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The Columbian exchange: Biological and cultural consequences of Westport CT: Greenwood Press. Du Ponceau Peter Stephen. Edwards Jonathan. Observations on the language of the Muhhekaneew Indians: In which the extent of that language in North-America is shewn its genius is grammatically traced some of its peculiarities and some instances of analogy between that and the Hebrew are pointed out.
Eliot John. The Indian grammar begun. Cambridge MA: Marmaduke Johnson. Farrar Frederic W. Firpo Luigi ed.
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Tutte le opere di Tommaso Campanella. Milano: Arnoldo Mondadori. Goddard Ives. Eastern Algonquian languages.
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A brief history of the English language
A study of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century descriptions of American Indian languages. The Hague: Mouton. Herder Johann Gottfried. Essay on the origin of language.
In John H. Kilarski Marcin. Algonquian and Indo-European gender in a historiographic perspective. Historiographia Linguistica 34 2—3. Cherokee classificatory verbs: Their place in the study of American Indian languages. Historiographia Linguistica 36 1. Nominal classification: A history of its study from the classical period to the present. Studies in the History of the Language Sciences Gender asymmetries in Iroquoian languages and their cultural correlates. Historiographia Linguistica 43 3.
On extremes in linguistic complexity: Phonetic accounts of Iroquoian Polynesian and Khoesan. Koerner E. Koerner Essays in the history of linguistics — A History of the English Language. London: Forum House Publishing Company. We do not know what languages the Jutes, Angles, and Saxons spoke, nor even whether they were sufficiently similar to make them mutually intelligible, but it is reasonable to assume that by the end of the sixth century there must have been a language that could be understood by all and this we call Primitive Old English. Cambridge University Press. Article 0 A brief history of the English language.
Share Tweet Share Email. Where it all started Many of you will be forgiven for thinking that studying an English Language course consists of English grammar more than anything else. Late Old English 10th to 11th Century — can be considered the final phase of the Old English language which was brought about by the Norman invasion of England. Early Middle English It was during this period that the English language, and more specifically, English grammar, started evolving with particular attention to syntax.
Middle English manuscripts, even copies of the same work, differ linguistically from one another to a greater or lesser degree. In the later Middle Ages London gradually emerged as the seat of administration and the court. Since printing was based in London this form of English was adopted by the early printers.
But Caxton himself was acutely aware of variation and change within English. Certaynly our langage now vsed varyeth ferre from that which was vsed and spoken whan I was borne. William Caxton, Prologue to Eneydos Nevertheless, compared with Middle English texts, early modern texts seem much more uniform.
It was recommended that literary English should be based on the speech of the London area. Ye shall therfore take the vsual speach of the Court, and that of London and the shires lying about London within lx. George Puttenham, Arte of English Poesie A high degree of spoken regional variety still existed and was generally recognized. Although regional dialects were scarcely recorded, their extent can be deduced from dialect study undertaken from the eighteenth century onwards.
Within England, northern and western dialects were generally known to be markedly different from written English. Evidently as today particular differences were specially prominent. Pronouncing according as one would say at London I would eat more cheese if I had it, the Northern man saith Ay suld eat mare cheese gin ay hadet, and the Westerne man saith Chud eat more cheese an chad it.
There was a stylized stage version of western speech, as, for example, used by Edgar when posing as a countryman in King Lear. Shakespeare, King Lear , IV. Scots was a special case. In Scotland and England were separate countries and during the sixteenth century Scots can be regarded as a language distinct from the English spoken south of the border.
In Scotland under James IV — there was a cultural flourishing, with the beginnings of Renaissance influence from the continent. The court moved to London with the king, so that Scots lost its social prestige. Moreover writers like John Knox, who were in the forefront of the Scottish Reformation and greatly influenced Scottish literary culture, wrote mainly in southern English. Already, around , the number of books printed in Edinburgh in English had overtaken those printed in Scots and after Scots ceased to be a book language. Social dialects essentially those used by people regarded as inferiors were also widely recognized by contemporaries, but we can make only very partial reconstructions from the surviving evidence, such as comments by grammarians and the dialogue in stage plays.
A particular, though perhaps somewhat artificial, social dialect that received special attention was the canting slang of rogues and vagabonds see, for example, John Simpson on the first dictionaries of English. Back to top Attitudes to English Early in the period, English was frequently compared unfavourably as a literary language with Latin.
The Functions of the Latin Language in England
It was also initially seen as not possessing advantages over other European languages, as this dialogue shows. It is a language confused, bepeesed with many tongues: it taketh many words of the latine, and mo from the French, and mo from the Italian, and many mo from the Duitch, some also from the Greeke, and from the Britaine, so that if every language had his owne wordes againe, there woulde but a fewe remaine for English men, and yet every day they adde.
Florio, Florio his firste fruites , ch. English was also criticized for being inelegant and uneloquent. But there was a sudden change between and English began to be praised, in contrast with other languages, for its copious vocabulary, linguistic economy in using words of mainly one or two syllables , and simple grammar.
For example, a lengthy and spirited defence of English, as compared with Latin, is given by the educationist Richard Mulcaster. The English tung cannot proue fairer, then it is at this daie. During the seventeenth century the status of Latin rapidly declined and by the end of the century even works of science were being written in English. Back to top Vocabulary expansion The vocabulary of English expanded greatly during the early modern period. Writers were well aware of this and argued about it.
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Some were in favour of loanwords to express new concepts, especially from Latin. Others advocated the use of existing English words, or new compounds of them, for this purpose. Others advocated the revival of obsolete words and the adoption of regional dialect.
A notable supporter of the introduction of new words was the humanist and diplomat Sir Thomas Elyot c.