Showing posts with label Middle English. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Middle English. Show all posts

20 October 2011

HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE


PUBLISHED, FORMATTED & ANNOTATED BY KENNETH S. DOIG

English language
English language, West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family that is closely related to Frisian, German, and Dutch languages. English originated in England and is now widely spoken on six continents.

It is the primary language of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and various small island nations in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. It is also an official language of India, the Philippines, Singapore, and many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including South Africa. 

English is the first choice of foreign language in most other countries of the world, and it is this status that has given it the position of a global lingua franca. It is estimated that a third of the world’s population, some two billion persons, now use English.
600 AD THE FOLLOWING COLORS REPRESENT THESE
LINGUISTIC GROUPS, GREEN, GMC (ANGLO-SAXON,
FRISIAN, JUTISH),ORANGE,BRTYTHONIC CELTIC,
(CYMRIC, CUMBRIAN, CORNISH, ETC), BLUE, THE


GOIDELIC-CELTIC-SPEAKING SCOTS FROM DÁL
RIATA, GRAY, THE ENIGMATIC PICTISH. SOME THINK
IT NOT EVEN INDO-EUROPEAN, I BELIEVE TO BE ONE
OR SEVERAL UNRECORDED BRYTHONIC-CELTIC
DIALECTS AS THE PICTS WERE KNOWN RAIDERS,
OUTLAWS & OUTLIERS WHO STAYED WELL TO THE
NORTH OF ROMANO-BRITAIN & ITS HISTORIANS
K.DOIG 


Origins and basic characteristics
English belongs to the Indo-European family
 of languages and is therefore related to most other languages spoken in Europe and western Asia from Iceland to India. The parent tongue, called Proto-Indo-European, was spoken about 5,000 years ago by nomads believed to have roamed the southeast European plains. 

 Germanic, one of the language groups descended from this ancestral speech, is usually divided by scholars into three regional groups: East (Burgundian, Vandal, and Gothic, all extinct), North (Icelandic, Faroese, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish), and West (German, Dutch, and Flemish, Frisian, English).

 Though closely related to English, German remains far more conservative than English in its retention of a fairly elaborate system of inflections. Frisian, spoken by the inhabitants of the Dutch province of Friesland and the islands off the west coast of Schleswig, is the language most nearly related to Modern English.

 Icelandic, which has changed little over the last thousand years, is the living language most nearly resembling Old English in grammatical structure.

18 July 2011

Verb Movement in Old and Middle English: Dialect Variation and Language Contact

Published by Kenneth S. Doig

1 Introduction.

By Anthony Kroch, PhD and Ann Taylor, PhD
Department of Linguistics UPenn


Our goal in this paper is to show that the northern and southern dialects[1] of Middle English differ significantly in their verb-movement syntax. In particular, we will give evidence that these dialects exemplify a recently discovered typological distinction within the Germanic language family in the landing sites of verb movement. Several studies have indicated that the verb-second (V2) constraint characteristic of the Germanic languages involves movement to either of two different positions, depending on the language investigated. In the better known languages (German, Dutch, and Mainland Scandinavian), verb-second word order results from movement of the tensed verb to the COMP (C-zero) position and concomitant movement of some maximal projection to the specifier of CP. In other Germanic languages (Yiddish and Icelandic), however, V2 word order can reflect movement of the tensed verb to a lower position. In studies using the phrase structure of Chomsky 1986 a, that position is lNFL (I-zero) (Diesing 1990, Santorini 1992, Pintzuk 1991).

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