I was a lunatic to have dreamt of such thoughts. My mind was braising through every memory that lurked my mind at that very moment. As I looked out my bedroom window, the night -so magical, so mysterious. The moonlit sky encrusted with shimmering diamonds, and Luna the moon, a cosmic chandelier smiling down at me as she floats high overhead. The rustling of palm leaves, brushing the windowsills, soon put me to sleep – for that is how I remember it to be…
Then there was the wind, I heard it calling me, in the middle of the night. A whisper in my ear, beckoning me to frolic. It blew gently through my hair, as I danced across the soft green grass-it tickled my feet, especially when the breeze ruffled through the grass. My eyes opened as it flickered from the sunshine, I looked around –and I all I found silence. My eyes spotted a sign, and I knew enough to know that it wasn’t Greek, Egyptian or Babylonian. I could not recognize what I saw, more importantly, I did not know where I was.
Heard a voice again, I followed it, I ended up at the gate, opened the gate and saw ( busy atmosphere) and felt lost, she met a person had problems communicating in english…, she died …..wakes up, and lived to tell the story, its just the beginning…..
English is termed as the world’s third most widely spoken native language following Mandarin, Chinese and Spanish. Its popularity across the globe makes it the official language in several countries despite it not being the native language. This is why it is said to be a global language for everyone in the world to communicate.However, what is interesting is the fact that the English we speak today is 180* degrees different from exact language that was spoken several centuries ago. In fact is has evolved so drastically, it is near to impossible to recognize English at its beginning… (Unless, of course you’re studying it).
English is an international language spoken all over the world that was originally borrowed from the world. If English is used as a global language, there ... lost. Overall, English becomes a global language; people may have more chances in communication.Another crucial advantage is improving business. If English was spoken widespread ...
How is this possible? The answer to that takes us back in time to when the Anglo-Saxon first invaded Britain and pioneered the most powerful and most important language of all time.
The history of English is has been bifurcated in to three most important periods ranging from the migration of certain Germanic tribes in the fifth century A.D, who developed Old English (450-1100 AD) progressing into Middle English (1100-1500AD), the time where shakespere were glorified for his writings, before finally becoming Modern English (1500 AD-till present day), the English we all speak today.
However where exactly does English pioneer from? It is ridiculous to assume that English just spring into existence. According to research, it’s from several old languages proportionally combined to develop a whole new lingo on its own.
Old English (West Germanic languages, assortment of different dialects Anglos, Saxons and Jutes, pioneers of the original English language.
Middle English(lead by The duke of Normandy, William in 1066, significant amount of French influency This is the reason; the modern English of today can be seen having its roots in French language.
Modern English(this language took a great shift., The vowel pronunciation became shorter, reining towards this modern era. With that vowel shift, started the classical renaissance period, the Romantic Movement and the industrial revolution in Britain which added more varied vocabulary to the final evolution of English langue, thus earning its name “late modern English”
Is the English language still evolving?
Yes, and so is every other human language. Language is always changing, evolving, and adapting to the needs of its users. The change is so slow that from year to year we hardly notice it. The question here is why? Why is it that the generations today are unable to indulge themselves into the unabridged tales by Shakespeare without having a translated copy along with them? Why does reading Beowulf feel like a whole new foreign language? It is simply because English has evolved. Or for the better use of word, revolve. Yes, as long as the needs of language users continue to change, so will the language. Even as we speak words are changing, new terms are being coined in this new era.
... its development, Modern English borrowed words from more than fifty different languages. The transition from Middle English to Modern English was also marked by a major change in ... and Late Modern English, from 1660 to the present time. The fist period of the English Language, Old English, is the ancestor of the Modern English spoken today ...
But why does the language change? Language changes for several reasons. First, it changes because the function of the word changes. New technologies, new products, and new experiences develop new words to refer to them more clearly and efficiently. A classic example, the fax machine. It was previously called a facsimile machine, because it allowed one person to send another a copy, or facsimile, of a document. As the machines became more common, people began using the shorter form fax as a noun, and then, fax became a verb (as in I’ll fax this over to Sylvia).
