Viking influence on the English language
3 Hypotheses/research questions. 4 Research design and Methodology. 5 Expected results. 6 CHAPTER II 2. 1 Historical Background. 1 Middle English: 1100-1500. 2 The State of Middle English. 3 Modern English: 1500-present. 1 Early Modern English (1500-1750). 2 Late Modern English (1750-1800). 7 Invasion by the Normans. 8 Contribution of Latin and Scientific words. 9 Contribution of Modern Languages. 29 CHAPTER VI 6. 1 Scandinavian place/Names. 40 CHAPTER VII 7. 1 Survival of English Language. 2 Re-Establishment of English Language. 1 Trasnformation of English Language. 3 The spread of English language. 54 CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1. 1 Overview The English language evolved through a combination of various tribes such as the Vikings, German, The Norse and Norman French. Modern English symbolizes events that took place during its development such as social, political, and economic event. For example, Invasion by the Norman French had a political influence on the English language since political words such as government, aristocracy and court words evolved during that period.
Scandinavian conquest led to the development of terms social and economic terms since they were farmers and there was a need to learn various tools used in farming and name of various crops which they sold. Old English nouns were addressed based on genders such as neuter, masculine and feminine. Old English vocabulary originated from Germanic language unlike Modern English which acquired vocabulary by combining Old English and Scandinavian language. English evolution ended after a succession of saving the English Throne by William the Conqueror. If it were not for him English could have evolved into another form. Scandinavian conquest created an impact in the development of English language during the eighth century. Other languages which influenced the evolution of English language like Spanish, Latin.
French, German, Roman, and Celtic will be discussed in this essay. For example, 60% of English words comprise French and Latin while English was originally German language. The essay will explain reasons why most of English language comprises of French and Latin words but not German words. 2 The major objectives of this study The present research aims to bring into discussion the etymology of words that derive from old Norse into English. What do these two languages have in common? 4. What is the genetic relationship between Old English and Old Norse? 1. 4 Research Design and Methodology It will be a research that best serves to answer the questions and purpose of the study. Old Norse belongs to the Germanic group so data collected will be analyzed in all views and findings from this research will be generalized to the entire group.
This study will adopt a descriptive research design, which according to cooper and Schneider (2009) is a research concerned with finding out what, where and how a phenomenon is. Danes, on the other hand, moved to east and north areas of England. Vikings were regarded as potential warriors because they frequently attacked Ireland and Britain. Scandinavians were good sailors and they had excellent navigation skills and remarkable ships. Scandinavians decided to travel through the sea and settle in British Islands due to various reasons. According to their culture, it was mandatory to give inheritance to the eldest son leaving the younger sons with almost nothing. 3King Alfred of West Saxon had a huge duty of fighting with the Danish to stop them from conquering Wessex.
The battle was won by King Alfred in 878 by defeating the Danish at Ethandum under the leadership of 4Guthrum leading to the formation of Wedmore treaty (Baugh and Cable 108-109). The treaty led to the development of Danelaw which comprised of a legal system of the Danes. All the Danish people including their leader got baptized and embraced Christianity as their new religion as this was part of their treaty agreement. Lands in the East of Watling and North of Thames were all given out to the Danes to prevent them from pushing further to Wessex (Baugh and Cable 109). Intermarriages became the trend among the English people and the Vikings after King Alfred legally giving the Danish their own land (Baugh and Cable 111).
Exchange of language and custom grew at a faster rate because of friendliness that the Vikings had towards their neighbors. Conversion from Paganism to Christianity also enhanced communication among both languages (Baugh and Cable 112). The Vikings and Anglo-Saxons had a common Origin which created an easier way to talk to each other because their languages were similar and had minimal differences. Frequent attacksled to German tribes such as the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes migrate towards British areas. People living in those towns have names ending with –son which is of Scandinavian origin (Smith K. Danelaw allowed the Scandinavians to intermarry with the Old English which brought about the existence of such names that are widely used in England. 3 Evolution of English into a modern language Combination of languages from Angles, Jutes, and the Saxons led to the development of a language known as “Anglo-Saxon” or “Old English”.
It had words from Celts but it sounded like Germanic language. After the invasion of the Norman ruler, Nomadic words such as “Justice”, “parliament” and “Jury” were incorporated into English. He learned printing skills in Holland and used the skills to help others in Britain to learn and understand English. He printed books and other journals in English and sold them to British citizens so that they could learn various aspects and components of that language. His effort led to the massive recognition of English language and by 1500 English was considered as a modern language of communication. 9William Shakespeare made his work during this era of recognition known as “Romeo and Juliet”. The play made the audience experience fear, laughter, and anger which made people write his work in books as it was seen to be more than just a play.
Words from these colonies were borrowed which enhanced the expansion of English language. The name “Banana” originated from Africa while “Shampoo” was an Indian word. Other English words are used technically although their origins are unknown. “Dog/hound”, ‘big’, “fun” and “bad” are examples of words which are used anonymously. New words are still invented over the centuries by combining different nouns, verbs, and pronouns. 1 Christian influence on the English Language During Roman invasion, Christianity was adopted by the Britons but became extinct after Germans invaded the area. 10Pope Gregory of St Augustine brought the spirit of Christianity back in 597 CE when he sent 40 missionaries to Briton to preach about Christianity. Missionaries taught people about Christianity using Latin alphabet as it was believed to be the Alphabet of Christianity (Lilo M.
