The role played by the german and scandinavian tribes on english language (43056)

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION……………………………………………………………………...………..2-4

CHAPTER I THE CONTACT OF ENGLISH WITH OTHER LANGUAGES………………..5-7

  • THE CELTIC INFLUENCE

  • THE APPLICATION OF NATIVE WORDS

CHAPTER II THE SCANDINAVIAN INFLUENE: THE VIKING AGE………………..….8-10

  • THE SCANDINAVIAN INVASIONS OF ENGLAND

  • THE SETTLEMENT OF THE DANES IN ENGLAND

CHAPTER III THE AMALGAMATION OF THE TWO RACES..........................................11-13

  • THE RELATION OF THE TWO LANGUAGES

  • THE TESTS OF BORROWED WORDS

CHAPTER IV THE SCANDINAVIAN PLACE NAMES…...................................................14-16

  • THE EARLIEST BORROWING

  • SCANDINAVIAN LOAN-WORDS AND THEIR CHARACTER

CHAPTER V CELTIC PLACE –NAMES…………………………….……………...…..…17-19

  • CELTIC LOAN-WORDS

  • THE RELATION OF BORROWED AND NATIVE WORDS

CHAPTER VI FORM WORDS………………………………….………………….………20-22

  • SCANDINAVIAN INFLUENCE OUTSIDE THE STANDARD SPEECH

  • HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

CONCLUSION………………………………………………………………………….……23-28

BIBLIOGRAPHY……………………………………………….…………………………..……29





INTRODUCTION



The essence of history is change taking place in time. Anything which endures in time has a history, because in this world of flux anything which endures in time suffers change. But if history is to be meaningful, there must also be continuity. A people, a nation, or a language may change over a long period so greatly as to become something vastly different from what it was at the beginning. But this great change is the accumulation of many small changes. At any stage in its history, the people, na­tion, or language is fundamentally the same entity that it was in the immediately preceding stage, albeit changed in detail. It has preserved its identity.

The preservation of identity through continuity of change, then, characterizes things which have a history. It is easier to see this in the case of concrete objects, like the Great Pyramid or Keats's Grecian urn. Their continuity is physical; the actual stuff of which they are made has endured through centuries. Their history is primarily what has happened to them and around them; the change they have suffered has chiefly been change of environ­ment, rather than change of their own nature. Indeed, what fas­cinated Keats about the urn was its placid unchanging ness in the midst of changing generations of men. Its history is entirely what can be called "outer history."

According to the Bible: ’In the beginning was the Word’. By the Talmud: ‘God created the world by a Word, instantaneously, without toil or pains’. But I think whatever more mystical meaning these pieces of scripture might have, they both point to the primacy of language in the way human beings conceive of the world.

I agree with the theory that language figures centrally in our lives. I think we discover our identity as individuals and social beings when we acquire it during childhood. It serves as a means of cognition and communication: it enables us to think for ourselves and to cooperate with people in our community. It provides for present needs and future plans, and at the same time carries with it the impression of things past.

I want note in passing, incidentally, that it is speech that the ogre cannot master. Whether this necessarily implies that language is also beyond his reach is another matter, for language does not depend on speech as the only physical medium for its expression. Auden may not imply such a distinction in these lines, but it is one which, as we shall see presently, it is important to recognize.

It has been suggested that language is so uniquely human, distinguishes us so clearly from ogres and other animals, that our species might be more appropriately named homo loquens than homo sapiens. But although language is clearly essential to humankind and has served to extend control over other parts of creation, it is not easy to specify what exactly makes it distinctive. If, indeed, it is distinctive. After all, other species communicate after a fashion, for they could not otherwise mate, propagate, and cooperate in their colonies.

English belongs to the Anglo-Frisian group within the western branch of the Germanic languages, a sub-family of the Indo-European languages. It is related most closely to the Frisian language, to a lesser extent to Netherlandic (Dutch-Flemish) and the Low German (Plattdeutsch) dialects, and more distantly to Modern High German. Its parent, Proto-Indo-European, was spoken around 5,000 years ago by nomads who are thought to have roamed the _outh-east European plains. Three main stages are usually recognized in the history of the development of the English language. Old English, known formerly as Anglo-Saxon, dates from AD 449 to 1066 or 1100. Middle English dates from 1066 or 1100 to 1450 or 1500. Modern English dates from about 1450 or 1500 and is subdivided into Early Modern English, from about 1500 to 1660, and Late Modern English, from about 1660 to the present time.

