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ENG 121: SOE, Chap 1: An English -Speaking World

SOE, Chap 1. An overview

Brief overview of history:
500 AD: birth of English (450 AD or maybe 600 AD)
1600 AD: Shakespeare, 5 -7 million speakers of English
1995 AD: 1 Billion speakers

English has the richest vocab: why?? and why spread??

Massive borrowing from other languages
Flexible use (morph) of words and word combining
British Empire: spread of English.
U.S. after WW II and source of science/te chnology use of
computers with English base Media around the world: books,
films, ads, music
Academic "industry"
No academy to hinder innovations

Concepts and events

Queen's English - London, 1750 and Samuel Johnson's
RP (Receiv ed Pronunciation) - rise in late 19th century,
influence of Oxford, Cambridge, London triangle.
BBC - 1922, 20th century standard in England
"Best English" is a common debate, particularly outside

Rise of American English, WW II

Post WW II - Voice of America, Cold War Science and
Technology information
Mass use of computers
TV in 1950s
Rise of "Network standard," Walter Cronkite, and Dan
Rising media influence: books, movies, music
Academic institutions and growth of information
Foundation for cyberspace networks

Rise of English as L1, as ESL, as EFL

India and Indian English - More speakers of Indian
English than British English
3000 newspapers in English in India!
Rise of Singapore English, Nig erian English, Hong Kong
English, Australian English, South African
English; regional "standards"

From Japlish to Franglish

Japanese since WW II, borrowed more than 20,000 words.
"upa" - apple.
For many countries, students begin English inst ruction
between 1st and fourth grades, continue to end of High
Franglish and backlash - countries fear spread of English,
try to regulate language to prevent English borrowings; can't be done, and
just makes English more p opular among younger speakers. France, Canada,
Indonesia, Malaysia.

Benefits of English as a world language.

1. Provides a well recognized language for many uses
2. Solves many political dilemmas: Kenya, Tanzania, India,

English has three structural advantages for growth:

1. Flexible grammar and word use/word creation. Same forms
can be verb, noun, adjective. Few affixes for conjugations or declensions.
2. Gender is not arbitrary and minimal as form.
3. Language is open to borrowings, many borr owings.

Other advantages:
1. Past history of British empire.
2. America as source of science and tech.
3. America as source of popular media.
4. No language academy and no language policy.
5. Language of democratic traditions/countries. No lon g
history of absolute monarchies or dictators in L1 English -speaking

Major English L1 source countries:

U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, Australia, NZ, South Afica,

ENG 121: The Flux of Language Sept. 3, 1997

Barber, Cha pter 2

4. Linguistic Change in English

Compare three versions of the biblical story of the prodigal son:

1961, 1611, 1384, 1040app. See handout.

1961: contemporary English

1611: understandable passage, archaic words (nigh, meete); diff

pronoun system (thee, thy, thou, you, ye); Perfect tense with "be', not
"have" (Thy brother is come vs. Your brother has come);
spelling differences; minor W.O. differences.

1384: diffic ult to comprehend without practice reading Middle

English. Different
sounds and letters; many archaic words and disappeared
words; no "v";
many more inflectional endings on verbs; same minor WO

1040: not comprehensible without Old En glish training. Many

unfamiliar words and disappeared words; full sets of affixes to mark verb
families and to indicate noun cases (Declensions); different WO --many SOV,
VSO clauses (Germanic).

The English language has changed dramatically in the last 1 000

years. 1100 to 1499 was period of major changes. We break the history of
English, conveniently, to follow these changes.

Old English: 450-1100

Late OE: 900-1100
Middle English: 1100-1500
Modern English: 1500-2000
Early MoE: 1500-1700
5. The Mechanisms of Linguistic Change

All languages change, and there are many forces which push language
to change. We also know that language changes often apply to groups and
systems within the language (a set of sounds, a group o f words).
A. Sound changes often occur first with the most frequently used
words and then spread to other words.
B. Fashion plays a role in change and in the spread of a change.
Social group prestige lead other groups to follow the prestige speech.
Group solidarity leads groups to stay away from prestige speech of outside
C. Children grow with new speech habits (weak).
D. Psychological principle: "Ease of effort" (vs. "need to
communicate"). We try to economize our efforts.
a. If surroundi ng sounds are "voiced," change a "voiceless"
to voiced to make it easier to say; less mouth -muscle work.
b. Above is an example of "Assimilation." Assimilation is
very common as a way to change the ways we speak: "djeet yet" "topmost"
"foopball" .
c. Endings on words often are cut off; word -end consonants
aren't pronounced,word -end consonant clusters are reduced or dropped.
d. Sometimes sounds are inserted for easier pronunciation:
"thunner - thunder,""often," "thimel - thimble"
e. Sometimes sounds are reversed for easier pronunciation:
"waps-wasp," "bren -burn"

These changes for easier speaking are tolerated to a point

because all language has extra information, redundancies, built into the
But there are limits to ease of efficiency. When difficult
of understanding occurs, more effort must be made.

E. Changes in language are influenced by the systems of language

(most common with phonology). If an element of the language fits well
within a system, that elemen t is harder to change by itself; but if the
system changes, so will he element.

We can combine the two "th" sounds in English and little

would be affected --
Maybe that's why we only have one spelling for both sounds
(th). the two sounds have rema ined, however, because they fit in well
with the general pattern of voice and voiceless stops and fricative
consonants in English.
-voice p, t, k f, th, s
+voice b, d, g, v, th, z

F. Changes in words (morphemes) and structure (synt ax) are easier

to account for:

a. Borrowing from other languages for various reasons.

b. Extended periods of language contact (borders,
immigration, conquest).
c. Exchange of trade, commerce, information.
d. War.
e. Changing values of culture/so cial group, New inventions,
New prestige group speaking a different dialect.
f. New fashion changing word meanings, metaphorical
extension, slang legitimatization, creating new words.
g. Rule analogy: comparing a new word or phrase to
established forms . English plural "s."
6. Language Families: As speakers spread out and become distant, they
start to develop differences in their speaking through changes. These
changes lead to different dialects. As groups spread further apart, and
other change factors influence the dialects, they become less
understandable to each ot her. Then they tend to become different
languages. When we look at this process over long periods of history, we
can talk about language families. Latin: French, Spanish, Rom anian,
Corsican, Provencal,Catalan, Galician, Portuguese, Italian, Sardinian,

Guyana, some West Indies countries, other tiny islands.

Sept 08, 1997

ENG 121: The Flux of Language/Indo -European Languages

5. Begin with Indo -European Languages (only 58 -64 required reading). Most
European and Indian Languages.
A. All Indo -European languages come from Proto -Indo-European
perhaps spoken first in the region of the southern Ukraine from about 4500
BC to 3500 BC. Main source is Sredny Stog culture -- 4500-3500 BC. The
initial spread through southern Europe and near Asia happened from 3500 on
to about 2500 BC. From 3200 to 2200 BC most of northern and central Europe
was covere d by the Corded -Ware culture that probably descended from the
earlier indo -European culture. Southeast Europe and a bit of Turkey was
covered by the Balkan -Danubian complex, another Indo -European expansion.
Between the two early cultures, the early proto -languages of most of Europe
can be acconted for. The emergence of specific Indo -European families of
languages only begin at around 2000 BC (maybe a bit earlier for a few --
Greek). Most proto -language families only strongly separate by about 1200 -
1000 BC.
C. Evidence for Indo -European first present ed in 1786 at the Royal
Society by Sir William Jones, who noted overwhelming correspondences among
Greek, Latin, English, and Sanskrit.
Germanic Examples:
D. The text points out the resemblances among Englis h, German, and
Swedish; "stone, bone, oak, home, rope, goat, one" (Barber 58) /o:/, /ai/,
E. The text also uses the same words to compare Old English Gothic
(East Germanic), Old High German, and Old Norse (North G)(circa 1000 AD).
(Barber 59)
/a:/, /ai/, /e:/, /e:/
F. Sound correspondences between related languages are sometimes
obscured by later borrowings, or by dependent sound changes (a change is
dependent on another sound in the word) in one of the languages.
(Barber 60 -61)
No "hoath" in English
Ha i Hae i Hae Heath
G. English and French are both Indo -European but from different
families (Germanic vs. Latin -Italic). Comparing modern English and French,
however, is misleading because there have been centuries of bor rowings
between the two languages. Core words (family, food, numbers, body -parts)
in the two languages indicate a more distant relationship between the two
H. The relations between Indo -European languages are well
illustrated by comparing Lat in, Greek, Sanskrit, Gothic, and Old English.

"two" duo, duo, dvau, twai, twa.

