The History of the English Language Essay

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The History of the English Language


In this paper I will discuss where and how the English language originated and how it has spread to become one of the most spoken languages in the world. Before I started my research on my topic of choice, my original hypothesis was that the English language was started by a whole assortment of Germanic tribes invading England thousands of years ago. This ultimately became the goal of my paper, to see if Germanic tribes started the English language, or if it was started from some other tribes that I was not aware of.
The history of the English language is of significance because English is spoken more frequently than any other language except Chinese, (Bright, 1992). A Germanic language, English
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The Proto-Indo-European language was more complex than English today. It is possible to reconstruct three genders (masculine, feminine, and neuter) and up to eight cases (nominative, vocative, accusative, genitive, dative, ablative, locative, instrumental). Adjectives agreed in case, number, and gender with the noun. The verb system was also rich in inflections, used for aspect, mood, tense, voice, person, and number. Different grammatical forms of a word were often related by the feature of ablaut, or vowel graduation: the root vowel would change systematically to express such differences as singular and plural or past and present tense, as is still the case in English foot/feet or take/took (Crystal, 1997).

The Proto-Indo-European language is thought to have been spoken before 3,000 BC, and to have split up into different languages during the following millennium (Crystal, 1997). The languages families include Celtic, Germanic, Italic, Indo-Iranian, Tocharian, Armenian, Anatolian, Albanian, Greek, Balto-Slavic, and Slavic languages. Yiddish, German, Afrikaans, Dutch, Flemish, Frisian, and English make up the West Germanic subgroup of the Germanic Branch (Crystal, 1997).

Scholars renamed the language group the Indo-European family after 3,000 BC (Crystal, 1997). Theorists suggest that the horse was a major element of the Proto-Indo-European and the Indo-European