A History Of Our Language Essay

1078 Words 5 Pages
A HISTORY OF OUR LANGUAGE
The English Language is Rich in its history. Studying the events that formed our language is vital to understand not only why we speak the way we do, but it also enables us to understand who we are. It comprises French, Latin, German, Norse, and a few lesser known tongues. Before there was written English, our texts were primarily written in Latin, and were reserved to be read by only the Pious and Royal. We also have historical landmarks such as Stonehenge that can guide us in understanding our English heritage. The language we speak today was formed only after Centuries of fierce battling, governments being overthrown, and a period of time known as the Dark Ages. During this time, the language began as Old
…show more content…
Sometime between 900 and 1000ad an epic known as Beowulf was written. Although the author of this work is unknown, we see that the language although primitive in its range could be manipulated by a masterful hand. And the product could be an intellectual and vivid display of the Authors’ talents. Beowulf is truly a gift when ascertaining the history of the English Language. Take for example the following line.
Oft Scyld Scefing scepena preatum,
Notice the first word, "Oft." It is remarkably similar to the Modern English word often.
After the Norman Invasion in 1066, Old English starts to shift. William the Conqueror brought great reform to England and also the French language. It was originally spoken primarily by members of Parliament and their chosen Religious leaders but when William divided the land taken from the English and gave it to his faithful Norman followers, the French language seeped into the commoners dialect. The changes that take place during this time are best reflected in Middle English.
Middle English has been dated from 1150 to 1500ad. During these years, the influence from the Norman Invasion becomes evident in both the speaking and writing of that era. "The Canterbury Tales" by Geoffrey Chaucer, written between 1344-1400 is a perfect demonstration of Middle English. Take note how much more similar to Modern English his writing is.
"Whan that Aprill with his…