Another reason for change is that no two people have the exact same language experience. In this modern world, the speakers originated from all sorts of background, learning different words and constructions, depending on where we come from. We pick up new words and phrases and combine them to make something new and unique to created our own identity which was what most various groups in society did to mark their clique – showing who is and isn’t a member of the group. It all started with teens and young adults: As young people began to express their creativity with words with others their own age, their language has new words, phrases, and constructions that set them apart from the older generation. Even parents have difficulty understanding their young teens. Some have a short life span (heard groovy lately?), but others like chillax, a combination of chill and relax, stick around to affect the language as a whole.
English also grew by acquiring new words from different places. We borrow from other countries (sushi, chutzpah), we shorten them (gym from gymnasium) or by combined two words into one (brunch from breakfast and lunch), and we even make them out of proper names (Levis, fahrenheit).
The oldest English words are about 14,000 years old that originate from pr-Indo-European language group called “Nostratic” which means “Our language”. Words that have survived from this language group in modern English include: Apple (Apal) Bad (Bad) Gold (Gol) Tin (Tin) The oldest words in the English language are around 14,000 years old, originating in a pre-Indo-European language group called ...
Sometimes words are even created by misconception. The word pea was originally pease, used as either a single pea or a bunch of them. But over time, people assumed that pease was a plural form, for which pea must be the singular, hence ‘pea’ was born.
Finally, the sounds of a language change over time, too. About 500 years ago English began to undergo a major change in the way its vowels were pronounced. During ‘Great Vowel Shift’ sounds like ay (as in pay) changed to ee (as in fee), while the ee sound changed to i (as in pie).
In all, seven different vowel sounds were affected. If you’ve ever wondered what happened to other languages during the Great Vowel Shift? They didn’t. Only English did.
3. Is evolution really necessary?
People tend to think that older forms of language are more elegant, logical, or correct than modern forms. And often we hear how speech patterns of young people tend to grate on the ears of adults. They keep asking “Why can’t people just use correct English?” But then again, what is ‘correct english’? Is Beowulf not correct enough to be used in our era? By ‘correct English’, people usually mean Standard English, the form used in government, education, and other formal contexts. But Standard English is just one dialect of English. English is evolving all the time. The fact that language is always changing doesn’t mean it’s getting worse; it’s just becoming different, newer. It is not entirely true to state that the younger generation is getting lazier in speaking ‘proper english’. The truth is English language itself will never stop changing; it has braved the far-reaching changes for 7000 years and it is still responding to diverge people who are using it. So the next time you hear a new phrase that grates on your ears, remember that, like everything else in nature, the English language is a work in progress and it will never stop.
Hence English reigns as the most popular language in most part of the globe. So why English? Simple. It is the strongest language in the world.
How does the following text demonstrate language change? The text ‘a table alphabeticall’ is the front cover of a dictionary from the year 1604, with the purpose to inform a female reader on what the book is about. The immediate thought when looking at the text is that it is very lexically dense for what we consider the front cover of a book to look like. The font used and the size of the font ...
The following brief sample of Old English prose illustrates several of the significant ways in which change has so transformed English that we must look carefully to find points of resemblance between the language of the tenth century and our own. It is taken from Aelfric’s “Homily on St. Gregory the Great” and concerns the famous story of how that pope came to send missionaries to convert the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity after seeing Anglo-Saxon boys for sale as slaves in Rome:
Eft he axode, hu ðære ðeode nama wære þe hi of comon. Him wæs geandwyrd, þæt hi Angle genemnode wæron. Þa cwæð he, “Rihtlice hi sind Angle gehatene, for ðan ðe hi engla wlite habbað, and swilcum gedafenað þæt hi on heofonum engla geferan beon.”
A few of these words will be recognized as identical in spelling with their modern equivalents—he, of, him, for, and, on—and the resemblance of a few others to familiar words may be guessed—nama to name, comon to come, wære to were, wæs to was—but only those who have made a special study of Old English will be able to read the passage with understanding. The sense of it is as follows:
Again he [St. Gregory] asked what might be the name of the people from which they came. It was answered to him that they were named Angles. Then he said, “Rightly are they called Angles because they have the beauty of angels, and it is fitting that such as they should be angels’ companions in heaven.”
Some of the words in the original have survived in altered form, including axode (asked), hu (how), rihtlice (rightly), engla (angels), habbað (have), swilcum (such), heofonum (heaven), and beon (be).
