars of the Renaissance.

It was the speech of a small minority, of a few thousand learned men, almost all in religious orders, an aristocracy intellectual and cosmopolitan, who preserved in the Dark Ages something of the literary tradition of classical times, and made to it important contributions of their own. It was a universal language for the scholars of all Europe; and, even in England, men from different districts could converse in it better than in their local and often mutually unintelligible dialects.

It disappeared at last in the XVIth Century, owing to the efforts of the Humanists and the Ciceronians to restore the classical language of Rome, but not before it had had an immense effect on modern French and English. By far the greater part of the learned Latin words adopted into French, and from French into English, from the IXth to the XIVth [42] Centuries are derived from this Low Latin; many of them are, of course, classical in form, but many, especially the abstract words, have been formed by the addition of terminations in the medieval Latin.

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In the XIVth Century, however, when the first effects of the classical renaissance began to make themselves felt, words began to be borrowed into French direct from Classical Latin: this process went on with increased rapidity in the XVth Century; and towards its end, and at the beginning of the XVIth Century, almost a new language formed on classical models was created in France.

With the importation, therefore, of the French vocabulary into English, many of the learned words borrowed first from Late, and then from Classical Latin, were adopted into our language.

But in England also Latin was spoken by the clergy and learned men of the country, the Bible and the service-books were in Latin, and historical and devotional books were largely written in it. When these Latin books were translated into English, or when a scholar writing in English wished to use a Latin word, he followed the analogy [43] of the Latin words that had already come to us through the French, and altered them as if they had first been adopted into French. It is often, therefore, difficult to say whether a Latin word has come to us through the French, or has been taken immediately from the Latin.

A curious tendency, due not so much to the genius of the language as to the self-conscious action of learned people, has affected the form of Latin words both in English and French, but more drastically, perhaps, on this side of the Channel.

From early times a feeling has existed that the popular forms of words were incorrect, and attempts more or less capricious, and often wrong, have been made to change back the words to shapes more in accordance with their original spelling.

Thus the h was added to words like umble, onour, abit, etc. These pedantic forms were either borrowed direct into English from the French, or in many old words the [44] change was made by English scholars; and in some words, as for instance debt and fault, their additions have remained in English, while in French the words have reverted to their old spelling.

These changes, as in honour, debt, receipt, do not always affect the pronunciation; but in many words, as vault, fault, assault, the letters pedantically inserted have come gradually to be pronounced. More inexcusable are the many errors introduced into English spelling by old pedantry, and among our words which have been deformed by this learned ignorance may be mentioned advance and advantage properly avance and avantage and scent and scissors, which should have been spelt sent and sissors.

The borrowing of words direct from the Latin, which began first in prehistoric times, continued in the Anglo-Saxon period, and only attained large proportions in the XIVth and XVth Centuries; but it has continued uninterruptedly ever since, until perhaps one-fourth of the Latin vocabulary has been [45] transplanted, either directly or through the French, into the English language. While most of these words are re-formed in English according to definite usage, nouns being taken from the stem of the accusative, and verbs from that of the past participle, there is really no absolute rule save that of convenience about the matter.

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The nominative form appears as in terminus, bonus, stimulus, etc. Recipe is the imperative directing the apothecary to take certain drugs, and dirge is from another imperative, the dirige, Domine of Psalm v.

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As French was full of learned Latin words, so Latin in its turn abounded in expressions borrowed from the Greek, and thus Greek words were through the Latin adopted into French and English.

With one or two very early exceptions to be mentioned later, all the Greek words found in English before the XVIth Century are derived from Latin sources, and are spelt and pronounced, not as they were in Greek, but as the Romans [46] spelt and pronounced them.

The Greek u became a y in Latin, and the k a c; when after the Roman time c lost the sound of k before e and i and y, the pronunciation of many Greek words was changed, and we get a word like the modern cycle, which is very unlike the Greek kuklos.

Other Greek words have been early adopted into the popular vocabulary, and have undergone the strange transformations that popular words undergo.