"seven" septum, hepta, sapta, sibun, seofon
Some regular changes that have occurred:
Germanic substitutes /t/ for /d/
Germanic substitutes /h/ for /k/
Germanic substitutes /f/ for /p/
Greek substitutes /h/ for /f/
Sanskrit substitutes /au/ for /o/

Of course, it turned out in investigations throughout the

19th century that many more languages were related. Thus, the Indo -
European language family was established. The various members of this
family descended from Proto -Indo-European.

6. More on Proto -Indo-European (Barber pages; and from Mallory 1989).

A. Branches are indicated in the handout maps Indian, Iranian,
Greek, Italic, Celtic, Baltic, Slavic, Albanian, Armenian, Tocharian,
Germanic, Anatolian.
B. Who were the Indo -Europeans?
A common culture at around 6000 BC, pastoral and early
agricultural people, maybe somewhere in the Ukraine Steppe country.
Dispersal probably began around 300 0 BC. Most appearances of Indo -
Europeans in early records come after 2000 BC.(Cf. Renfrew vs. J. Mallory)
Greeks by 2500 BC, Hindi by 2000 BC, Baltics and Slavs by
1500 BC, Germanic by 1000 BC, Celts by 1000 BC, Italic by 1000 BC. These
are rough est imates.
C. The Proto -Indo-European Vocabulary:
PIE Had words for horses, cheese, cattle, sheep, dog,
wheel, axle, yoke, copper, bronze, house, door, wolf, bear, otters, mice,
hares, beavers, beech tree, eel, salmon, river, stream.
No words for ocean , lion, tiger, camels, tents. The common
words suggest a place of origin with a temperate climate, and not near an
ocean. There were also common northern animals and trees in their source
language (and location).
D: Origins in southern Russia and Ukra ine (Show Maps) also fit
with what is known of the Kurgan culture of 4500 to 4000 BC, which later
spread, perhaps in all directions.

Sept 10, 1997

Sept 12, 1997

ENG 121: The Germanic Language: Barber, C hap 4

IV. Germanic Languages

A. We know of Germanic being a major language group of Northern
Europe by the records of the Romans at around 1 AD. Those are our first
records. From 300 BC to 500 AD they spread across Northern and Western
Europe and th rough the northern part of Eastern Europe. Typically they
displaced Celtic people in the west, who had migrated westward at an
earlier time.
B. Early Germanic Society: Tribal, warlike, early agricultural
C. Branches of Germanic: Western, Northe rn, and Eastern.
1. Northern: Old Norse to West and East Scandinavian;
Western Scandinavia to Icelandic, Faroese, Norwegian.
Eastern Scandinavian to Danish, Swedish, Gutnish
(most changes brought on by Viking Age 700 -1000 AD).
Changes: Some loss of word -initial /j/ and /w/ (year
and wolf). Postposes and attaches definite articles.
Can have definite a rticle marking both before and
after the noun in Swedish!
(den stora hunden, the big dog)
2. Eastern Germanic: Burgun dian, Vandal, and Gothic; Gothic
might have lasted unt il the 18th century in Easter n Europe (Ukraine).
3. Western Germanic: Old High German, Saxon,
Frankish,Anglo -Frisian; changing to High German, Low German, Dutch,
English, Frisian.
4. The Germanic tribes invaded all of Europe at different
In spite of these conquests, Gothic,
Burgundian,Vandal, and Frankish all died out. The rest took hold,mostly in
their own ancestral lands.

V. The inflectional system of Proto -Germanic

A. Many inflections appeared at the ends of words as affixes.

These inflection systems appeared on nouns, verbs and adjectives, and
they were reflected as well in the pronoun and determiner systems.
B. Nouns had case inflections (indicating what is the subject or
the object of a sentence; see Latin example on Barber page 88).
Number was also indicated on nouns (typically singular and
plural). Making matters confusing, different sets of nouns had differing
sets of endings to indicate case and number informa tion; there were
different noun declensions. Also, all nouns had grammatical gender. One
had to know if the word form was masculine, feminine, or neutral.
C. Adjectives had the same complex systems that had to be used,
with differing endings themselves, to match up with the noun for case,
number, and gender (see simple Latin example in Barber at bottom of 89).
Adjectives also broke into two declension systems for different subsets.
D. Verbs had tense systems with past and present tenses, two mood
systems (indicative and subjunctive), and verb classes that varied with
different groups of verbs. A major verb -class distinction was between
strong and weak verbs. Weak verbs are regular; strong verbs have distinct
patterns. For example:
Weak verbs Strong verbs
walk, walked begin, begun, began
start, started put, put, put
please, pleased think, thought, thought
consider, considered break, broken, broke

Weak verbs now predominate. Many strong verbs in Old

English have shifted to weak verbs (to help), and borrowed verbs are
given weak inflections (to invite).

VI. The Phonology of Proto Germanic

A. The placing of stress on first syllables in Germanic languages
led to a gradual de -emphasis of word endings because they were not
stressed, and "ease of effort" led to weaker inflectional systems
(particularly in English, Barber 92 -93).
B. Grimm's Law: The first sound shifting from PIE to Germanic (500
(see examples on page 94 -95.)
bh -- b, b -- p, p -- f
dh -- d, d -- t, t -- 0
gh -- g, g -- k, k -- h
Don't worry about the /hw/, /kw/ change.
Don't worry about Verner's Law.
VII. Proto -Germanic Vowel System

A. Some useful vowel changes that can be traced to modern English:

1. PIE /o/ to G /a/ (to English /e:/) (96)
Latin OHG English
octo -- ahto -- eight
2. PIE /a/ to G /o/ (to English / /) (96)
Latin ONorse English
mater -- moter -- mother
3. Vowel gradation (or Umlaut) in verbs and in related
verb-noun pairs. Vowel sounds are used in sequence from front to back (so
/e/ and /o/ form a pairing), or low to high (so /e/ and /i/ form a
pairing), and these pairs influence each other in different ways
English: sing, sang, sung
ride, rode,
learn, lore

B. Good summary of important changes on page 98 of Barber (at top).

VIII. Vocabulary of Proto -Germanic

Few words that were specific to Germanic only (and not from PIE)
are left in modern English: ship, sail, keel, float, sea. Early Germanic
already was borrowing from Celtic and Latin because these groups had more
advanced social systems than the Germanic conqu erors.

Sept 15, 1997

ENG 121: Story of English: Old English

a. A key is the changes in vowels and consonants in Germanic from

k - h (unicorn - horn)
d - t (deka - ten)
t - th (tres - three)
b. A second key is the typical stress on first syllable of words:
This led to later weakening of inflectional systems
bheronom - beranan - beran (OE) - bere
ber - bear
c. A third key is the development of regular, weak, verb inflectio n
invite, consider, start, plan, invoke, etc.
d. A simplification of the PIE inflectional system

4. Today: Some first main points on the language of Old English, its rise
from Anglo-Saxon, and then just 900 years of history of Britain (from 55 BC
to 875 AD).

a. Anglo-Saxon and Celtic languages: The Anglo -Saxons were

eventually dominant over much of England and there are few traces left of
Celtic in Old English; some rivers, town names, and geographical features.
b. The transition from Anglo-Saxon to OE: Many related Germanic
dialects; by 650 -700 AD, these dialects are becoming more removed from
continental Germanic dialects. The transition to OE as a distinct language
was assisted by christian conversion and recognition by Rome in 597, by
Celtic christian missionaries writing in English from 600 -800, by united
kingdoms centralizing the language from 650 AD, by English writing
appearing after 650 AD. After 850, the Wessex kings promoted education and
English literacy.

c. The sounds of OE: The Pronunciation of Old English.

1. Old English had 7 long and short vowels [a, e ,i, o,

u, y, e]. Only the [y] is lost (high front rounded vowel).
See chart on page 108 for pronunciation --pretty close to
present day English, except that t he British English has introduced more
diphthongs since then. In some ways the Old English pronunciation was
closer to American English than British English today.

2. There were four Old English diphthongs: [ea, eo, io,

ie], and they could all be eithe r long or short forms.

3. In Old English, there were long consonants, written out

with doubled consonant letters (different from modern doubled consonant
indicators). Most consonants are the same in Old English as in modern
English. Some differences are the [ks] and [hs] forms; [f] stood for both
[f] and [v]. For example
wulf - wulfas, seofon - seven, [s] stood for both [s] and
For example nosu - nose; [th], as 0, stood for both
voiceless and voiced forms. The transition from Old English modern English
separated the two sounds into two separate phonemes from each Old English
phoneme: [f], [s], [th]. (109 -110)

4. Other consonant differences in Old English: [k] was

typically written as 'c'; the fronted version, before a front vowel,
eventually became a [ch] sound. A good example is kin and chin as part of
the process of creating two phonemes from [k] by the end of Old English.
The [i] vs. [y] distinction became lost but the 'k' consonant pronunciation
stayed: and the only remaining difference was [ch] vs. [k], so an allophone
difference became a phoneme difference (page 110 -111).
Further, the [k] (written ' c'), when followed by [s],
created the [sh] phoneme by end of OE; for example, scip - ship.