Others, however, have vanished from our lexicon, mostly without a trace, including several that were quite common words in Old English: eft “again,” ðeode “people, nation,” cwæð “said, spoke,” gehatene “called, named,” wlite “appearance, beauty,” and geferan “companions.” Recognition of some words is naturally hindered by the presence of two special characters, þ, called “thorn,” and ð, called “edh,” which served in Old English to represent the sounds now spelled with th.
Acronyms, Idioms and Slang: the Evolution of the English Language. Although the English language is only 1500 years old, it has evolved a tan incredible rate: so much so, that, at first glance, the average person in America today would find most Shakespearean literature confusing without the aid of an Old-English dictionary or Cliff's Notes. Yet Shakespeare lived just 300 years ago! Some are ...
Other points worth noting include the fact that the pronoun system did not yet, in the late tenth century, include the third person plural forms beginning with th-: hi appears where we would use they. Several aspects of word order will also strike the reader as oddly unlike ours. Subject and verb are inverted after an adverb—þa cwæð he “Then said he”—a phenomenon not unknown in Modern English but now restricted to a few adverbs such as never and requiring the presence of an auxiliary verb like do or have. In subordinate clauses the main verb must be last, and so an object or a preposition may precede it in a way no longer natural: þe hi of comon “which they from came,” for ðan ðe hi engla wlite habbað “because they angels’ beauty have.”
Perhaps the most distinctive difference between Old and Modern English reflected in Aelfric’s sentences is the elaborate system of inflections, of which we now have only remnants. Nouns, adjectives, and even the definite article are inflected for gender, case, and number: ðære ðeode “(of) the people” is feminine, genitive, and singular, Angle “Angles” is masculine, accusative, and plural, and swilcum “such” is masculine, dative, and plural. The system of inflections for verbs was also more elaborate than ours: for example, habbað “have” ends with the -að suffix characteristic of plural present indicative verbs. In addition, there were two imperative forms, four subjunctive forms (two for the present tense and two for the preterit, or past, tense), and several others which we no longer have. Even where Modern English retains a particular category of inflection, the form has often changed. Old English present participles ended in -ende not -ing, and past participles bore a prefix ge- (as geandwyrd “answered” above).
The period of Middle English extends roughly from the twelfth century through the fifteenth. The influence of French (and Latin, often by way of French) upon the lexicon continued throughout this period, the loss of some inflections and the reduction of others (often to a final unstressed vowel spelled -e) accelerated, and many changes took place within the phonological and grammatical systems of the language. A typical prose passage, especially one from the later part of the period, will not have such a foreign look to us as Aelfric’s prose has; but it will not be mistaken for contemporary writing either. The following brief passage is drawn from a work of the late fourteenth century called Mandeville’s Travels. It is fiction in the guise of travel literature, and, though it purports to be from the pen of an English knight, it was originally written in French and later translated into Latin and English. In this extract Mandeville describes the land of Bactria, apparently not an altogether inviting place, as it is inhabited by “full yuele [evil] folk and full cruell.”
... Germanic languages. The meaning of a sentence was expressed by changing word endings whereas in modern English it is expressed by changing word order. In modern English the normal word ... dialects that together form the basis of the language. Changes in lexis, orthography, semantics and syntax, the influence from other languages, and modifications in ...
In þat lond ben trees þat beren wolle, as þogh it were of scheep; whereof men maken clothes, and all þing þat may ben made of wolle. In þat contree ben many ipotaynes, þat dwellen som tyme in the water, and somtyme on the lond: and þei ben half man and half hors, as I haue seyd before; and þei eten men, whan þei may take hem. And þere ben ryueres and watres þat ben fulle byttere, þree sithes more þan is the water of the see. In þat contré ben many griffounes, more plentee þan in ony other contree. Sum men seyn þat þei han the body vpward as an egle, and benethe as a lyoun: and treuly þei seyn soth þat þei ben of þat schapp. But o griffoun hath the body more gret, and is more strong, þanne eight lyouns, of suche lyouns as ben o this half; and more gret and strongere þan an hundred egles, suche as we han amonges vs. For o griffoun þere wil bere fleynge to his nest a gret hors, 3if he may fynde him at the poynt, or two oxen 3oked togidere, as þei gon at the plowgh.