Learned names for diseases and flowers are peculiarly liable to be affected by this process; thus dropsy stands for the Greek hydropsis, palsy for paralysis, emerald for the Greek smaragdos; athanasia has become tansy, and karuophyllon gillyflower in English. These were all learned adoptions, and they were for the most part conducted in an absurdly learned way; these old scholars took a pedantic pride in adorning their pages with the actual Greek letters, and thus words like acme, apotheosis, and many others are in XVIth and XVIIth Century books often printed in Greek type.

Very lately in the XIXth Century a tendency has shown itself to adopt words, not with the Latin, but with the original Greek spelling as nearly as we can reproduce it , and now, with our modern passion for correctness, and the modern weakening of the traditions of the language, words, especially scientific terms, tend to keep their Greek appearance, as we see in a word like kinetics, which would have become cinetics had it been borrowed earlier.

This short account of the Greek element in English must suffice for the present, although the enormous influence of Greek on our language is by no means to be measured by [48] the number of Greek words in English.

For a very large part of our vocabulary of thought and culture comes from Greece by means of literal translations into Latin. There remain, however, three other elements of early English—the Celtic, the Scandinavian, and the Teutonic words that have come to us through French or Italian channels.

It is one of the puzzles of English philology that so very few words of Celtic origin have been adopted into the language. The Teutonic invaders found and conquered a Celtic race dwelling in England; there is evidence to show that the conquered race was not entirely massacred, but that a large portion of it was united with the conquerors, and yet the number of Celtic words adopted into English before the XIIth Century is less than [49] a dozen, and several of these were probably imported from Ireland or the Continent.

Bin and dun a colour , coomb a small valley , and one or two more words are the only ones that seem to have been derived from the native British; and down a hill may have been borrowed from them, or perhaps brought by the Anglo-Saxons into England.

Since more words have been adopted from Irish or Scotch Gaelic, but most of these, like brogue, bog, galore, pillion, shamrock, are of fairly recent introduction; and it is certainly very curious that no word of any great importance has been borrowed by the English from their Welsh-speaking neighbours.

Many more Celtic words have come into our language indirectly through French channels. The Romans borrowed a few Celtic terms; the original inhabitants of Gaul were Celts, the Bretons still speak a Celtic language, and from these sources a number of Celtic words have found their way into French, and from French into English. Among these words of probable or possible Celtic origin may be mentioned battle, beak, bray of a donkey , budget, car and its derivatives, [50] career, cargo, cark, carry, cart, charge, chariot, etc.

Many more words than these are commonly given as being of Celtic origin, but the tendency of modern scholarship is to decrease the number of Celtic words in English: and even in the above list many are considered to be very doubtful. The Teutonic barbarians who served in the Roman armies added some words to the Latin language; the Franks [51] who conquered France and gave their name to that country, the Gothic and Burgundian invaders, enriched the French language with many terms of war, of feudalism, and of sport; and finally the Norman Conquerors of the XIth Century added a few terms, mostly nautical, of their original Scandinavian speech, such as equip, flounder the fish , and perhaps the verb to sound.

Nearly three hundred Teutonic words altogether have come to us from French sources, and form no inconsiderable or unimportant addition to the language. Moreover, if we compare these travelled words with their stay-at-home relations, we can in many cases see what richness of meaning they have gained by being steeped in the great Romance civilization of Europe.

Park, for instance, is a Teutonic word, ennobled by French usage far beyond the meaning of its humble native cousin paddock; blue, by passing through southern minds, has acquired a brilliance not to be found in our dialect blae, of dark and dingy colour; our bench has become through Italian the bank of finance, and has given rise to banquet; and among other homely old German words thus [52] embellished by their foreign travels may be mentioned dance, garden, gaiety, salon, harbinger, gonfalon, banner, and herald.

The other great Teutonic addition to the English language is that from Scandinavian sources. Many of the words, however, were different, and a large number of these were ultimately taken into English. As, however, our earliest English literature was almost all written in the dialect of the South, where the Danes did not settle, but few Scandinavian words appear in English before the XIIth Century. When, however, the language of the Midlands and the North, where there were large Danish settlements, began to be written, the strong infusion of Scandinavian elements became apparent.

And from the northern dialects, which abound in Old Norse words, standard English has ever since been borrowing terms; a great army of them appear in the XIIIth Century, words so strong and vigorous as to drive out their Anglo-Saxon equivalents, as take and cast [53] replaced the Anglo-Saxon niman and weorpan, and raise has driven the old English rear into the archaic language of poetry.

