By Richard Hogg, David Denison
The background and improvement of English, from the earliest recognized writings to its prestige at the present time as a dominant global language, is a topic of significant significance to linguists and historians. during this ebook, a crew of foreign specialists hide the total recorded historical past of the English language, outlining its improvement over fifteen centuries. With an emphasis on more moderen classes, each key level within the historical past of the language is roofed, with complete money owed of standardisation, names, the distribution of English in Britain and North the USA, and its worldwide unfold. New ancient surveys of the an important facets of the language are offered, and historic alterations that experience affected English are handled as a continual procedure, aiding to give an explanation for the form of the language at the present time. this entire and updated background of English can be necessary to all complex scholars, students and lecturers during this well-liked box.
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Additional resources for A History of the English Language (2006)
There was frequent interchange of scholars between the two. 2 per cent of the relevant male age group. Later, in the 1630s, it is conservatively estimated to have been 21/2 per cent. These were the only universities in England right up to the nineteenth century. ) Even though university populations cannot match the early urban growth of London, attendance at university is nevertheless thought to have played some significant part in dialect mixing and national standardisation towards the end of the ME period and beyond.
Consequently, it is often quite difficult, indeed sometimes impossible, to determine whether a word has been taken from French or from its antecedent 15 16 d av i d d e n i s o n a n d r i c h a r d h o g g language. Sometimes it is possible to find triplets, that is to say, three words, one each from Latin, French and (home-grown) English, all with the same basic meaning. So we find regal, royal and kingly and, as with doublets, the social prestige typically varies between high-prestige Latin and low-prestige English.
But it is far more difficult to assess the degree of that bilingualism. We can make some reasonable suggestions based on social class and on the basis that the Normans were very much a minority group in the country. Under these assumptions, we can surmise that the Normans were likely to acquire a degree of bilingualism simply in order to communicate with the far from silent majority. On the other hand, English speakers had to acquire French if they wished to prosper in aristocratic circles. The point is made more eloquently in the Chronicle of Robert of Gloucester in about 1325: ﬁus com, lo, Englelond in-to Normandies hond: And þe Normans ne couþe speke þo bote hor owe speche, And speke French as hii dude atom, and hor children dude also teche, So þat heiemen of þis lond, þat of hor blod come, Holdeþ alle þulke speche þat hii of hom nome; Vor bote a man conne Frenss me telþ of him lute.
A History of the English Language (2006) by Richard Hogg, David Denison