The spelling is often peculiar by modern standards and even inconsistent within these few sentences (contré and contree, o [griffoun] and a [gret hors], þanne and þan, for example).
Moreover, in the original text, there is in addition to thorn another old character 3, called “yogh,” to make difficulty. It can represent several sounds but here may be thought of as equivalent to y. Even the older spellings (including those where u stands for v or vice versa) are recognizable, however, and there are only a few words like ipotaynes “hippopotamuses” and sithes “times” that have dropped out of the language altogether.
We may notice a few words and phrases that have meanings no longer common such as byttere “salty,” o this half “on this side of the world,” and at the poynt “to hand,” and the effect of the centuries-long dominance of French on the vocabulary is evident in many familiar words which could not have occurred in Aelfric’s writing even if his subject had allowed them, words like contree, ryueres, plentee, egle, and lyoun.
In general word order is now very close to that of our time, though we notice constructions like hath the body more gret and three sithes more þan is the water of the see. We also notice that present tense verbs still receive a plural inflection as in beren, dwellen, han, and ben and that while nominative þei has replaced Aelfric’s hi in the third person plural, the form for objects is still hem.
All the same, the number of inflections for nouns, adjectives, and verbs has been greatly reduced, and in most respects Mandeville is closer to Modern than to Old English.
The period of Modern English extends from the sixteenth century to our own day. The early part of this period saw the completion of a revolution in the phonology of English that had begun in late Middle English and that effectively redistributed the occurrence of the vowel phonemes to something approximating their present pattern. (Mandeville’s English would have sounded even less familiar to us than it looks.)
Other important early developments include the stabilizing effect on spelling of the printing press and the beginning of the direct influence of Latin and, to a lesser extent, Greek on the lexicon. Later, as English came into contact with other cultures around the world and distinctive dialects of English developed in the many areas which Britain had colonized, numerous other languages made small but interesting contributions to our word-stock.
The historical aspect of English really encompasses more than the three stages of development just under consideration. English has what might be called a prehistory as well. As we have seen, our language did not simply spring into existence; it was brought from the Continent by Germanic tribes who had no form of writing and hence left no records. Philologists know that they must have spoken a dialect of a language that can be called West Germanic and that other dialects of this unknown language must have included the ancestors of such languages as German, Dutch, Low German, and Frisian. They know this because of certain systematic similarities which these languages share with each other but do not share with, say, Danish. However, they have had somehow to reconstruct what that language was like in its lexicon, phonology, grammar, and semantics as best they can through sophisticated techniques of comparison developed chiefly during the last century.
Similarly, because ancient and modern languages like Old Norse and Gothic or Icelandic and Norwegian have points in common with Old English and Old High German or Dutch and English that they do not share with French or Russian, it is clear that there was an earlier unrecorded language that can be called simply Germanic and that must be reconstructed in the same way. Still earlier, Germanic was just a dialect (the ancestors of Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit were three other such dialects) of a language conventionally designated Indo-European, and thus English is just one relatively young member of an ancient family of languages whose descendants cover a fair portion of the globe.
Old English vs middle English vs modern English
English language has been bifurcated in to three most important periods ranging from old English to Middle English and then to lastly, the Modern English. English started its journey when it was first brought to the Britain by the Germanic invaders. These three periods of English language can be classified in the years as following…
Old English(450AD- 1100AD)
The origin of the English language lies in the West Germanic languages which were brought to the Britain when Germanics invaded this great continent. That language was an assortment of different dialects because there were three most important tribes that invaded Britain that time. Anglos, Saxons and Jutes were these tribes and language dialects spoken by these became the dialects for the original English language.
In the eleventh century, there were various Norman conquests going in the region of Britain. And, this brought a huge difference in the development of the English language. The duke of Normandy, William the conqueror conquered Britain in 1066 and with this conquest, many newer impressions were got fixed on the English language. The most significant and important one was the French language impression which got mixed with the English language being spoken at that time. This is the reason; the modern English of today can be seen having its roots in French language.
Modern English(1500 AD- till present day)
Right from the fifteenth century, this language took a great shift. This flux could be seen in the context of vowel pronunciation. The vowel pronunciation became shorter and thus, it took the form which is now reining in most of the countries in this modern era. With that vowel shift, started the classical renaissance period, the Romantic Movement and after that period, came the industrial revolution in Britain which added more towards the final evolution of English langue. Though, the changes which came into the English language after the industrial revolution gave it the name of the late modern English language which tends to have a more varied vocabulary as compared to the early version of modern English.