5. the [g] sound became two phonemes also: it initially

could be used for both [y] and [g] (gear - year; ges - geese). The [g]
lost its [y] use eventually, but it then was used for both [g] and [w].
The change occurred when [g] became fricative between vowels rather than
full stop (fugol - fowl, lagu - law)
(page 111).

6. finally we have changes with [n] (n vs. n], [h] [h vs.

x], and [r] (more pronounced). Note that when you read OE, every letter
should be pronounced! More on Wednesday. (112 -113)

7. i-umlaut, or front mutation: When suffix had front

vowel, the preceeding vowel of the stem became a front vowel to match
(vowel harmony). This change was commonly caused by plural endings, by
third person inflection on verbs, by some denominative (a deal, to deal)and
causative verb (broaden, widen) formation endings. This change is seen
with dole vs. deal, foot vs. feet, fox vs. vixen, etc.
[dal] vs [daelan] with [jan] suffix (weak vb form)
[musiz] vs. [mus] (mice vs mouse) (113 -115)

Other umlaut (mutation) changes in OE (MAJOR DIFF FROM

strong/strength, mouse/mice, full/fill, gold/gild,
long/length, foot/feet, goose/geese, bloo d/bleed, tooth/teeth, tale/tell,
man/men, food/feed, hale/heal, foul/filth, doom/deem , broad/spread,
slay/slew, (whole/heal), older/elder, louse/lice, knot/knit, : (not verb
gradation here).

For Wednesday, the following langauge areas:

d. The structur e of OE
e. The vocabulary of OE
f. The differences of OE from Germanic

The History at the Time of Old English (and before)

First contact between Celts and other groups. Caeser invades Britain in
both 55 and 54 BC. He conquered locally, he saw, and h e left. Next Roman
invasion was in 43 AD. Romans founded London around 50 AD. By 60 AD,
much of England was under Roman rule. In 61 AD, the great british uprising
of the Iceni and Trinovantes occurred, led by the great Celtic queen,
Boudicea. When her father died, the Roman centurions plundered the Iceni
kingdom, whipped Boudicea publicly, and raped her two daughters. In
revenge, the Iceni under Boudicea attacked and killed all the inhabitants
of Colchester, London, and St Albans,perhaps well over 100 ,000 people.
They also slaughtered one of the four Roman legions stationed in Britain.
Two legions later met the Iceni in the midlands in the decisive battle and
the Romans won. If the Romans had lost this battle,who knows what language
we would all be speaking now. But the Romans won, the Iceni were
slaughtered, and Boudacia comitted suicide. By 70 AD, England was a
controlled Roman province. By 85 AD, Romans had advanced far to the
north, and began controlling lowland Scotland.

The Romans ruled for almost 400 years (43 AD to 410 AD), and the government
asted until 449 AD. Roman rule was civilized and quality of life was among
the highest throughout the Roman empire. Schooling and christianity were
introduced and developed by 400 -449. After Rom an suport was withdrawn
after 410 AD, northern tribes penetrated into England. Celto -Romans asked
for help from Angles and Saxons.

The Germanic groups landed in England in 449 AD (though many were probably
in Britain before 449 as traders and mercenaries). Angles, Saxons, and
These three groups came from what is now northern Netherlands, Germany, and
Denmark. There may also have been Frisians. The Saxons went to
Northumbria and to Wessex; The Jutes went to Sussex/Kent and Wessex; the
Angles went to Anglia, Mercia, and Northumbria. In any case, the three
groups were quite similar to each other and they blended their cultur es and

For one hundred years (to 550 AD) there was a gradual penetration of
Germanic people into England, gradually displacing, ruling, and living with
the Celtic inhabitants. There was a long struggle with the Celto -Roman
population during th is time.
At the end of the 5th century, 490 -500ish AD, we have a Celto -Roman king
who stopped Germanic progress for 50 years, 500 to 550 AD. His name was a
version of Arthur, and he may be the historical version of the legendary
king. There does appea r to have been a series of 12 battles, ending with
the battle of Badon around 496 -500 AD. We actually know little about him.

After 550 AD the Anglo -Saxons spread continually so that by 600 AD, much of
England was under one of the Anglo -Saxon kingdoms. By 600 AD, christianity
also begins its spread beyond the British -Celtic populations. From 550 -600
AD, the East Anglia kingdom was dominant.

Battles continued between British (Celts) and Anglo -Saxon through 650 (and
lesser battles even up to 800 [Cornwa ll and Wales]). By 600 AD, the
kingdoms of Northumbria and Mercia gain in power, with dominance gained by
Northumbria by 650 AD. Since the Northumbrian king was christian, and
other kingdoms declared loyalty to Northumbria, much of the island was
under the rule of a single English king; this type of dominance by a single
English king continued through to about 830 AD.

By around 700 AD, the various settlements grouped clearly into seven
kingdoms: Northumbria, Mercia, East Anglia, Essex, Sussex, Kent, Wess ex.
Also by 700 AD events led to the rise of Mercia. From 730 to 820 AD,
Mercia takes primacy.
King Offa of Mercia (around 780 -820 AD) was considered a great king, was
well-known on the continent, and considered important by Charlemagne.

Around 790 , Viking raids begin, particularly in the Northeast, Northwest,

West (by Wales), and East. By 820, the Vikings raiders had eroded the
power of the northern and eastern kingdoms. These events gave rise to the
Wessex kingdom after 820 AD. Vikings come in large waves beginning in 860
and conquered all the English kingdoms except Wessex by 875 AD. The stage
is now set for Alfred the Great (847 -899 AD).

It should be noted that the increasing Viking dominance over the seas
around England probably cut off the Angles and Saxons from their
continental homeland.
The loss of sea power by the Angles, Saxons, and Frisians was most likely
due to the pressure from the Charlemagne and the Franks who broke the Saxon
power on the continent. This loosening of the link back to the continent
may have explained why English moved away from German and Dutch. Without
the Vikings, and maybe Charlemagne, we might all be Dutch speakers!
Certainly without the Norman invasion of 1066, we might also be Dutch
speakers (or Frisian) of a sort.

17, 1997

ENG 121: The Story of English: Old English

I. Background on England: Christianity Development; later events in

politics from
860 to 1066 (An amalgem of sources)

A. The rise of Christianity, writing, and education:

Christianity existed in Roman Britain. After it became the Roman religion

with the conversion of Constantine in 313 AD, it spread throughout the
Roman empire openly.
By 400 AD, many Brito ns were christian. Christian missionaries reached
Ireland before 400 AD and Ireland was very receptive. St Patrick arrived
as a Bishop to convert the Irish in 432. By his death in 461, he had
converted many Irish, and began the expansion of an Irish mon astic
christianity that later was well accepted in British
England/Wales/Scotland. The Irish monastic tradition also promoted
learning and writing. They wrote down many of the Irish sagas; they were
willing to write the local language; and they promoted education. By 500
AD, Ireland was a centre of monastic christianity that then spread back to
Britain, and later back to continental Western Europe.

By 450s, Picts in Scotland are nominally at least christian. By 500, so are

the Welsh and the Britons in Western England. In 563, St Columbia (521 -
597) went to Scotland and founded Iona monastery. This was center of
christian learning until Viking age. Aidan, King of Scottish Dalriada was
first christian king in Britain in 574. (Also the beginning of Scot tish
Gaelic independent from Ireland. In 842, all of Scotland united under
Dalriadan kings and ruled directly by them until 1285, and indirectly to
the present via the Stuart line.)

In 597, Roman emissary, Augustine, arrived in S. England, converted the

king of Kent, and set up Canterbury cathedral. He was sent to convert the
English (Angles)!
First recognition of a unified people!! Irish christians in north at time
have more influence over people. Roman Christians arrive in Northumbria in
York in 617 under Paulinus. Northumbrian kings look more to Irish for
guidance. In 635, Lindisfarne monastery was created, and later also
Jarrow. All three (with Iona)were great centers of learning and they wrote
in both Latin and English. Nominally,Roman christian ity took over in 664,
but its influence was not strong until the rise of Wessex in 825. (In 591,
Irish monks also began to go to continent to bring Irish christianity back
to mainland successfully.)

Overall, the christian conversion of the Anglo -Saxons from 600 on led to a
great flowering of learning, literacy, and arts in England from 600 -800.
It was far in advance of the continent for these centuries and was not a
dark ages by comparison.
This also fostered the rise of Old English.

