The History of the English Language

The History of the English
Research paper
Copy this thesis on to a card. It is
the last sentence of your
• The English language developed
over a long period of time and is
divided into three periods: Old
English, Middle English, and
Modern English (Beers, 55).
• 1.2 Understand the most important points
in the history of English language and use
common word origins to determine the
historical influences on English word
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Research Question
• How did the English
language develop and
why is it the largest in
the world?
Thesis Statement
• The English language
developed over a long
period of time and may
divided into three periods:
Old, Middle, and Modern
• The study of word
origins or the history
of a word
Map of Europe
The Celts Old English
• Celtic language first in Britain.
• Scots, Irish, Welsh descendants of Celtic
Romans: Julius Ceasar
They spoke Latin; He conquered, but they
did not leave their language since Rome
was falling.
• Romance Languages: French, Spanish,
Italian, Portuguese, Romanian.
Old English begins when the
Anglos, Saxons, Jutes invade
England in 500 A.D. (Light History)
• Old English is an Anglo-Saxon
Germanic language
Old English Source #3
• A.D. 450-1066
• In the 5th century, the tribes of Anglo-Saxons
from Northern Europe arrived in Britain. They
found a Celtic speaking people who had earlier
been conquered by the Romans. They combined
their Germanic language with the Celtic and
started to form a new language (Beers, 55). Old
English continued on the next slide.
#3 Old English Continued (p. 55)
• A.D. 450-1066
• Then the Vikings or Norsemen who spoke Norse
arrived from Scandinavia. These languages
(Celtic, Anglo-Saxon Germanic, Norse) formed
Old English, an oral language.
• Mostly one syllable words
• The written language was Latin.
• Horse, Night and Wife are O.E.
• (Beers, 55)
#3 Old English Continued (p. 55)
• A.D. 450-1066
• Then the Vikings or Norsemen who spoke
Norse arrived from Scandinavia came.
These languages formed Old English, an
oral language.
• The written language was Latin.
• Horse, Night and Wife are O.E.
• (Beers, 55)
Beowulf, an Old English Epic Poem
Source #1
• Most famous work of Old English literature
Source 1(Light History)
• Almost every one syllable
word we speak is from
Anglo Saxon German
• Old English 500-1065AD
Middle English 1066-1550AD
• In 1066, William the Conqueror
from Normandy, France invades
William the Conqueror from
Normandy, France
The Norman Conquest/
The Battle of Hastings
England becomes bilingual during
Middle English
• English: ox, sheep, swine, calf
• French: beef, mutton, pork, veal
• The rich and upper class
spoke French Latin, but the
lower class spoke AngloSaxon German (Beers, 55).
Middle English #3
• Three words that survive today
from French/Latin Middle English
are government, justice, and
literature (Beers, 55).
Chaucer was a 14th century author
of The Canterbury Tales written in
Middle English
Caxton invented the
Printing Press in 1476
Modern English is 1500 to present
• Renaissance was the rebirth
of interest Greek and
Roman art, literature
• Astro-star
• Naut-sailor
• Astronaut
Modern English
• Great vowel shift
• In Middle English the last vowel of a word
was emphasized, but in Modern English,
the first vowel is typically stressed.
William Shakespeare
• Used 21,500 different words
• 3,000 invented words
Shakespeare invented:
Words Shakespeare Invented
• Academe accused addiction advertising
amazement arouse assassination backing
bandit bedroom beached besmirch
birthplace blanket bloodstained barefaced
blushing bet bump buzzer caked cater
champion circumstantial
Shakespeare invented these
• Coldblooded compromise courtship
countless critic dauntless dawn deafening
discontent dishearten drugged dwindle
epileptic equivocal elbow excitement
exposure eyeball fashionable fixture
flawed frugal generous gloomy gossip
green eyed gust hint hob nob hurried
impede impartial invulnerable jaded label
lackluster laughable lonely
• Lower luggage lustrous madcap majestic
marketable metamorphize mimic
monumental moonbeam mountaineer
negotiate noiseless obscene obsequiously
ode olympian outbreak panders pedant
premeditated puking radiance rant
remorse less savagery scuffle secure skim
milk submerge summit swagger torture
tranquil undress unreal varied vaulting
worthless zany gnarled grovel
King James Bible 1604
1755 Johnson’s Dictionary
Johnson’s Dictionary helped
standardize spelling
• Good, gode, guod, guode, goode, goed,
gowd, godd, guid guide, gud, gwde, guyd,
• 7 years in the making. This dictionary
helped standardize spelling.
Source #1
• Engel, Elliot. A Light
History of the English
Language. Raleigh:
Media Consultants,
Source # 2
• Etymology- the history of a word
or word origin
Source # 3
Works Cited
• Beers, Kylene. Holt
Literature and Language
Arts. Austin: Holt,
Rinehart and Winston,