Hence, through this journey, English has become what is being spoken as native and official language in most of the countries around the whole world. In Anglo-Saxon, words tended to have inflectional endings that depicted their persona in the sentence. The word order in Anglo-Saxon sentence was not as essential to ascertain what the sentence implied as it’s now. In Middle English, several of these endings were dropped off, and the role a word represented in the sentence was ascertained by word order, like it is nowadays. There are differences naturally, but as a whole a Middle English phrase structure is similar to a Modern English sentence. Old English also had grammatic factors that other two have forgotten.
Read more: http://www.differencebetween.com/difference-between-old-english-and-vs-middle-english-and-vs-modern-english/#ixzz1xkGz9EZ9
Is English Changing? Betty Birner
Is the English language changing?
Yes, and so is every other human language. Language is always changing, evolving, and adapting to the needs of its users. This isn’t a bad thing; if English hadn’t changed since, say, 1950, we wouldn’t have words to refer to modems, fax machines, or cable TV. As long as the needs of language users continue to change, so will the language. The change is so slow that from year to year we hardly notice it (except to grumble every so often about the ‘poor English’ being used by the younger generation!).
But reading Shakespeare’s writings from the sixteenth century can be difficult. If you go back a couple more centuries, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales are very tough sledding, and if you went back another 500 years to try to read Beowulf, it would be like reading a different language.
Why does language change?
Language changes for several reasons. First, it changes because the needs of its speakers change. New technologies, new products, and new experiences require new words to refer to them clearly and efficiently. Consider the fax machine: Originally it was called a facsimile machine, because it allowed one person to send another a copy, or facsimile, of a document. As the machines became more common, people began using the shorter form fax to refer to both the machine and the document; from there, it was just a short step to using the word fax as a verb (as in I’ll fax this over to Sylvia).
Another reason for change is that no two people have had exactly the same language experience. We all know a slightly different set of words and constructions, depending on our age, job, education level, region of the country, and so on. We pick up new words and phrases from all the different people we talk with, and these combine to make something new and unlike any other person’s particular way of speaking. At the same time, various groups in society use language as a way of marking their group identity – showing who is and isn’t a member of the group. Many of the changes that occur in language begin with teens and young adults: As young people interact with others their own age, their language grows to include words, phrases, and constructions that are different from those of the older generation. Some have a short life span (heard groovy lately?), but others stick around to affect the language as a whole.
We get new words from many different places. We borrow them from other languages (sushi, chutzpah), we create them by shortening longer words (gym from gymnasium) or by combining words (brunch from breakfast and lunch), and we make them out of proper names (Levis, fahrenheit).
Sometimes we even create a new word by being wrong about the analysis of an existing word. That’s how the word pea was created: Four hundred years ago, the word pease was used to refer to either a single pea or a bunch of them. But over time, people assumed that pease was a plural form, for which pea must be the singular, and a new word – pea – was born. (The same thing would happen if people began to think of the word cheese as referring to more than one chee.)
Word order also changes, though this process is much slower. Old English word order was much more ‘free’ than that of Modern English, and even comparing the Early Modern English of the King James Bible with today’s English shows differences in word order. For example, the King James Bible translates Matthew 6:28 as “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not.” In a more recent translation, the last phrase is translated as “they do not toil”. English no longer places not after the verb in a sentence.
Finally, the sounds of a language change over time, too. About 500 years ago English began to undergo a major change in the way its vowels were pronounced. Before that, geese would have rhymed with today’s pronunciation of face, while mice would have rhymed with today’s peace. But then a ‘Great Vowel Shift’ began to occur, during which the ay sound (as in pay) changed to ee (as in fee) in all the words containing it, while the ee sound changed to i (as in pie).
In all, seven different vowel sounds were affected. If you’ve ever wondered why most other European languages spell the sound ay with an e (as in fiancé) and the sound ee with an i (as in aria), it’s because those languages didn’t undergo the Great Vowel Shift. Only English did.
Wasn’t English more elegant in Shakespeare’s day?
People tend to think that older forms of language are more elegant, logical, or correct than modern forms, but it’s just not true. The fact that language is always changing doesn’t mean it’s getting worse; it’s just becoming different.