B. History 82 0-1066 (this history is an amalgem of several sources)

At about the same time as the rise of West Saxon, the Viking raids began
about 793 with sack of Lindisfarne. Initially, they were raids for
plundering. From about 860 on, large armies of Vikings land ed with the
intent of conquering and settling England. By 875, the Vikings had
conquered all of England except Wessex. Alfred "the Great" was the only

A great Viking army invaded Wessex in 871 and were defeated at Ashdown by
king Ethelred and younger brother Alfred. Ethelred died in 871, and Afred,
at 24, became King of Wessex. Within a few years Danes again invaded
Wessex and won a number of battles, then left. After a brief truce from
874 to 877, The Danes invaded Wessex again, this time in tending permanent
control. In January 878, during feast of Twelfth Night, Danes attacked
Alfred's army by surprise and routed them at Wiltshire.

Viking attacks had reduced Alfred to a small marshy territory in the moors
on the Isle of Athelney with a f ew hundred men left --That was all that was
left of Anglo -Saxon English!
"If Alfred had given up and fled overseas like Burgred of
Mercia then not only England but the whole English -speaking world would not
exist today"
(Wood 1987:112).
Certainly if Alfred had given up, or been captured, we would most likely
all be Danish speakers now instead of English speakers!! To people of
Wessex, it looked like the war was over, the king a fugitive.

In 878, King Alfred managed to raise an army by early summer, through

loyalty of people and support from local nobles, and he defeated the Danes
at the Battle of Edington. Alfred and the Danes agreed to a truce, the
Danes retreated from Wessex, and in 886, England was divided into the
Anglo-Saxon and Danish kingdoms (the Danelaw). Alfred now became true King
of the English. In 886, Alfred also regained London.

Alfred was "the Great" because he organized the kingdom, raised taxes,
trained a strong army, promoted education, schools, and literacy, and
promoted the us e of English as a national language. He began the Anglo -
Saxon Chronicle. He also developed the tradition of common law! His
family line, beginning from the 820s, led to a continued line of kings of
England, ruling the whole of the country for the first time. The Vikings
(from Europe) returned for more battles beginning in 892 until 896. The
Danes were defeated and Alfred died in 899. His son Edward fought later
wars and expanded the kingdom north and by 918 controlled all of England.

Alfred's grandson , King Athelstan (from 924 -940), was the third great king
and the first king to unite all the former kingdoms of England in 928.
Edmund, Edred, Edwig, and Edgar were also strong kings to comntinue the
House of Wessex in strength until 973. Unfortunately, the next King, a
child named Ethelred the Unready (ill -counseled) reigning from 973 -1016,
lost the kingdom by the end.

A king from Northumbria, Canute, conquered the Anglo -Saxon, Ethelred "the
unready," and became the first "Danish" king from 1017 to 1 042 (and was
married to Emma of Normandy --A key event). In 1042, English councilors
invited the son of Ethelred to take the throne, so Edward III, The
Confessor, ruled until 1066. On his death, the throne was contested by
Harold II and William of Normand y (two relatives).

This covers, very briefly, the story of England during the time of Old
English,until the Norman conquest.

The West Saxon Literary Language: The control of South and West England,
and the later conquest of the North and East of England , made the West
Saxon variety of Old English, from Wessex, the prestige dialect,
particularly with the emphasis on education and literacy by Alfred and
following kings. It is also worth noting that the West Saxon form was not
the ancestor of Modern Englis h, which descended more directly from a later
Anglian dialect.

II. On to the Sound Changes in OE

A. One important change was the "front mutation" or "i -umlaut."

When there is an i, or j in a following syllable of a word, the preceding
vowel moves fr om a back vowel to a front vowel if it was a back vowel.

B. In different dialects, increasing forms of diphthongs were

C. These major OE sound changes occurred between 450 to 750 AD,
before the Danish Old Norse influence was felt.

III. Old E nglish Morphology

A. From Germanic, OE reduced cases to four: nominative, accusative,

genitive, and dative. The number of different declensions were reduced
also. In fact, nouns started to lose the case distinctions, and the
adjectives and definite article (se) were better at keeping the
distinctions (Barber 116). Gender and number systems remained strong
inflectional systems.

B. OE verb systems simplified from Germanic, but still had

inflectional suffixes for ten ses, person, and mood (indicative,
subjunctive, imperative) (Barber 117). There were fewer verb classes, and
weak verb class use increased.

C. Beginnings of new tense/auxiliary system, less reliant on the

inflectional suffix system (Barber 117 -118). Go over discussion of
passives on page 118.

IV. Old English Syntax

A. OE had freer word order than modern English because of the many
inflectional systems that were still in productive use. Common to see SOV,
VSO, and SVO orders (See Barber 119).

B. OE demonstrative/determiner system was diff from MOE; only two

basic forms, but many variations a cross gender, case, and number. Barber

V. Vocabulary of Old English

A. Most borowings from Latin and Danish, from few othr sources.
Quite a bit fr om early Latin. Overall, not a lot of borrowing.

B. A strength of English, even in OE, is the ability to form new

words through suffixes and prefixes.

C. OE also had the strength of forming new words with compounding,

much like Early Modern English (MO E).

VI. Specimens of Old English

A. Good example of the ways that the OE pronoun system worked

(Barber 123).

B. Good example of relative clause pronouns (Barber 124).

Sept 19, 1997

The Mother Tongue (5000 BC to 1500 AD)

I. The common source: Proto -Indo-European languages. 6000 to 4500 BC in

East Europe somewhere.

II. The Celts: migrated to west Europe by 3000 -2000 BC. See (Page 37)
for early settled areas. The Celts that remain are the Gaelic Irish, the
Welsh (1/2 million today), The Bretons, and the Gaelic Scots.

III. The Germanic tribes: Moved westward, southward, and further north
than the celtic migrations. They gradually took over Celtic lands on the
continent from the BC period on. In 449 (about), the Jutes, Angles,
Saxons, and maybe the Frisians, crossed in large numbers. But Anglo -Saxons
had been in English for at least the 50 years before, mostly as

IV. The Making of English: By 600, there were 7 well -established Anglo -
Saxon kingdoms: Northumbria, Mercia, East Anglia, Kent, Essex, Sussex,
By 1000, the country was known as Englaland. Anglo -Saxon Old
English contributes most of the most common words of MOE (pages 44 -45).
(See map on page 46).

V. The Word of God: The Spread of Christianity. Christianity began to

spread in England at 600 AD. They brought monastic literacy and
It brought hundreds of new words, and it changed the meanings of
many OE words. By 800, England was one of the highest cultures in Europe!

VI. The Viking Invasion: Raiding from 750 on. The Vikings raided lands
from all of Western Europe and in Russia all the way to the Black Sea.
They were probably more vicious and cruel as raiders than the book su ggests
(cf. page 51); they were major slavers. They also destroyed much of
established education and literacy wherever they settled.

Alfred defeated the danes and established peace with the Danes 886
(pages 52-53). He also promoted education, literacy, and the English
language.(see Danelaw map on page 50)

VII. Old English (54 -56): Dane influence helped reduce extensive
inflectional system. Danes (from 850 AD to 1050 AD) may have brought up to
1000 frequently used words to English.

VIII. The Norman Invasion: 1066, William the Conqueror, the Norman Duke
wanted to take the English throne as part of the inheritance from the
Wessex kings following Edward the Confessor, who died in 1066. Harold,
another relative, claimed the English throne on Edward's death. So the
Normans invaded. Harold, the loser, was the last English -speaking king for
300 years. For at least 100 years, all important positions in England were
dominated by French -speaking Normans. (key on pages 59 -60)

The Norman Kings w ere ignorant of English. The common English

people did not learn French --there were few opportunities for common people
to advance, so no reason to learn French. French was the language of the
court; Latin the language of religion and education; English the language
of the common people.
Why English survived: (pages 59 -60). There were few opportunities
for English speakers to advance socially or economically in the Norman
feudal society, so no reason for common people to learn French. The
French-speaking nobility did not interact wih the common people, so
they provided few incentives for common people to learn French. If the
situation had been different, we would all be French speakers now!!

IX. The Comeback of English: 1200 -1250 English regai ned strength.
Normans separated from France. More records being kept in English,
literacy training expanded in English, more manuscripts written in English.
By 1300, the Kings of England were developing allegiance to England and to
English. After 1300 , many upper class people learned French in classes
rather than naturally in the home. The French language spoken natively
in England was archaic and no longer valued, sounding like hillbillies
compared with continental French.

X. The 100 Year's War: 1337-1454. The long war against France led to
the supremacy of English. In 1356, court proceedings in London were
recorded in English. In 1362, Parliament was opened in English. In 1381,
King Richard II addressed peasants in English. From then o n, by 1400,
English became the language of the kings of England. (1429 -31, time of Joan
of Arc).