The long-term linguistic effect of the Viking settlements in England was threefold: over a thousand words eventually became part of Standard English; a large number of places in the east and north-east of England have Danish names; and many English personal names are of Scandinavian origin. Words that entered the English language by this route include landing, score, beck, fellow, take, busting, and steersman The vast majority of loan words do not begin to appear in documents until the early twelfth century; these include many modern words which use sk- sounds, such as skirt, sky, and skin; other words appearing in written sources at this time include again, awkward, birth, cake, dregs, fog, freckles, gasp, law, neck, ransack, root, scowl, sister, seat, sly, smile, want, weak, and window. Some of the words that came into use by this route are among the most common in English, such as both, same, get, and give. The system of personal pronouns was affected, with they, them, and their replacing the earlier forms. Old Norse even influenced the verb to be; the replacement of sindon by is almost certainly Scandinavian in origin, as is the third-person-singular ending -s in the present tense of verbs.

There are over 1,500 Scandinavian place names in England, mainly in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire (within the former boundaries of the Danelaw): over 600 end in -by, the Scandinavian word for "farm" or "town"—for example Grimsby, Naseby, and Whitby; many others end in -thorpe ("village"), -thwaite ("clearing"), and -toft ("homestead")

The distribution of family names showing Scandinavian influence is still, as an analysis of names ending in -son reveals, concentrated in the north and east, corresponding to areas of former Viking settlement. Early medieval records indicate that over 60% of personal names in Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire showed Scandinavian influence.

The importance of the English language is naturally very great. English is the language not only of England but of the extensive dominions and colonies associated in the British Empire, and it is the language of the United States. Spoken by over 260 million people, it is in the number who speak it the largest of the occidental languages. English-speaking people constitute about one tenth of the world's population. English, however, is not the largest language in the world. The more conservative estimates of the population of China would indicate that Chinese is spoken by about 450 million people. But the numerical ascendancy of English among European languages can be seen by a few comparative figures. Russian, next in size to English, is spoken by about 140 million people;2 Spanish by 135 millions; German by 90 millions; Portuguese by 63 millions; French by 60 millions; Italian by 50 millions. Thus at the present time English has the advantage in numbers over all other western languages. But the importance of a language is not alone a matter of numbers or territory; as we have said, it depends also on the importance of the people who speak it.















CHAPTER I

The Contact of English with Other Languages

The lan­guage which has been described in the preceding chapter was
not merely the product of the dialects brought to England by the
Jutes, Saxons, and Angles. These formed its basis, the sole basis of
its grammar and the source of by far the largest part of its
vocabulary. But there were other elements which entered into it.
In the course of the first seven hundred years of its existence in
England it was brought into contact with three other languages,
the languages of the Celts, the Romans, and the Scandinavians.
From each of these contacts it shows certain effects, more espe­cially additions to its vocabulary. The nature of these contacts
and the changes that were effected by them will form the sub­ject of the present chapter.

The Celtic Influence. Nothing would seem more reasonable
than to expect that the conquest of the Celtic population of
Britain by the Teutons and the subsequent mixture of the two
races should have resulted in a corresponding mixture of their
languages; that consequently we should find in the Old English
vocabulary numerous instances of words which the Teutons heard
in the speech of the native population and adopted. For it is
apparent that the Celts were by no means exterminated except in
certain areas, and that in most of England large numbers of them
were gradually absorbed by the new inhabitants. The Anglo-
Saxon Chronicle reports that at Andredesceaster or Pcvensey a
deadly struggle occurred between the native population and the words too miscellaneous to admit of profitable classification, like anchor, coulter, fan (for winnowing), fever, place (cf. market­place), spelter (asphalt), sponge, elephant, phoenix, mancus (a coin) and some more or less learned or literary words, such as calend, circle, legion, giant, consul, and talent. The words cited in these examples are mostly nouns, but Old English borrowed also a number of verbs and adjectives such as âspendan (to spend; L. expcndere) bcmutian (to exchange; L. mütdre), dihtan (to com­pose; L. dictare), pinion (to torture; L. poena), pinsian (to weigh; L. pensare), pyngan (to prick; L. pungere), scaltian (to dance; X,. saltdre), temprian (to temper; L. temperâre), trifolian (to grind; L. tribulâre), tyrnan (to turn; L. torndre), and crisp (L. crispus, curly). But enough has been said to indicate the extent and variety of the borrowings from Latin in the early days of Christianity in England and to show how quickly the language reflected the broadened horizon which the English people owed to the church.


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