Even when the English words have survived, they have sometimes been assimilated to the Scandinavian form, as in words like give and sister. Other familiar words of Scandinavian origin are call, fellow, get, hit, leg, low, root, same, skin, want, wrong.

The familiar everyday and useful character of these words shows how great is the Danish influence on the language, and how strongly the Scandinavian element persisted when the two races were amalgamated. This drifting into standard English of Scandinavian words from northern dialects still goes on; the following words are possibly of Scandinavian origin, and have made their appearance from dialects into literary English at about the dates which are appended to them: billow , to batten , clumsy , blight , doze , gill or ghyll a steep ravine, Wordsworth, , a beck a stream, Southey, , to nag , and to scamp It is from these and some other minor sources, to be mentioned later, that English [54] has derived its curiously mixed character, and the great variety and richness of its vocabulary.

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No purist has ever objected to the Teutonic words that have come to us from Scandinavian or French sources; but the upsetting of so large a part of the French, Latin, and Greek vocabularies into English speech is a more or less unique phenomenon in the history of language, and its supposed advantages or disadvantages have been the subject of much discussion.

Writers who attempt to criticize and estimate the value of different forms of speech often begin with an air of impartiality, but soon arrive at the comfortable conclusion that their own language, owing to its manifest advantages, its beauties, its rich powers of expression, is on the whole by far the best and noblest of all living forms of speech.

The Frenchman, the German, the Italian, the Englishman, to each of whom his own literature and the great traditions of his national life are most dear and familiar, cannot help but feel that the vernacular in which these are embodied and expressed is, and must be, superior to the alien and awkward languages [55] of his neighbours; nor can he easily escape the conclusion that in respect to his own speech, whatever has happened has been an advantage, and whatever is is good. It will be as well, therefore, in regard to this question of a mixed vocabulary, to state as impartially as is humanly possible the considerations on which the two opposing ideals are based—the ideal of a pure language, built up as much as possible on native sources, and that of a comprehensive speech, borrowing the words from other nations.

They maintain, moreover, that just as an old-fashioned farmer prided himself on procuring the main staples of life from his own farm and garden, and found a fresher taste in the fruit and vegetables of his own growing, so we find in words which are the product of our own soil, and are akin to the ancient terms of our speech, an intimate meaning, and a beauty not possessed by exotic products. These words breed in us a proud sense of the old and noble race from which we are descended; they link the present to the past, and carry on the tradition of our nation to the new generations.

The Main upholders of this view are the modern Germans, who take a great pride in the purity of their language, and compare it to that of Greece, which, in spite of the immense influence on it of Eastern civilization, and the [57] great number of ideas and products it borrowed from thence, yet has so strong a feeling for language, and so great a pride of race, that the Greek of classical times possessed no more than a few hundred words borrowed from other tongues.

In Germany, therefore, since the XVIIth Century, a deliberate effort has arisen to make the language still more pure, and societies have been formed for this especial purpose. This movement has grown with the growth of national unity, and a powerful society, the Sprachverein, has been recently founded, and has published handbooks of native words for almost every department of modern life.

Those, however, who defend a mixed language [58] like Latin or English, maintain that the ideal of purity is really in its essence a political and not a philological one; that it is due to political aspirations or resentments; that the Germans desire to banish, with their French words, the memory of the long literary and political domination of France over their native country; that for the same reason the Bohemians wish to rid themselves of German words, the modern Greeks of Turkish terms.

Language Contact in the Middle Ages 4. The Process of Standardisation 6. Colonialism, Imperialism and the Spread of English 7. Moves Towards Present Day English 8. Understanding Old English 2. Varieties of Old English 3. The Emergence of Middle English 4. Sound Shifts 5. Writing in Early Modern English 6. The Development of American English 7.

International English 8. The Roots of English 2. Regions and Dialects 3.

Editions of A History of the English Language by Albert C. Baugh

From Old English to Middle English 4. Codification and Attitudes Towards English 5. English in the New World 7. Present Day Englishes 8. The Future of English? Part 4: Readings in the History of English 1. Vocabulary in Old English 2.