XI. Middle English: 1150 -1500 AD. Many changes in English in speech in
late OE appeared in writing in ME. Rise of East Midlands dialect occurred
with new centers of learning (Oxford, London, Cambridge). Dominant English
language figures: Chaucer (1340 -1400) and Caxton (1421 -1491) influenced
late Middle English.

Sept 24, 1997

Sept 26, 1997

ENG 199: The Story of English

The Norsemen and the Normans (Barber, Chapter 6: 127 -150)

I. The Vikings in England:

Part of the reason the Vikings got so active by 800 is that the Frisians
(and Anglo -Saxons), who were rulers of the north seas before 8 00, were
defeated by Charlemagne (the great French leader/king at that time). We
know the Viking history in England even better than Barber describes in the
first part of this chapter. We even know that the key battle won by Alfred
the great was not Chip penham, but Abingdon (Barber, pg 128).

In the north of England the Viking influence is extensive. Many northern

British dialects still have Viking derived words not even used in the
southern dialects or in the London standard. Town names reveal also
extensive Viking influence (pages 128 -130).

Many Scandinavian words in English are recognizable today. A good example

is the [ch] vs. [k] sounds:
ditch (OE) dike (Scan)
church (OE) kirk (Scan)
shirt (OE) skirt (Scan)
shrub (OE) Scrub (Scan)

Many other basic words in English came from Old Norse rather than Old
take, nay, loose, anger, cast, die, ill, dwell, bread, leg, neck,
dirt, knife, odd, ugly, call, drag, give, raise, smile, etc.
Most words were taken into English in the late OE period; in the early and
mid OE period, the contacts between Anglo -Saxons and Vikings were less
peaceful and there was less intermingling.

While, overall, the number of borrowings from Scandinavian were small, they
were extremely important because they w ere words that we use frequently in

II. The Norman Conquest

In Norman invasion in 1066 was not a sudden invasion by a group of

The Normans were in close contact with the English royalty, and the last
King before William was Edward the Confessor, who was half Norman himself!

Some background on the Normans. They were originally Vikings themselves!

They invaded northwest France, liked what they saw, and stayed (around 892
Besides raiding the interior of France from tim e to time, they adopted the
Frenchlanguage quickly and became a major force in the evolving fortunes of
the early French kings. In around 911 (Treaty of St -Clair-sur-Epte), the
Normans pledged loyalty to the French kings in return for being given
"sacred rights" to the ands of northwest France and be legitimized as
French royalty. The duchy of Normandy expanded in pieces over the next 100
years, and it was the strongest regional government in France by the mid -
11th century. By around 1000, the Normans no l onger were Danish speakers,
but had absorbed the Frankish (romance)language and its customs.

The Normans represented the height of the feudal society. All power
centered on the Duke, who handed out land and favors to local royalty in
return for their lo yalty in raising armies, committing their knights, and
taxing the people. It was a combined warrior class (and the age of
chivalry) and church society, and it was a well -run society. They
supported the church and built great cathedrals;they built the lar ge
castles; and they developed the early French rule of law.

As part of French royalty, they also encouraged intermarriage among royal

families to strengthen alliances. That's how Ethelred "the unready"
(remember him) ended up married to Emma, daughter o f Duke Richard of
Normandy and mother of Edward the confessor. So the Dukes of Normandy had
a direct connection to the royal Edwardian line. And Edward the confessor
(1042-1066) was William's uncle!!

However, when Edward the confessor died, Harold of the Godwin clan claimed
the throne (He was the brother -in-law of Edward the confessor). The Godwin
clan was actually a very powerful Wessex royal family which had also risen
to power in a number of the other English kingdoms at that time. So Harold
felt he had a legitimate claim.

Edward the Confessor, however, had already promised the line of succession
to William because of the Norman connection. And Harold himself in 1064,
just two years before the succession, pledge an oath of loyalty to William.
So in 1066, when Harold claimed the throne, William invaded to reclaim the
throne for the Normans. In 1066, at the battle of Hastings (the most
famous battle on English soil), William defeated Harold and English kings
were French speakers for the next 200 years!
William is an interesting story in himself. Born an illegitimate son of
Robert, Duke of Normandy, in 1027, he became Duke in 1034 at the age of
seven. At 20, in 1047, he was almost killed in a conspiracy but saved by
the protection of the King of France. Along with the King, he defeated his
enemies and secured his position. He ruled strongly until his death.

After the Battle of Hastings (in 1066), William Slowly marched on London.
By the time he arrived, the people of London invited him to take over.
They actually were tired of sucession fights and poor centralized rule, and
they were happy to be ruled by a strong king. By 1070, England was fully
in Norman control. William Died on 1087, and William II took over until he
died in 1100.

Norman history is also complicated by the first Crusade, led by Norman

They conquered Jerusalem in 1099 and played an important role in the
crusades for the next 100 years.

Then Henry I, a great king (1100 -1135), ascended and fought all comers to
legitimize his hold on England. by 1106, he was in control in England and
a good part of France. In 1154, Henry II (154 -1189), a second great king,
along with Eleanor of Aquitaine (of French nobility), ruled England and
more than 1/2 of France. This is als o a great love story!!

Richard I (the Lionhearted ruled from 1189 -1199), follwed by King John
(1199-1216). Henry III, another great king, ruled fro m (1216-1272). Then
we get the three Edwards: Edward the I (1272 -1307), Edward II (1307 -1327),
and Edwar d III (1327-1377). This ends the Norman (and Plantagenet

Throughout the Norman era, French dominated the courts, the royal offices,
education (with Latin), and the higher levels of commerce. For the three
centuries of Norman rule, almost until 1400 (l ate Middle English), no
English variety was recognized as a standard norm.

III. Middle English Dialects (see map on page 137 of Barber).

Many differences among the five main Middle English dialects (pages 138 -
On page 139, we see tha t Modern English evolved from only one of the
many possible dialects (see East Midlands example on page 140). Of course,
with Normans, the West Saxon dialect lost its earlier power as the literary
English dialect.

IV. French vs. English

1200s saw the gradual movement away from French. The 1204 date represented
a time that no English Norman could keep lands in both England and France
(because King John lost control of Normandy). In 1215, the Magna Carta
took some power away from the king and spread it more locally; this might
have made English more functional for official uses away from the central

Gradually those Normans who stayed in England began to identify with the
By the 1300s, English was on the rise. The late 1300s saw the rise of
Chaucer and the king's opening speech to parliament given in English
(1362). At this time, school education also shifted to English. Finally,
by 1400 (1399, Henry IV), England had a king whose native language was

V. The New Standar d English

The new standard that emerged by 1400 was the East Midlands dialect. This
reflected the importance of Cambridge University, the preferred dialect in
London, and the economic power of the East Midlands region. By the 1400s,
the London dialect grew in prestige, and the introduction of the printing
press before 1500 stabilized this dialect as the standard. As the book
says (Barber 145), by 1500 (the end of Middle English), written English was
pretty standardized to the East Midlands/London var iety, and it was being
used (often along with other local dialects) for writing throughout

At this time Scots English also became a literary standard for the north of
England and for Scotland. The Stuart kings of Scotland were strong, and
Scots also prospered as an independent dialect of English.

VI. French Loan -Words in Middle English

The impact of French loan words was the greatest near the end of the ME
period when French itself was on the decline. Good examples of the many
words borrowed are given on pages 1 46-149! This borrowing occurre d
because, as English became used for many new purposes, it needed new words
that weren't in early Middle English --so they were borrowed many many words
from French.

Sept 29, 1997

Oct 1, 1997

ENG 121: The Story of English: Middle English (Barber, Chap 7)

II. New Spelling Conventions:

New letters were introduced in the ME period [g, v, z, th]. The

chart on page 152 of Barber gives a good inventory of these changes.

III. Changes in Pronunciation:

A major change that is obvious in modern English is the merging of

[ae] and [e, eo], spelled as e in both cases in early ME, They later
again took on two distinct spellings and sounds, as 'ea' and 'ee' in later
ME. Later, in MoE, their sounds merged again, but with two spelling,
reflecting earlier sound differences.
For example: sea, see
meat, meet
leak leek
real reel
Other changes included: disappearance of OE [ae], loss of OE
diphthongs, development of new ME diphthongs, and weakening of vowels in
unstressed syllables (including inflectional suffixes).

IV. Late OE and Early ME Vowel -Lengthening

Vowels lengt hened when right before consonant clusters such as [ -

ld, -mb, -nd]. For example: old, cold, field, child, ground, etc. (see
page 154)

Vowels lengthened on open syllables (see page 155).

baken - bake
stelan - steal

Sometimes both short and l ong forms of vowels remained in the

language, leading to two different, but related, words: staff, stave.

