An article courtesy of the Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia. While Anglo-Saxon is an ancestor of modern English, it is also a distinct language. It stands in much the same relationship to modern English as Latin does to the romance languages. The English language developed from the West Germanic dialects spoken by the Angles, Saxons, and other Teutonic tribes who participated in the invasion and occupation of England in the fifth and sixth centuries.
The earliest period begins with the migration of certain Germanic tribes from the continent to Britain in the fifth century A. By that time Latin, Old Norse the language of the Viking invadersand especially the Anglo-Norman French of the dominant class after the Norman Conquest in had begun to have a substantial impact on the lexicon, and the well-developed inflectional system that typifies the grammar of Old English had begun to break down.
The following brief sample of Old English prose illustrates several of the significant ways in which change has so transformed English that we must look carefully to find points of resemblance between the language of the tenth century and our own.
The sense of it is as follows: Gregory] asked what might be the name of the people from which they came. It was answered to him that they were named Angles. Others, however, have vanished from our lexicon, mostly without a trace, including several that were quite common words in Old English: Several aspects of word order will also strike the reader as oddly unlike ours.
In subordinate clauses the main verb must be last, and so an object or a preposition may precede it in a way no longer natural: Nouns, adjectives, and even the definite article are inflected for gender, case, and number: The system of inflections for verbs was also more elaborate than ours: In addition, there were two imperative forms, four subjunctive forms two for the present tense and two for the preterit, or past, tenseand several others which we no longer have.
Even where Modern English retains a particular category of inflection, the form has often changed. The period of Middle English extends roughly from the twelfth century through the fifteenth.
It is fiction in the guise of travel literature, and, though it purports to be from the pen of an English knight, it was originally written in French and later translated into Latin and English. All the same, the number of inflections for nouns, adjectives, and verbs has been greatly reduced, and in most respects Mandeville is closer to Modern than to Old English.
The period of Modern English extends from the sixteenth century to our own day.
The early part of this period saw the completion of a revolution in the phonology of English that had begun in late Middle English and that effectively redistributed the occurrence of the vowel phonemes to something approximating their present pattern.
Other important early developments include the stabilizing effect on spelling of the printing press and the beginning of the direct influence of Latin and, to a lesser extent, Greek on the lexicon.
Later, as English came into contact with other cultures around the world and distinctive dialects of English developed in the many areas which Britain had colonized, numerous other languages made small but interesting contributions to our word-stock.
The historical aspect of English really encompasses more than the three stages of development just under consideration. English has what might be called a prehistory as well.
As we have seen, our language did not simply spring into existence; it was brought from the Continent by Germanic tribes who had no form of writing and hence left no records. Philologists know that they must have spoken a dialect of a language that can be called West Germanic and that other dialects of this unknown language must have included the ancestors of such languages as German, Dutch, Low German, and Frisian.
They know this because of certain systematic similarities which these languages share with each other but do not share with, say, Danish.
However, they have had somehow to reconstruct what that language was like in its lexicon, phonology, grammar, and semantics as best they can through sophisticated techniques of comparison developed chiefly during the last century. Similarly, because ancient and modern languages like Old Norse and Gothic or Icelandic and Norwegian have points in common with Old English and Old High German or Dutch and English that they do not share with French or Russian, it is clear that there was an earlier unrecorded language that can be called simply Germanic and that must be reconstructed in the same way.
Still earlier, Germanic was just a dialect the ancestors of Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit were three other such dialects of a language conventionally designated Indo-European, and thus English is just one relatively young member of an ancient family of languages whose descendants cover a fair portion of the globe.Aug 12, · English Language: influence and development from anglo- saxon to modern times By Dr.
Vishwanath Bite on August 12, The history of English is conventionally, if perhaps too neatly, divided into three periods usually called Old English (or Anglo-Saxon), Middle English, and . Beowulf is an Anglo-Saxon Hero - According to the definition, a hero is one who embodies the values of their society.
In the epic Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf, written by an anonymous author, the character Beowulf is used to convey the value that Anglo-Saxons placed on courage, strength, and loyalty. Get an answer for 'What is the influence of Christianity on Anglo-Saxon literature?
BROADLY DESCRIBE THE ANSWER PLEASE. IT IS A BROAD QUESTION' and find homework help for . The Anglo-Saxon language, or English, has been the principal language of the country since then although it has undergone great changes.
Most of the Anglo-Saxons settled far . The early Anglo-Saxon period includes the creation of an English nation, Development of an Anglo-Saxon society (–) it reached down throughout northern Britain, through the influence of its sister monastery Lindisfarne." In June Columba died.
The Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain describes the process which changed the language and culture of most of what became scholars' usual explanation for the lack of Celtic influence on English, supported by uncritical readings of the accounts of Gildas and Bede, was that Old English became dominant primarily because Germanic-speaking.