Essay AngloSaxon Language

Good Essays
AngloSaxon Language Nearly all knowledge of the English language before the seventh century is hypothetical. Most of this knowledge is based on later English documents and earlier documents in related languages (3). The English language of today represents many centuries of development. As a continuous process, the development of the English language began in England around the year 449 with the arrival of several Germanic tribes including: the Angles, the Saxons, and the Jutes (1, p.49). English, like all other languages, is subject to constant growth and decay (1). Many of the political and social events that have so profoundly affected the English people in their life have generally had an impact on their language (1). The…show more content…
Late into this period many linguistic changes began to occur (3, p472). The customary usage of pronunciation, spelling, grammar, and vocabulary all modified with the Norman Invasion in 1066 (2, p1 of 4). An entry dated 1154 from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle shows many features of early Middle English (ME), the second stage of the development of English (3, p723).

Middle English was spoken from 1100-1500 during the late Middle Ages (2, p3 of 4). After the Norman Invasion, a French speaking people occupied England (2, p3 of 4). Both the natural evolution of language and the French influence brought significant changes in the speech of the natives (2, p3of4). “More far-reaching, however, were the borrowings,… from French, that transformed English from an almost wholly Germanic language to a language of mixed Germanic-Romance composition (3, p473).” In ME almost every aspect of OE changed considerably (3, p473). Many OE words fell completely out of use (3, p658). But three main features of ME greatly contrasted with OE: There was a greatly increased borrowing from other languages, such as, French and Latin; the system of grammatical inflections was notably reduced: and the orthography of the language became highly varied and unstable (3, p657). Despite all these changes, there was still no uniform way of writing ME. Many aspects of ME “varied greatly from place to place, person to person, and period to
Get Access