V. Middle English Morphology

ME was a period of great inflectional simplification and reduction.

The mixing of ME with Old Norse, the pressu re for "ease of communication,"
and the de -stressing of final syllables all contributed. As a result the
declensions on adjectives and the definite articles were reduced.

Noun declensions just about disappeared (whew)! (See page 158 for
notes on a few relics that are left over in modern English.)

Plurals for the most part simplified to /s/. Nouns cases

simplified by the end of ME to few case markings on full nouns (still
leftovers on pronouns). The case agreement marking on adjectives also
basically disappeared. The article system looked like English today by the
end of the ME period.

VI. Middle English Syntax

Word order became more important. SVO becomes established as the

basic order. Prepositions become important to mark case relatio ns for
nouns such as dative (to), benefactive (for), instrumental(with).
(May need to describe what prepositions are here)

VII. The Middle English Verb System

Creation of auxiliary system to express tense, modality, aspect.

Creation of moda l verbs (can, must will, may, etc.).
Greater use of helping verbs (have, be). Increasing use of
passive 'be' marking with auxiliary.
September 29, 1997

ENG 121: Changes in English From OE to ME: Notes to accompany September 29


I. Changes in Spelling

1. New letter "g" for stop sound

2. New letter "j" for [j] sound
3. New letter "v"
4. New digraph "th" used extensively
5. New digraph "ch" for [c] sound

II. Changes in Pronunciation

1. OE [y] disappears, commonly moves to [i] sound

2. OE [ae] -- [e] Pronounced then as [ :]

3. OE [e/eo] -- [e] Pronounced as [ :]

4. OE [a] and [o] were spelled same in ME, re -separated in MO with

"oa" and "oo" spelling respectively (goat, goose).

5. OE [ae] -- [a]

6. OE dip hthongs to pure vowels

7. New diphthongs arise in combination with semivowels ("w," new"


8. Vowel weakening in unstressed syllables, usually to [ ].

*9. Vowel lengthening:

a. Short V to Long V before "ld" consonant clusters: child,

wild, field
Didn't happen with 3 -consonant clusters (children);
this is why we have different pronunciations for 'child' and 'children'
b. (In ME itself) Short V to Long V in Open syllables of 2 -
syllable words baken -- ba:ken; but not in 'thanken', not open sy llable!
and not in 'cradeles', plural of 'cradel', since it was now 3-syllable
word when made into the plural! "cradel' (singular) did lengthen, and in
MoE it made the plural to become lengthened also.
c. Key vowels were short [a, o, e].
-[a] became [a:] as in ba:ken
-[o] became [ :] sound; now two [ :] sounds in ME.
why we have 'boat/throat' and 'hope/home'
with same pronunciation now!
-[e] (from OE [ae]) became [ :]; now two [ :] sounds
in ME.
why we have 'sea/lead' (sae/laedan) versu s
'meat/steal' (mete/stelan) merging in MoE, but were different in OE.
d. Sometimes both long V and Short V forms were kept. So we
have 'staff' and 'stave'. 'staff was one -syllable word (stayed short);
'stave' was two -syllable word. (lengthened).
10. In ME, loss of final syllables (weakening)

a. MoE 'bake' - ME [baken - ba:ken - ba:ke - ba:k - ba:k ].

The 'e' was kept in the spelling. This procedure led to MoE silent 'e'
So by end of ME, the silent 'e' helped to indicate
words where the vowel had lengthened.
b. In MoE, we added this rule to many more words (home,
stone - OE: [ham],[stan])!
c. This change also led to a MoE rule of spelling to double
a consonant that needs to be pronounced as a short vowel ('copper').

III. Changes in Morphology

1. The inflectional systems were being destroyed because of

weakening of final syllable pronunciation on words (ease of communication),
and by L2 speakers of English.

a. [a, u, e] -- [e]
b. [an, on, un, um] -- [en] -- [e]
c. [as, es] -- [es]
d. [ath, eth] -- [eth] -- [e]
e. Then, for many words, [e] -- [o]!

2. The case system for nouns is greatly reduced (no one could hear
the differences anymore). Went from four cases to two
(Nominative/accusative/dative versus genitive). Plura l takes one additional
form for most words.

3. Two plurals (from many) develop: [en] in South, [es] in North.

[es] wins by EmoE!
Some [en] plurals can be found in Shakespeare's plays! We
still have a few [en] plurals: children, oxen, brethren.
Other noun declensions still seen in English: 1) feet,
geese; 2) deer, sheep.

4. Loss of case endings also with adjectives and determiners (loss

of endings).
-Adjectives just take a single form.
-Determiners reduce to the, a, this/that.

5. Loss of gram matical gender in ME (same problem of loss of


IV. Changes in syntax

1. Loss of SOV word order. Mostly SVO with some VSO ordering.
2. Rise of, and increasing use of, prepositions.
3. Rise of auxiliary system: Helping verbs 'be', 'have', 'do', and
modals (will,must, can, may, should, shall, could, would, might ).
4. Use of 'have' expands for perfect tense, end use of 'be' for
this purpose.
5. Beginning of use of continuous tenses (I am going today).. This
only starts in late ME.
6. Only after 1700 can perfect and progressive tenses be combined
in all the complications we use today!
Oct 3,

ENG 121: The Story of English: A Little History and SOE: The Muse of Fire,
Chapter 3

II. Some Brief and Entertaining History from 1350 to 1600

We left off the discussion of the Norman conquest at about 1377,

with the end of Edward the III. Historically a lot happens between 1350
and 1550, the time of the SOE, Muse of Fire. And some of this history
affects the story of Engli sh as well.

In the mid 1300s, we get the Black death, as the plague sweeps
across England, and later Scotland and Ireland. The mid -1300s also brings
on the beginning of the 100 years war between England and France; or
really, the Anglo -Norman Kingdom and the Kingdom of the King of France
(1337-1453). Begun by Edward the III, the 100 years war was an on and off
affair on the soil of France. Since the English king usually controlled
more land in France than did the French King, this was not strictly
speaking a war between England and France.

The long war, had a number of consequences for English, however.

First, the war led to a strong patriotism of things English in England,
even while still being ruled by the last of the Normans. After Edward I II
died, the House of Lancaster eventually gained control of the Kingdom under
Henry the IV, Henry the V, and Henry the VI (1399 -1461).
Henry the IV was the first English -speaking king and he
addressed the Parliament in English. Henry V, by 1420, had a large part of
France under his control. Unfortunately, Joan of Arc came along in 1429 -
1430, and Henry VI was a rather weak king. So the French eventually took
back all the lands of France by 1450. In 1461, the House of York took over
the monarchy brie fly until 1485.

Also with the Lancaster kings, the parliament changed to include

many more people of wealth and influence, beyond the closer royal councils
and families. The Kings, beginning especially with Edward III, had to
finance their wars in Fr ance; they sold lands and honors to people to
raise money and troops. Eventually, by the mid 1400s, there were many
royal families who had bought into the higher levels of influence. These
people, tired of supporting wars, gained more "parliamentary" in fluence.

The period between 1400 -1500 saw the rise of English as the
standard language of royalty, government, church, and education. By 1500,
many people could read and write, though the overall percentage may not
have been more than 20 -30 percent ac ross England. Printing presses began
around 1476, and by 1500, many books and pamphlets were being published in
multiple copies. Book sales and book ownership were no longer under the
sole control of royalty or the church.

In 1475, the House of Tudor claimed the throne under Henry the VII.
The House of Tudor was to continue until 1603. Henry the VII, Henry the
VIII, and Elizabeth the I were the major figures of this age. Henry the
VII began the slow decline of Eng land's wealth and stability by indulging
in many wasteful enterprises, only to be surpassed by Henry the VIII.
Below are some of the key issues associated of Henry the VIII:
1. Six wives, creating some problems with future
Kings and Queens: Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne
of Cleves, Catherine Howard, and Catherine Parr.
2. The Divorce of Catherine of Aragon, led to the
break with catholicism, the English Reformation, and the destruction of the
entire monastery system. This also eventually led to a major loss of

3. The rise of Renaissance ideas in England, leading

to liberal ideas about freedom, which then caused tro uble for the monarchy.

4. A very heavy increase in selling favors/royal

lands to raise money, later draining king of further resources.

5. More desires of conquest: Scotland, Ireland, and


6. The end of Catholicism also led to the eventual

rise of Protestant refo rmists, the Puritans and others, who were quite
strong by 1600.

