Prepare a Paper on the History of the English Language and Discuss

The English language (modern English) according to reference is sometimes described as first global “lingua franca”. It is a superior language and is being used, with evidence by over 360 million native speakers, living in 54 countries and 27 non-sovereign entities. English is now known as an international language in diplomatic fields. The growth of English was mainly formed in the British Empire and by the late 19th century it slowly spread globally. English replaced German as the dominant language of science noble prize laureates during the second half of the 20th century. It also equaled or may have surpassed French as the dominant language of diplomacy during the last half of the 19th century. The word English derives from the eponym angle, the name of a Germanic tribe thought to have originated from the angeln area of Tutland, now in northern Germany.

English is a West Germanic language that originated from Anglo-Frisian dialects brought to Britain by Germanic invaders or settlers from various parts of what is now northwest Germany and the Netherlands. The English language belongs to Anglo-Frisian sub group of the West Germanic branch of the Germanic family, a member of the indo European languages. This language was developed gradually through a series of evolution which begins from old English, Middle English and early modern English. Despite extensive lexical borrowing, the workings of the English language are resolutely Germanic, and English remains classified as that due to its structure and grammar. With renaissance, along with other European languages such as German, Dutch, and Latin and ancient Greek supplanted Norman and French as the main source of new words.

Thus English developed into very much a borrowing language with a disparate vocabulary. Reference shows that the language underwent extensive change in the Middle Ages. There was a rise to heavy borrowings from Norman French, Also called the Norman Conquest of England, occurred in the 11th century, which led to vocabulary and spelling conventions, which gave the appearance of a close relationship with romance languages to what had then become, Middle English.

A large proportion of Modern English vocabulary comes directly from Anglo-Norman. The Great Vowel Shift that began in the south of England in the 15th century is one of the historical events that mark the emergence of modern English from Middle English. Written old English of AD 1000 is similar in vocabulary and grammar to other old Germanic languages such as Old High German and Old Norse, it is completely unintelligible to modern speakers, while modern language is largely recognizable in written Middle English of AD 1400. Scandinavian branch of the Germanic language family was part of English transformation and is recorded to have conquered and colonized part of Britain in the 8th and 9th century followed by Normans in the 11th century.

Close contact with the Scandavians resulted in significant grammatical simplification and lexical enrichment of the Anglo-Frisian core of English. Literary language rose anew in the 13th century, it was based on the speech of London, triggered in 1066 by the Norman invasion closer to the center of Scandavian settlement. Reference stated that technical and cultural vocabulary was derived from old Norman, with heavy influence in the courts, the church and government. Language provides a vital purpose in every human’s life, whether it is through words, letters, signs and symbols,

English, history, mathematics, science, ethics and various other areas in which language is employed in. It is essential for getting by in the world and for effective communication. Language pervades social life. It is the principle vehicle for the transmission of cultural knowledge, and the primary means by which we gain access to the contents of others minds and our own. Language entails a ritual function in which it allows us to communicate and be distinguished through tradition and religion. Its role in traditions plays majorly as it helps to understand, through words, signs and symbols.

According to encyclopedia Britannica, Ritual is a determine mode of action, communicative function of language within purposes of knowledge is used to send ideas, information and thoughts and to translate these into language. Psychologically we possess the ability to use and display bodily gestures in the form of art and music (sounds) as a unique form of communication.

Argumentatively, the ritual purposes of our lives and how we portray it, lives through one form of communication called language. Its intelligible power helps human beings develop a more complex way of understanding communication socially and perceives as an exquisite dominant feature. In a phatic sense, this helps us create an atmosphere of shared feelings, goodwill and sociability rather than disclose information. It also helps with identifying an individual social and cultural background cognitively and links to the reflexive function as well. Language is so defiant, not only will it evolve but as individuals grow older, their ability to produce and understand language increases, which is maturational. In accordance to reference, there wouldn’t be any history without language. Retrospectively, history is not what happened but what we collectively, choose to remember.