This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Old English (500 1100 Ad) Essay

1142 words - 5 pages

West Germanic invaders from Jutland and southern Denmark: the Angles¨ç, Saxons, and Jutes, began populating the British Isles in the fifth and sixth centuries AD. They spoke a mutually intelligible language, similar to modern Frisian--the language of northeastern region of the Netherlands--that is called Old English. Four major dialects of Old English emerged, Northumbrian in the north of England, Mercian in the Midlands, West Saxon in the south and west, and Kentish in the Southeast.These invaders pushed the original, Celtic-speaking inhabitants out of what is now England into Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, and Ireland, leaving behind a few Celtic words. These Celtic languages survive today in Gaelic languages of Scotland and Ireland and in Welsh. Cornish, unfortunately, is now a dead language.¨è Also influencing English at this time were the Vikings. Norse invasions, beginning around 850, brought many North Germanic words into the language, particularly in the north of England. Some examples are dream, which had meant 'joy' until the Vikings imparted its current meaning on it from the Scandinavian cognate draumr, and skirt, which continues to live alongside its native English cognate shirt.The majority of words in Modern English come from foreign, not Old English roots. In fact, only about one sixth of the known Old English words have descendants surviving today. But this is deceptive; Old English is much more important than these statistics would indicate. About half of the most commonly used words in Modern English have Old English roots. Words like be, water, and strong, for example, derive from Old English roots.Old English, whose best-known surviving example is the poem Beowulf, lasted until about 1100. This last date is rather arbitrary, but most scholars choose it because it is shortly after the most important event in the development of the English language, the Norman Conquest.Below is a brief study of Old English:SpellingThere was no official English spelling standard until the 18th century. Samuel Johnson's dictionary is one of the first major efforts toward that end. Before that time, it was common to see words spelled any number of ways. (Of course, you still see spelling differences; for example, the British and the Americans do not spell all things the same way.)To someone teach English, the spelling of words such as light or through may (reasonably) make little sense, as many letters are not pronounced. This is because the pronunciation changed, but the spelling did not. In Old English, liht (light) was pronounced [lee:xt], with the h sounding like the ch in Bach. In Middle English, the pronunciation didn't change a whole lot, although the spelling was somewhat altered. The gh in light used to denote the same ch sound as it did in Old English. There are lots of examples of this, as you can imagine.PronunciationObviously, we don't know exactly what Old English sounded like. There are no Anglo-Saxons around to...

Find Another Essay On Old English (500-1100 AD)

The Influence of British Social Changes on the Origin and Development of English

1383 words - 6 pages order toresearch human languages, linguists have mainly divided all thelanguages into seven language families in which the Indo-Euro-pean family is the largest one. As a West Germanic branch ofthe Indo -European family, English was developed graduallythroughout the history. In the English history the socialchanges affected the people's life as well as their languageprofoundly.2 Discussion2.1 The Period of Old English (500-1100A.D.)2.1.1 The Origin

AngloSaxon Language Essay

1111 words - 4 pages English, and Modern English. Old English was spoken and written in England during the early part of the Middle Ages, from about 600-1100 (2). The language’s earliest stage of development was known as Old English (OE) (3). The four main varieties of the language that were taken to Britain were: Kentish which was associated with the Jutes; West Saxon, from the Southern region, Wessex; Mercian, an Anglian dialect which was spoken in Mercia; and

Connection of European Trials

3113 words - 12 pages to root out further witches and to get confession from witches on trial. These two groups of people help spread the witch trials into witch-hunts. Witch trials that occurred in Scotland have several similar characteristics to those in Trier, but there are also some very different aspects. An English pamphlet tells of a witch-hunt and trial that occurred in Scotland in AD 1591. These Scottish trials where taking place at the same time

'The English language shows, in miniature, the history of England itself.' Discuss

2124 words - 8 pages pronunciation in the Middle English.The Old English (AD 450-1100)The ruling force that helped shape the Old English language was the Anglo-Saxons (AD 450-850). They hailed from some warrior tribes of Northern Germany such as Jutes, Angles and Saxons. (Graddol, 1996, p 41, 44-45) Their different linguistic background leads to a variation in dialects for the different parts of the country (Graddol, 1996, p 44-45, 134). In an effort to promote a

Examine the relationship between spelling and pronunciation in Old and Middle English and the attempts of reforms in orthography in later periods.Evaluate the reforms

