Old English And Modern English (OE) To Present Day English

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Language contact, the social situation and the attitudes towards English language have triggered a chain of reactions in its development. The arrival of invaders to the British Isles at different points in time that spoke several languages and dialects is a main factor. The passage through Old English (OE), Middle English (ME) and Modern English (MoE) to Present Day English (PDE) has been carried out in different levels, being some of them more affected than other depending on the period. From OE to Early MoE the language has been developed as a result of the waves of invaders, but from Late MoE it evolved from the British conquests of other territories. In this essay I am going to present a brief overview of the history of English focusing…show more content…
This invasion affected mainly English vocabulary, adopting thousands of not only content words but also grammatical words. Many of these borrowings are still present in PDE. Meanwhile, Latin was the language of church and science and it also had great influence in vocabulary; especially in Modern English because of, for example, the appearance of new functions to be defined (Culpeper, 1997:25). Modern English phonology was not that similar to PDE in pronunciation but in terms of reading it became much easier. The Great Vowel Shift was the main change which concluded in two types of innovations: diphthongization and raising and fronting. In morphology, verbs kept losing inflection as to achieve the sole third person singular –s form. There was an increase of the use of the accusative personal pronoun you and the adjectives endings –er and –est. Regarding syntax, interrogatives and negations included the periphrastic do as well as it increased the use of progressive verbs and emerged the need of an auxiliary marker for create passives (Fennell,…show more content…
OE does not contribute remarkably to the comparison between the two processes since it constitutes the beginning of English. ME morphology underwent a large loss of inflections that continued in MoE as to achieve the simpler system that characterizes PDE. The syntax incorporated a more fixed word order, the use of auxiliaries and the nowadays form of negation. English vocabulary has been the feature most comparable regarding the different nature of the procedures since ME adopted borrowings from the Norman and French invaders while the colonization provided a way of incorporating new words by modifying existing terms. Based on these results, we can conclude that the two types of events influenced in different way to the English language, being the invasions a process of language formation whereas the conquests can be considerate a process of completing the

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