The History of English - How New Words Are Created The drift of word meanings over time often arises, often but not always due to catachresis (the misuse, either deliberate or accidental, of words). By some estimates, over half of all words adopted into English from Latin have changed their meaning in some way over time, often drastically. For example, smart originally meant sharp, cutting or painful; handsome merely meant easily-handled (and was generally derogatory); bully originally meant darling or sweetheart; sad meant full, satiated or satisfied; and insult meant to boast, brag or triumph in an insolent way. A more modern example is the changing meaning of gay from merry to homosexual (and, in some circles in more recent years, to stupid or bad). Some words have changed their meanings many times. Some words have become much more specific than their original meanings. Some words came to mean almost the complete opposite of their original meanings.
English Timeline This interactive timeline allows you to explore the evolution of English language and literature, from the 11th century to the present day. Scroll through decade by decade to investigate the richness and diversity of our poetry and prose, as well as the many social, cultural and political strands from which our language has been woven. The timeline includes a fascinating combination of texts: Anglo Saxon tales and medieval illuminations; iconic literary manuscripts and printed texts; as well as letters, newspapers, handbills, posters, charters, speeches and campaign leaflets. Launch the interactive Flash timeline above, or explore the collections within each of the centuries below. Beowulf, Anglo Saxon monsters & more...
25 maps that explain the English language English is the language of Shakespeare and the language of Chaucer. It’s spoken in dozens of countries around the world, from the United States to a tiny island named Tristan da Cunha. It reflects the influences of centuries of international exchange, including conquest and colonization, from the Vikings through the 21st century. Here are 25 maps and charts that explain how English got started and evolved into the differently accented languages spoken today. The origins of English 1) Where English comes from English, like more than 400 other languages, is part of the Indo-European language family, sharing common roots not just with German and French but with Russian, Hindi, Punjabi, and Persian. 2) Where Indo-European languages are spoken in Europe today Saying that English is Indo-European, though, doesn’t really narrow it down much. 3) The Anglo-Saxon migration 4) The Danelaw The next source of English was Old Norse. 5)The Norman Conquest 6) The Great Vowel Shift The spread of English Credits
The world’s languages, in 7 maps and charts These seven maps and charts, visualized by The Washington Post, will help you understand how diverse other parts of the world are in terms of languages. 1. Some continents have more languages than others Not all continents are equally diverse in the number of spoken languages. Whereas Asia leads the statistics with 2,301 languages, Africa follows closely with 2,138. There are about 1,300 languages in the Pacific, and 1,064 in South and North America. 2. Chinese has more native speakers than any other language, followed by Hindi and Urdu, which have the same linguistic origins in northern India. The numbers are fascinating because they reflect the fact that two-thirds of the world's population share only 12 native languages. His numbers are surprising, compared with the ones featured in the CIA's Factbook. The number for Portuguese is smaller than other sources suggest because not all Brazilians are native speakers. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Some language skills could be more rewarding than others.
Where did English come from? - Claire Bowern | TED-Ed There are two other TED-Ed lessons related to this topic: How languages evolve and How did English evolve? (a lesson that fills in some of the details that we omit here due to the fact that the focus of this lesson was further in the past). There is still a great deal of debate about Indo-European, most importantly about the location of the homeland. To read more about this debate, there are classic books by Mallory and Renfrew, as well more recent works by Anthony. Then, read these articles by Bouckaert et al. To learn more about the distribution of languages across the world, see LL-map or The Ethnologue.
Top 10 Family Days Out 8. Wrest Park, Bedfordshire Clearly one of Wrest Park's most appealing attributes is the sheer amount of space it affords families to run around, explore, discover and just simply have a bit of fun in. With over 90 acres of historic landscape surrounding the mansion, children could spend days here and never get bored! "Down every path there is another amazing building, statue or water feature to discover. My three boys love it here whatever the weather!" "Acres of space, acres of fun and imagination to be had with some good history thrown in for good measure!" Visit Wrest Park 9. This magnificent 12th century fortress has a long and colourful history - just one of the many attributes that makes this a top family destination. "Fab day out for all the family. "It's a castle, good and proper. "The best historic site for children because it is well preserved and they can explore the ramparts and get a real sense of life as it was." Visit Framlingham Castle 10. Visit Audley End
Do you speak Uglish? How English has evolved in Uganda Please don’t dirten my shirt with your muddy hands. Stop cowardising and go and see that girl. Don’t just beep her again, bench her. Typos? Some will be immediately obvious to English speakers: dirten, meaning to make dirty; cowardising, to behave like a coward. Others offer small insights into youth culture: beep – meaning to ring someone but to hang up quickly before the person answers. Now, Bernard Sabiti, a Ugandan cultural commentator has recorded these colloquialisms in a new book which attempts to unlock what he calls “one of the funniest and strangest English varieties in the world”. Working as a consultant for international NGOs, Sabiti kept being asked “what kind of English do Ugandans speak?” The result? Sabiti says the rise of Uglish directly correlates with a fall in the standards in education. Though not exclusive to the younger generation, the majority of words chronicled in his book are influenced by youth culture. But this is not a linguistic phenomena unique to Uganda.
