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"if a parrot can really speak then what will be the right word,,good morning?" - Ictus5

Doctor in the House

  • Date Submitted: 10/13/2015 07:44 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 62.6 
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History of the English language is a complicated one, mainly because it is inevitably linked with the history of Britain and its inhabitants. Languages, like populations, are influenced by wars, invasions, immigration, trade and many other factors. But in order to simplify the story of English, we often divide its history into three main phases.
During the fifth century, Britain was invaded by Germanic tribes from mainland Europe:   the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes. They displaced the existing population - and their Celtic languages - to the fringes of the country: Wales, Cornwall and the North. The languages of the invading tribes formed the basis of the English language. Today, we usually refer to this Anglo-Saxon language of Old   English' and much of the vocabulary that we still use today has its roots and in Old English - particularly words which are connected with their farming lifestyle: earth, plough and sheep are three examples of words with Anglo-Saxon origins. Perhaps surprisingly, Old English did not borrow many words from the languages of Ancient Briton - maybe because the two populations did not really mix. One of the few is the word Britain itself - another is the name of London's main river, the Thames. It did borrow words from Latin, however school is one example - as well as adopting the Roman alphabet, which is still used today to write English and many other languages. Between about 800 and 1000 AD, Viking invaders from Norway and Denmark came to Britain, settling mainly in the northern and eastern parts of the country. Many words from their language - Old Norse - became part of Old English, and some of these survive to this day, such as the common verbs get, take and want.
The transition from Old English to Middle English happened gradually beginning around the eleventh century. Grammar became much simpler. In Old English, there is a complex system of inflections, just as there is in German or Latin. But in Middle English, there are very...


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