Henry died in 1547 and Elizabeth took over in 1558, after brief
rules by Edward VI and Mary I, ruling until 1603. She executed Mary, Queen
of Scots (who would have been Mary II), a potent ial competitor for the
throne, in 1587 after holding her prisoner for almost twenty years (from
1568); this ensured the rise of James VI (then king of Scotland --and son of
Mary, Queen of Scots), who was promised the English throne since Elizabeth
had no heirs. It also led to war with Spain and the Spanish Armada of
1588, which was defeated by bad luck, wild storms, and English seamanship.
By now, the Tudor government was in shambles, and Elizabeth did little to
improve financial matters or country stabil ity in her years. So by 1603,
England was a financial and political basket case. But enough of

October 6,

ENG 121: Changes in English from Middle English (ME) to Early Modern
English (EmoE).
Notes to accompany October 6 l ecture.

I. Changes in Vocabulary

1. Major influx of Latin words due to Renaissance and Reformation

impact on England.
2. Heaviest period of loan -word borrowings: 1580 -1660. As English
literacy spread to new domains, it needed new words; since these domains
were previously handled in Latin, Latin was the best source for new words
in these domains: science, math, law, arts, logic, theology. Rise
in literacy and rise in schooling also contributed to mixing with Latin.
3. Rise of "Inkhorn Terms": Ma ny writers of English borrowed many
fancy words from Latin to sound more educated, even when there were
equivalent words in English (same as what happened centuries earlier with
4. Many words were "remodelled." Words gained new letters because
people thought the words were from a Latin origin even when they weren't.
So they added letters to look more like a Latin origin to
the word!
avantage -- advantage, dette -- debt.
5. English borrowed many words from French, Spanish, Portuguese,
and Dutch.
6. Word-Formation practices greatly expanded, we made many new
words from existing words:

a. Affixation: Use of suffixes and prefixes to make many

new words:
comfort -- comfortable -- comfortably --
ADJ to Noun: happy -- happiness
Verb to Noun: wander -- wanderer
Noun to Verb: itemize, customize
b. Compounding: Combine words to make new words:
waterdock, freshman, cheeseburger, handmade
c. Conversion: Just use a noun like a verb or a verb like a
N to V: to bayonet, to gossip, to invoice
V to N: an invite, a laugh

II. Changes in Morphology

1. Many inflectional uses disappear by 1600 (but not completely --

Shakespeare mixes some older inflectional uses with more modern uses.
2. EMoE still uses su bjunctive extensively, but Modal verbs become
an option for subjunctive.
3. Adjective forms become modern (no inflections)
4. Determiners become modern (modern forms, no inflections)
5. "You" becomes standard form (though 'thou' is still around today
in a few English dialects).

III. Changes in Syntax

1. Who, which, that become modern forms for relative pronouns and
questions words. 'Which' is still used in relative clauses to refer
to people.
Modern uses of these relative pronouns does not happen
until after 1700 --Modern English.
2. SVO ordering strengthens; still some VSO ordering, but more
3. Preposition use increases.
4. Verb auxiliary system increases in use.
a. Increasing u se of 'have' for perfect tense, almost
modern by 1700.
b. Increasing uses for modal verbs
c. Beginning of progressive tenses, not in place fully
until after 1700.
d. Increasing use of dummy "do" auxiliary.
5. Emergence of third -person singular 's'.
6. The growing dominance of the 's' plural.

IV. Changes in Pronunciation

1. The biggest change in EMoE pronunciation was with the "Great

Vowel Shift."
This shift lasted approximately from 1450 to 1675 (tough
some say it is still continuing in s ome dialects). Figure 11 on 192 gives
a good description of the GVS. The long high vowels become diphthongs.
The long mid vowels become long high vowels, and the long
low vowels become long mid vowels. The low [a] sound later emerged from
the [a ] diphthong.

The case of [ee], [ea], and [a] is an interesting story

that you should pay attention to (192 -193). It explains the matching of
spellings such as 'see' and 'sea', 'steel' and 'steal', but also the
differences between 'steal' and 'steak', an d 'beak' and 'break'.

2. In other cases, vowels moved from long to short in length, even

though they often retained their long -vowel spelling )bread. sweat,
In particular, the time of change from long to short vowel
explains why certain 'oo' spellings have two different pronunciations.
Earlier changes in such words were pronounced as [ ] (e.g.,
blood, flood); other words changed later and became pronounced as [ ]
(e.g., look, foot, book).

3. There were relatively few changes with shor t vowels from EMoE to

4. Two new consonants were created during this period; they were
allophones but now became separate phonemes: [n] and [z] (sing, judge).

5. Some consonant sounds were also lost: e.g., [kn], [wr], [x], as
in knee, write, night, respectively.

6. Table 8.1 gives a good set of examples of changes from EMoE to


7. In unstressed syllables, vowels usually developed weak forms,

typically [ ] (schwa).

ENG 121: Early Modern English: Sound Changes

October 8, 1997

I. The biggest change from EMoE to contemporary English (CE) is in the

vowel system, and particularly because of the great vowel shift. This
shift last approximately from 1450 to 1675. Figure 11 on page 192 is a
good description of the great vowel shift. The l ong high vowels became
diphthongs. The long mid vowels rose to become high vowels, and the low
vowels rose to become mid vowels. Low [a] sound later emerged from the [a
] diphthong.

The case of [ee], [ea], and [a] is an interesting story that you
should pay attention to (192 -193). It explains the matching of spellings
such as see and sea, steel and steal, but also the differences between
steal and steak, and beak and break.

Many ME diphthongs became pure vowels during the great vowel shift

II. In some cases, vowels moved from long to short in length, and they
often retained their long vowel spelling: bread, sweat, breath. The time
of change from long to short vowel also explains why certain 'oo' spellings
have two different pronunciati ons. Earlier changes in such words were
pronounced as [ ]; e.g., blood, flood. Other words changed later and
became pronounced as [ ]; e.g., look, foot, book.

III. There were relatively few changes with short vowels from EMoE to CE.

IV. Two new co nsonants were created during this period; they were
allophones but now they became independent phonemes: [n] and [ ].

V. Some consonants were also lost; e.g., [kn], [wr], [x], as in knee,
write, night, respectively.

VI. Table 8.1 gives good examples of changes made from Me through to CE.

VII. Strong and Weak Forms: In unstressed syllables, vowels developed weak
forms, typically [ ]. A number of syllable vowels also later restressed.

October 8,

ENG 121: The Story of English - The Great Vowel Shift, and Other Mysteries:
Notes to accompany October 8 lecture.

I. The Basic Changes

1. i and u become diphthongs (bite and house).

2. o (pronounced [ o: ]) becomes u: (food, goose, lose, loose)

3. o (pronounced [ ]) becomes o: (boat, alone, dome, goat, road)

(spelling 'o' or 'oa')

4. e (pronounced [ e: ) becomes i: (green, field, yield, deed,

meet, reed, see)
Note: spelling indicated this sound ('ee', 'ie')

5. e (pronounced [ : ] be comes e: (conceive, complete, meat, read,

Note: this sound was the OE [ae: ]
Note: spelling indicated this sound ('ea', 'e', 'ei')

6. a became ae became [ : ] became [e: ] (Bake, take, dame, mate)

Note: spelling indicated this sound (a)

7. Upper class shift: [e: ] of (5) shift up to [i: ]. Most words in

(5) merged with (4), for social reasons

8. Some words in (5) resisted this shift and are like (6) in sound
great, break, steak)! ([e: ])
Note: We now have an 'ea' spelling for two di fferent
(streak, steak)

II. ME Diphthongs to Pure Long Vowels

9. au (as in cause, law) went to [ : ], then moved to [ : ] by end
of GVS

10. ai (as in mail, day) went to [ : ], then merged with the [a: ]
shift to [ :], then both went to [e: ] in GVS. So we have the same
pronunciation for maid and made, coming from two different sources.

11. u (as in soul, know), wne to [ : ], then went to [o: ] in GVS (like (

12. iu ([iu]) become [ju: ], then becomes [u: ] (ewe, new, use,
rude, June) (Spelling patterns of 'ew', 'u')

III. Some long vowels became short vowels (mostly 'e' and 'o')

IV. Most short vowels have not changed in any major way since early ME.

10, 1997

ENG 121: The Story of English: SOE: The Muse of Fire, Chapter 3

The Story of English - The Muse of Fire

This chapter tells the story of an eventful 70 years between 1555 and 1625.
During this time, Queen Elizabeth 1 ruled Engl and for 45 years and
England began it period of great empire. James the First of England (and
James the 6th of Scotland as well) combined England and Scotland into Great
Britain; he commissioned the King James bible; and Shakespeare was to write
all his pl ays.