Word on the street | LearnEnglish | British Council | Oxford University Transcript Oxford should be about an hour's drive from London. It’s very popular with tourists and students. And Oxford University is one of the top ten universities in the world. I’m at the top of the Carfax Tower. Oxford University is made up of thirty eight different colleges. Many students get involved in activities outside their studies. Nick: How important are the extracurricular activities like the sporting clubs and societies? Student: I think it’s really important. Nick: Is it difficult to get the balance right between your university work and your sport? Student: Well, I tend to be busy all of the time. There are universities in most big towns and cities in Britain. Many students come from abroad to study in the UK. Waqas Adenwala is from Pakistan and lives in Rosebury Hall, the university halls of residence about 2 kilometres from the main campus. Nick: Hi, Waqas. Waqas: Hi Nick. Nick: Nice room. Waqas: Thank you. Nick: So why do you live in a Halls of Residence? Waqas: It’s great.
Etymology: Languages that have contributed to English vocabulary over time. In Borrowed Words: A History of Loanwords in English, I examine how words borrowed from different languages have influenced English throughout its history. The above feature summarizes some of the main data from the book, focusing on the 14 sources that have given the most words to English, as reflected by the new and revised entries in the Oxford English Dictionary. Using the date buttons at the top of the graphic, you can compare the impact that different languages have made on English over time. In the "per period" view, you can see the proportions of words coming into English from each source in 50-year slices from 1150 up to the present day. Compare, for instance, how the input from German has grown and then declined again from 1800 to the present day. If you switch to the "cumulative" view, then you can see how the total number of loanwords from each language has built up over time. The data lying behind this graphic reflects some of the biggest changes in the history of English.
World’s Languages Dying Off Rapidly Of the estimated 7,000 languages spoken in the world today, linguists say, nearly half are in danger of extinction and are likely to disappear in this century. In fact, they are now falling out of use at a rate of about one every two weeks. Some endangered languages vanish in an instant, at the death of the sole surviving speaker. Others are lost gradually in bilingual cultures, as indigenous tongues are overwhelmed by the dominant language at school, in the marketplace and on television. New research, reported today, has identified the five regions of the world where languages are disappearing most rapidly. The study was based on field research and data analysis supported by the National Geographic Society and the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages, an organization for the documentation, revitalization and maintenance of languages at risk. At a teleconference with reporters today, K. Dr. Another measure of the threatened decline of many relatively obscure languages, Dr.
Language Timeline The English language is a vast flea market of words, handed down, borrowed or created over more than 2000 years. And it is still expanding, changing and trading. Our language is not purely English at all - it is a ragbag of diverse words that have come to our island from all around the world. Words enter the language in all sorts of ways: with invaders, migrants, tradesmen; in stories, artworks, technologies and scientific concepts; with those who hold power, and those who try to overthrow the powerful. View the chart below to get an overview of some of the many chapters in the history of the English language. Celts 500BC-43BC Romans 43BC-c.450AD Anglo Saxons 449AD St Augustine 597 AD Vikings 789AD Normans 1066 100 Years War 1337-1450s Renaissance 1476-1650 1700s Industrial Revolution 1760-1800s 1900s - Present Day References: The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language by David Crystal Words in Time by Geoffrey Hughes
Differences in American and British English grammar - article By Kerry Maxwell and Lindsay Clandfield An article by Kerry Maxwell and Lindsay Clandfield on recognizing grammatical differences between American and British English. Introduction Speakers of American English generally use the present perfect tense (have/has + past participle) far less than speakers of British English. (i) In sentences which talk about an action in the past that has an effect in the present: American English / British English Jenny feels ill. (ii) In sentences which contain the words already, just or yet: A: Are they going to the show tonight? 1. In British English collective nouns, (i.e. nouns referring to particular groups of people or things), (e.g. staff , government, class, team) can be followed by a singular or plural verb depending on whether the group is thought of as one idea, or as many individuals, e.g My team is winning. The other team are all sitting down. In American English collective nouns are always followed by a singular verb, so an American would usually say:
History of English The figure below shows the timeline of the history of the English language. The earliest known residents of the British Isles were the Celts, who spoke Celtic languages—a separate branch of the Indo-European language family tree. Over the centuries the British Isles were invaded and conquered by various peoples, who brought their languages and customs with them as they settled in their new lives. There is now very little Celtic influence left in English. The earliest time when we can say that English was spoken was in the 5th century CE (Common Era—a politically correct term used to replace AD). In case you hadn’t made the connection, “England” ← “Engla Land” ← “Angle Land” (Land of the Angles, a people of northern old Germany). Here are some links for further reading on the history of English, in no particular order: If you need any more references, try a Yahoo! Copyright © 2003–2007 Daniel M.