Gerry Knowles's A Cultural History of the English Language (The English PDF

By Gerry Knowles

This publication offers a brand new interpretation of the heritage of English. entry to massive corpuses of English has allowed students to evaluate the trivialities of linguistic swap with a lot larger precision than sooner than, frequently pinpointing the beginnings of linguistic techniques in position and time. the writer makes use of the findings from this study to narrate significant old occasions to alter within the language, specifically to parts of linguistic inquiry which have been of specific significance in recent times, resembling discourse research, stylistics and paintings on pidgins and creoles. The ebook doesn't try to chronicle alterations in syntax or pronunciation and spelling, yet is designed to enrich a corpus-based examine of formal alterations. the tale of English is mentioned to the past due Nineties to incorporate, among different issues, discussions of Estuary English and the consequences of the data superhighway.

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Extra resources for A Cultural History of the English Language (The English Language Series)

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Canute and Hardacanute were kings of Denmark and also kings of England, and for a time England was absorbed into the Danish kingdom. Danish power and influence finally declined after the accession in 1042 of Edward the Confessor, who was the son of an English father and a Norman mother. After his death in 1066 he was succeeded after a brief interval by the duke of Normandy, and from this time onward England was oriented not towards the Northmen but towards the Normans. 3 The Anglo-Saxon written tradition Much discussion has centred on whether English and Danish were mutually intelligible in the Danelaw.

In other words, the English and the Danes communicated in a kind of pidgin Germanic and ignored the endings of words. This does not explain why Danish itself lost most of these endings too. Nor does it explain why nouns, adjectives and articles lost their endings in the Latin of different parts of the Roman empire after the Germanic invasions. This is a widespread phenomenon to be examined on a European scale, and not a local problem of the north of England. 2. If you say the word miserable [mizrabl] slowly to yourself, you may be able to feel that these sounds are made in a similar way in Modern English.

The local population eventually gave up their own language, and began to speak English. This process has continued to the present day, as the English language has followed the spread of English power, to the extent that Welsh survives as a main language only in certain parts of Wales. There are people today who take for granted that the Welsh and the Irish, in contrast to the English, are Celts. While it may be true that the Welsh and Irish languages are Celtic (and that there are clear political advantages in a romantic appeal to a 'Celtic' past), it cannot be true of the population 32 The origins of the English language as a whole.

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