The History of the English Language Essay

The History of the English Language Essay

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The History of the English Language


In this paper I will discuss where and how the English language originated and how it has spread to become one of the most spoken languages in the world. Before I started my research on my topic of choice, my original hypothesis was that the English language was started by a whole assortment of Germanic tribes invading England thousands of years ago. This ultimately became the goal of my paper, to see if Germanic tribes started the English language, or if it was started from some other tribes that I was not aware of.
The history of the English language is of significance because English is spoken more frequently than any other language except Chinese, (Bright, 1992). A Germanic language, English is spoken by an estimated 1,500,000,000 people, and that number is ever increasing, (Crystal, 1992).

English is the chief language of world publishing, science and technology, conferencing, and computer storage as well as the language of international air traffic control (Crystal, 1992). English is also used for purposes of international communications, and international politics, business communications, and academic communities (Crystal, 1992).

The history of English can be traced to the colonization of people from a family of languages, which spread throughout Europe and southern Asia in the fourth millennium BC, (Crystal, 1992). It is thought that a semi nomadic population living in the region to north of the Black Sea moved west to Europe and east to Iran and India, spreading their culture and languages (Crystal, 1992). The European languages and Sanskrit, the oldest language of the Indian sub-continent, were tied to a common source. When a systematic resemblance was discovered in bot...


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...New York: Oxford University Press, 1992. 410-415.

3. Craig, Albert M., et al., Eds. et The Heritage of World Civilizations. 2 Vols. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1986. 446-447.

4. Crystal, David, The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language. 2nd Ed. New York: The Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge, 1997. 298-299.

5. Crystal, David. An Encyclopedia Dictionary of Language and Languages. USA: Blackwell Publishers, 1992. 121-122, 134, 185-186.

6. Dalby, Andrew. Dictionary of Languages: The Definitive Reference to more than 400 Languages. London: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, 1998.166-179.

7. OGrady, William, Michael Dobrovolsky and Mark Aronoff. Contemporary Linguistics. 3rd Ed. New York: St. Martins Press, Inc., 1992. 332.

8. Van Doren, Charles. A History of Knowledge Past, Present, and Future. New York: Ballantine Books, 1992. 154.

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