French Influence on the English Languange in the Middle English Period by Dana Melzer

French Influence on the English Languange in the Middle English Period

byDana Melzer

Kobo ebook | May 28, 2009

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Seminar paper from the year 2008 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Linguistics, grade: 2,3, University of Leipzig (Institut für Anglistik), course: Sprachwandel Englisch, language: English, abstract: The English language has undergone immense changes over the years of its development from Old English to Modern English as it is known today. It has been shaped by a number of other languages over the centuries. During the Old English period the English language, which was based on the dialects of three Germanic tribes (Angles, Jutes and Saxons), was already influenced by different invading armies like the Celts (Celtic), the Roman missionaries (Latin) and the Viking raiders (Old-Norse). But especially during the Middle English period (1150 - 1500) another language, namely French, exerted a significant influence on the English language and were therefore responsible for great changes brought to English over the years. During this time over 10,000 French words were adopted into English and about 75 per cent of these are still in use. But changes did not just happen in the English vocabulary. The grammar (mainly word order), the spelling and pronounciation had to undergo changes, as well. It was a period of great change where English turned from an inflected language with a relatively free word order into a language with reduced inflection and a more rigid word order. The linguistic justification for considering the end of the 15th century as the end of the Middle English period is the complete restructuring of the English vowel system that affected all long stressed vowels known as the Great Vowel Shift. Although, these enormous changes were important for the improvement of the English language, there were also disadvantages to it. The loss of native words, the different Middle English dialects and the need of a Standard English are only some examples for this. This paper will focus on the French influence on Middle English from the Norman Conquest in 1066 up to the 15th century. First I will start with an explanation of the historical events, as it is important to know the historical backgrounds and the situation in England during that time to understand the changes in the English language. Afterwards the focus of this paper will rest on the effect of the French language on the Middle English vocabulary, spelling and phonology. This paper will show that French was one of the languages which had an immense influence on the English language and affected it over the years. Lastly, in my conclusion I will summarize my results.
Title:French Influence on the English Languange in the Middle English PeriodFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:May 28, 2009Publisher:GRIN PublishingLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:3640334590

ISBN - 13:9783640334599

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