In Old English, a small winged creature with feathers was known as a brid. Over time, the pronunciation changed to bird. Although it’s not hard to imagine children in the 1400’s being scolded for ‘slurring’ brid into bird, it’s clear that bird won out. Nobody today would suggest that bird is an incorrect word or a sloppy pronunciation.
The speech patterns of young people tend to grate on the ears of adults because they’re unfamiliar. Also, new words and phrases are used in spoken or informal language sooner than in formal, written language, so it’s true that the phrases you hear teenagers using may not yet be appropriate for business letters. But that doesn’t mean they’re worse – just newer. For years English teachers and newspaper editors argued that the word hopefully shouldn’t be used to mean ‘I hope’, as in Hopefully it won’t rain today, even though people frequently used it that way in informal speech. (And, of course nobody complained about other ‘sentence adverbs’ such as frankly and actually.) Now the battle against hopefully is all but lost, and it appears at the beginnings of sentences even in formal documents.
If you listen carefully, you can hear language change in progress. For example, anymore used to occur only in negative sentences: I don’t eat pizza anymore. But now, in many areas of the country, it’s being used in positive sentences: I’ve been eating a lot of pizza anymore. In this use, anymore means something like ‘lately’. If that sounds odd to you now, keep listening; you may be hearing it in your neighborhood before long.
Why can’t people just use correct English?
By ‘correct English’, people usually mean Standard English. Most languages have a standard form; it’s the form of the language used in government, education, and other formal contexts. But Standard English is just one dialect of English.
What’s important to realize is that there’s no such thing as a ‘sloppy’ or ‘lazy’ dialect. Every dialect of every language has rules – not ‘schoolroom’ rules like ‘don’t split your infinitives’, but rather the sorts of rules that tell us that the cat slept is a sentence of English, but slept cat the isn’t. These rules tell us what language is like rather than what it should be like.
Different dialects have different rules. For example:
(l) I didn’t eat any dinner.
(2) I didn’t eat no dinner.
Sentence (l) follows the rules of Standard English; sentence (2) follows a set of rules present in several other dialects. But neither is sloppier than the other; they just differ in the rule for making a negative sentence. In (l), dinner is marked as negative with any; in (2), it’s marked as negative with no. The rules are different, but neither is more logical or elegant than the other. In fact, Old English regularly used ‘double negatives’, parallel to what we see in (2), and many modern languages, including Italian and Spanish, either allow or require more than one negative word in a sentence. Sentences like (2) only sound ‘bad’ if you didn’t happen to grow up speaking a dialect that uses them.
You may have been taught to avoid ‘split infinitives’, as in (3):
(3) I was asked to thoroughly water the garden.
This is said to be ‘ungrammatical’ because thoroughly splits’ the infinitive to water. Why are split infinitives so bad? Here’s why: Seventeenth-century grammarians believed Latin was the ideal language, so they thought English should be as much like Latin as possible. In Latin, an infinitive like to water is a single word; it’s impossible to split it up. So today, 300 years later, we’re still being taught that sentences like (3) are wrong, all because someone in the 1600’s thought English should be more like Latin.
Here’s one last example. Over the past few decades, three new ways of reporting speech have appeared:
(4) So Karen goes, “Wow – I wish I’d been there!”
(5) So Karen is like, “Wow – I wish I’d been there!”
(6) So Karen is all, “Wow – I wish I’d been there!”
In (4), goes means pretty much the same thing as said; it’s used for reporting Karen’s actual words. In (5), is like means the speaker is telling us more or less what Karen said. If Karen had used different words for the same basic idea, (5) would be appropriate, but (4) would not. Finally, is all in (6) is a fairly new construction. In most of the areas where it’s used, it means something similar to is like, but with extra emotion. If Karen had simply been reporting the time, it would be okay to say She’s like, “It’s five o’clock”, but odd to say She’s all, “It’s five o’clock” – unless there was something exciting about it being five o’clock.
A lazy way of talking? Not at all; the younger generation has made a useful three-way distinction where we previously only had the word said. Language will never stop changing; it will continue to respond to the needs of the people who use it. So the next time you hear a new phrase that grates on your ears, remember that, like everything else in nature, the English language is a work in progress.