This was also the period of transition to Modern English. From 1550 (or
1500) to 1700 is commonly known as the Early Modern English period. This
period is typically discussed as distinct from English after 1700 because
so much happened in this earl y period; relatively less happened from 1700
to the present.

The story of English, The Muse of Fire, focuses on the developments from
1550 to 1625. The story continues from 1625 to 1700 for early MoE, but
some of this is covered in Barber's chapter 8 o n early MoE.

A. The New World of English Words

A major change in English was the rapid growth of books in

English between 1500 -1640. By 1600, 1/2 of the urban population was
minimally literate. This era of the renaissance in Europe also brought
about increased learning and the rise of science. The era also saw the
rapid increase of English words in the language. The scientific revolution
and the rise of learning brought thousands of words into English from other
B. Englishe Ma tter in the Englische Tongue.

Henry the 8th and Elizabeth the 1st transformed England into a
major power of Europe. English rose in prominence along with this
transformation. There was a new pride in English. The language underwent
many innovative uses of words, new words were being created quickly. Some
faded away, but many took hold.

C. The Brave New World

Sir Walter Raleigh spread English power across the seas, and the
defeat of the Spanish armada in 1588 made England the leading sea power.
England also began to colonize the new world seriously from
1585, and from 1607, permanently with Jamestown.

D. The Bard of Avon

Shakespeare (1 564-1616) wrote at a time when writers were free to

experiment with the language and he was by far the best, not only at
writing, but also at inventing with the language. Of course, Shakespeare
himself is a bit of a mystery to us. We know very little of his life, and
there is always some controversy as to whether one man wrote all that is
attributed to him, or if some other person was really the author.

Note that the comment on Shakespeare's vocabulary on page 85 is

of limited value. There is little doubt that he must have had a large
vocabulary, and he invented a fair amount of it! But we don't really know
how many words he might have known.

E. The First Americans

From 1607 on, English was established in the new world. Many
dialects alo ng the Eastern seaboard of the U.S. reflect the English of
these early colonists.

F. The Authorized Version

Just eight years after uniting England and Scotland, King James
had his authorized version of the bible in English released in 1611. This
bible has been a landmark of the English language ever since. Note that
the King James version was NOT the first English bible: This bible follows
many earlier English version from 1535 on.

G. East Anglia and the Puritans

The Puritan movement in England led to revolution in England and

the migration of Pilgrims to the U.S. From 1620 on, religious pilgrims
settled in New England. The East Anglia version of the majority of
pilgrims, mixed with other regional dialects, l ed to the American English
of New England. In 1621, Indians visited the Pilgrims speaking a pidgin
English, probably from traders along the coast.
English also borrowed from the Indian languages that it
came into contact with.
H. New Words, New P hrases

I. The Sound of American English

J. Dagoes, Cajuns, and Yankees

By 1649, there were up to 250,000 residents in the U.S. (but this

seems too high to me). Beginning in 1683, there were also many German
immigrants as well as the Englis h settlers. The mid -Atlantic states had
many Scots and Iirish settlers, particularly Pennsylvania and South

October 15,

ENG 121: English in the Scientific Age (Part II) (Barber 219 -233)

I. The Expansion of the General Vocabul ary:

1. Many new words: business, politics, education, arts...

2. Many borrowings from distant countries because of explorations,
of empire (Austr., U.S., India).
3. Many words created by:
a. affixation (ize, ity, al, ism, ness, ly, tion, able),
b. compounding (black board, water spout, green house,
pilot light),
c. conversion (to convert, to bus, to truck, to surmise, to
to carpet) (220 -223).
4. Many minor ways to create new words:
a. Shortening (N - N): photo, math, gym, lab, pub, taxi.
b. Blending: brunch, smog, motel.
c. Names to common nouns: sandwich, pasteurize.
d. Back-formation: to beg, to enthuse, to televise.
e. Elevate diale ct words and slang: flange, trolley, bard,
wangle, gadget, scrounge, flimsy.
5. Oxford English Dictionary: COMMENT: 1989 version contains over
290,000 headwords, plus many derived words and compound forms --and this,
without any technical words.

II. The Loss of Words:

All through English language history words have also died out,
though many fewer than have been added. Words may no longer be needed
(scrivener), or the pronunciation merges and one meaning leaves (queen
meaning harlot), or some wo rds become too shortened by changes in the
language ("ea" for river), or they go out of fashion (French loan 'cete'
for 'whale').

III. Changes of Meaning:

1. New meanings come from metaphorical extension (horn =musical

instrument; originally only f or animals; 228).
2. Changed meanings often evolved out of metaphorical extension
(bead as prayer then to objects to assist prayer) (villain originally meant
peasant, then scoundrel; also boor and churl).
3. Sometimes words move from positive to negative (was positive:
artificial,curious, lewd) or negative to positive (was negative: precise,
shrewd, sophisticated).
4. Sometimes new meanings emerge because one word is confused with
another word (fast as fi rmly fixed, Obnoxious confused with noxious).
5. Sometimes meanings narrow (starve = die), and sometimes they
expand (gambit, in chess only, meat=all food, hound=all dogs, ghost=only
holy spirit).
6. Euphemisms are needed and they create new words.
7. A need to exaggerate creates new word meanings.

IV. Public School English:

In the last 300 years, there has been a tendency of upper classes
in England to use a similar dialect (literate Southeastern standard). From
1800 on, the variety was empha sized in "public schools", the upper private
schools of England. By mid 1800, led to "Received Pronunciation": Upper
class speech. Moving out of favor in England in last 50 years.

14, 1997

ENG 121: The Echoes of an English Voi ce, SOE, Chapter 8:

The Echoes of an English voice.

I. Emigration from Great Britain

Seven Million British emigrants from 1815 to 1861 spread English to

many English colonies around the world, particularly to the U.S., Canada,
Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. This chapter covers to
migrations to Australia, NZ, and S. Africa. It begins with the language of
the common London speaker.

II. The London Language: Cockney

Originally the language of all Londoners exce pt the court. Then

the language of common lower class workers mixing with rural people coming
to London. The mix increased as many international immigrants added
innovations to Cockney. It was also associated with particular parts of
London for a long t ime, though after WW II, it became more the language of
any lower class person London.

III. The Landscape of Discovery

Australia was claimed by the British in 1770. Within ten years the
Aborigines were speaking a Pidgin English (that is still use d by Aborigines
as Creole English). Now most Aboriginal languages are extinct or near

A. The Flash Language: The first Australians

The first Australian were primarily convicts sent from

England to be in exile. 40 -50 years after the first ships, Australian
British were 87% related to convicts. The language of the criminals of
that time was called the Flash Language. Australian English also preserves
18th and 19th English from all parts of the UK. Australian English still
mixes fre ely and borrows freely, often combining preferences for both
British and American words, depending on the word and the person. Cockney
was perhaps the major influence on Australian English, however, because of
the people transported and the needy lower c lass people to go elsewhere for
an opportunity. Australian English is basically uniform because of the
immigration history.

B. The Australian Twang

It is possible to talk about three levels of Australian

English: Broad Australian, General Austra lian, and Cultivated Australian.
These distinctions are not always readily apparent.
Australians are also insecure about their variety of English. After WW II,
English gained in recognition around the world as another
standard variety o f English. Since WW II, immigrants have increasingly
moved to Australia. It now has major immigrant communities the speak
almost all major european languages, many Asian languages, and many
Pacific Islander languages. Sydney: one of largest Greek -speaking cities
in world.

IV: A Carefully Modulated Murmur: New Zealand

NZ is related to Australian English the way Canadian English is

related to US English There are some differences with NZ English. NZ not
colonized until 1840. Before that it was a whaling station and the home of
the Maoris. Besides the Australian and Co ckney influences, NZ English is
influenced by Scots English: Many settlers were Scots. The native
Maori culture also influenced NZ English. The Maori language is not
likely to last beyond one or two more generations (much like Irish).

V. English in South Africa

English is by far the language of preference, as a standard

language national for the majority of South Africans. While the majority
of whites are Afrikaaners, and speak Afrikaans (An old Dutch variety), a
large minority of Whites ar e native English speakers. Most Black speakers
of major African languages see English as a useful national language (and
Afrikaans as the language of Apartheid). In 1978, The Soweto riots (and
the massacres) resulted from the Afrikaans government at tha t time trying
to force Black school children to learn Afrikaans instead of English.
English immigrants began to settle in S. Africa around
They co-existed for more than a century until the Boer War
of 1899-1901: The British won after a number of bloody battles against the
Afrikaaners. (Mohandes Gandhi was also a lawyer in S. Africa for a
time in his younger days (1893 -1915)--many South Asians still live in
South Africa and speak yet another variety of English.)
After WW II,S. Afri ca became independent from England in 1961. It will be
interesting to see what the role of English will be in the new S. African