2080 words - 8 pages pronunciation in the Middle English.The Old English (AD 450-1100)The ruling force that helped shape the Old English language was the Anglo-Saxons (AD 450-850). They hailed from some warrior tribes of Northern Germany such as Jutes, Angles and Saxons. (Graddol, 1996, p 41, 44-45) Their different linguistic background leads to a variation in dialects for the different parts of the country (Graddol, 1996, p 44-45, 134). In an effort to promote a


2303 words - 10 pages as the Magna Carta, the House of Commons, the Petition of Right, Common Law, and the Bill of Rights. About 1100 years after the Roman Republic ends, English Constitutionalism begins. The transition into the early Medieval period during 500 AD-1000 AD is referred to as the “Dark Ages” because of the decentralization of power and commerce. Soon after the diminishing of the old empire, a new emperorship is revived as the “Holy Roman Empire”. This

Recurring Themes in 19th Century Russian Literature

2115 words - 8 pages ;атурально склонность имеешь...»), a philosophical devotion, all-conquering devotion to rationalism (even when he rapes Dounia, Svidrigailov remains rational and emotionless to the end: «Да и не поверит ва

Desertification in Beijing

960 words - 4 pages the desert, making resettlement very difficult.7 Serious stages of drought also occurred between AD 300 and 800, as has been determined from old shorelines of the inland seas and old harbor installations which indicate low levels of the Caspian Sea.8 By AD 1100 and AD 1200 China experienced large amounts of snow and ice before the rest of the world. Some believe this cooler climate ultimately spread to the rest of the world to form the “Little

Anglo-Saxon Heroic Poetry

5706 words - 23 pages narrative form for many years. The Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian peoples had invaded the island of Britain and settled there several hundred years earlier, bringing with them several closely related Germanic languages that would evolve into Old English. Elements of the Beowulf story--including its setting and characters--date back to the period before the migration. The action of the poem takes place around 500 A.D. Many of the characters in the

Discuss with examples how the English Language has changed over time

2353 words - 9 pages of the development of the English language. Old English, formerly known as Anglo-Saxon, dates from the period 449 to 1066. Middle English dates from 1066 or 1100 to 1500. Modern English dates from about 1500, and is subdivided into Early Modern English, from the period 1500 to 1660, and Late Modern English, from 1660 to the present time. The fist period of the English Language, Old English, is the ancestor of the Modern English spoken today

The Norman Conquest

1497 words - 6 pages dialects, West Saxon became dominant in the written form and less visible in the spoken version. This influence resulted in the Middle English. The Middle English Several years after the Normans had invaded England, the English language underwent numerous changes due to the influence of various settlers. By 1100, the old English had added another dialect to its initial four (Freeman, 2009). However, the names of the dialects had some slight

Similar Essays

History Of English Language Essay

1594 words - 6 pages , Norwegian, and Icelandic languages. Finally, the West Germanic is the ancestor of modern German, Dutch, Flemish, Frisian, and English languages. So, the English language was finally considered to be made in West Germany in the Indo-European era of languages.The Old English era was between 500 and 1100 AD. The West Germanic invaders from Jutland and southern Denmark, were considered to be the Angles, and they were the name, and source of the words

English Language Development: The Effects Of A French Invasion

1213 words - 5 pages language is an excellent example that shows that minor events can have a huge effect on the future. Works Cited “Before English (Prehistory - c. 500AD).” The History of English. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. < > “Old English (c. 500 - c. 1100).” The History of English. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. < > “Middle English (c. 1100 - c. 1500).” The History of

The Evolution Of English Essay

1036 words - 4 pages Britain spoke a Celtic language. But most of the Celtic speakers were pushed west and north by the invaders - mainly into what is now Wales, Scotland and Ireland. The Angles came from Englaland and their language was called Englisc - from which the words England and English are derived. Germanic invaders entered Britain on the east and south coasts in the 5th century.Old English (450-1100 AD)The invading Germanic tribes spoke similar languages

The Vivacity Of English Essay

704 words - 3 pages English, which did not look, or sound like our English does today. What is interesting to note is that half of the words we use today, were derived from Old English roots. Some examples of those words are ale, daft, and plough. Old English was spoken until around 1100 AD (Bailey). Middle English emerged between 1100 and 1500 AD. In 1066 William the Conqueror, the Duke of Normandy, attacked and captured England. As such, a linguistic class hierarchy