Technically, people were not educated and thus it wasn’t easy to write Latin language and therefore English language was preferred for writing. In 601 AD learning centers were built in Lindisfarne and Jarrow and it was also during this period that Augustine became the Archbishop of Canterbury Anglo-Saxons and Celts developed their writing skills by scratching on stones and woods to form scribbles that resembled angular characters and rune alphabets. West Saxon dialect was known around the 10th Century and it became the national language of Britain. Each dialect had its own vocabularies that differentiated it from each other. For example, the land was spelled as long in the north and land in Kentish and West Saxon, evil was spelled as yfel in the North and feel in South-east.
2 Old English Jutes and Frisians came later to Britain after the Saxons had established settlements in the area. Jutes moved to the south and the Angles shifted to the north after pushing the Celts to the West. Anglia’s settled in Anglia region and adopted the English language which was used in the region. Juxes occupied Kent region while the Saxons remained in Sussex regions. 4 Anglo-Saxon and Old English Language Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and Beowulf poem which is evidence that Anglo-Saxons adopted English language in their communications. “Beowulf” poem was originally written in Northumbria language but it was later converted into a combination of Anglia, West Saxon, and Northumbrian vocabularies (Algeo, 1993). The poem had 3,182 lines and is comprised of well-defined characteristics of percussive effects, synonyms, alteration, and subtleties of meanings.
However, some words in old English and modern English look similar but they possess different meaning. Sona was an Old English word which meant immediately and the same word means “in a while” In Modern English. A wife meant female character regardless of their marital status but it means a lady who is married in Modern English. Fast means rapid in Modern context and firm or fixed in Old English. Any bird was called a fugol / fowl in traditional English and the same foul means birds found in a farmyard. King Alfred was left with a heavy task of rebuilding houses, schools, hospitals, churches and bringing back learning, religion, and law (Watson, 2002). Schools that he built taught people using Saxon language because he believed that people would easily understand teachings in their own language unlike using teachings from a foreign language such as Latin.
King Alfred made translations of various books such as Anglo-Saxon Chronicles and Ecclesiastical History of the English people from his native language into the English language. He did this to enable those who did not understand Anglo Saxon language to read the book in English language and learn about the evolution of England, their way of living and various invasions that took place in the past. He played a great role in preventing English from being tarnished by the Vikings. Natural grammatical genders replaced the arbitrary ones (Sclauch M. Similarly, endings in verb conjunctions were omitted leading to simplification of verbs. Strong verbs had commas to represent their singular form and their plural forms were characterized by writing using past tense.
Writing of Middle English words changed from using runic alphabets and scribbles to using Latin alphabets. Despite the fact that most of the characteristics in Middle English are similar to those in Old English, some of them have been transformed according to Nomadic writing systems. Examples are sun/solar, eye/ocular, mouth/oral, mind/mental and nose/nasal. Present-day English contains contemporary words that differ in spellings and pronunciation. Colonial role of the United States that occurred in the 19th century contributed to the rigidness in syntax and grammar of American English. It first went to Southeast Asia in the Philippines then moved to Caribbean areas such as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands (Algeo, 1993). It moved further to Pacific areas after World War II.
The initial definition of Norman had shifted from “A man from the North” to possibly being “Normandy inhabitants from the North”. King William wanted to conquer the Anglo-Saxon language and he, therefore, changed the official language of England from Anglo-Saxon to Franco-Normandy. The language was mainly used in courts, among the local people, the church, and the Nomadic people. Anglo-Saxon was mainly used by invaders who lived in towns while educated people like scholars, scientists and clerks taught and wrote articles in the Latin Language. This created a disparity of language among the England people because three different languages were spoken at the same time by three different people, Latin, Saxon and Franco-Norman. This led to the division of Franco-Norman tribes as some of them remained in England to speak Franco-Norman language while others moved to the continent to learn pure French.
When 19King Charles IV of France died without having anybody to succeed him, his throne was claimed by the King Henry III of England. However, 20Philipe VI of Valois became the successor in 1337 after he was chosen by the French Princess. This led to a war between the two Kings each claiming to have the French Throne. 21King Edward III of England failed to effectively address his military group after winning the Cré cy Battle in 1346. Women prefer using simplified English while men tend to use modified and complex English in their daily communications. Young people in Canada have been seen as uncommon users of the vowels that are considered to be peculiar among the Canadians. Typically, English in Canada keeps changing and therefore it is not exactly known as the specific language that the Canadians speak.
Technically, not all cities in Canada exhibit similar characteristics of speaking different languages. For instance, Maritime city of Eastern Canada speaks the language used in Southwest England rather than the language spoken by former inhabitants of Ontario. Churches mainly used the language because it was a requirement from the state although the Latin language was incorporated when writing bible scripts to church members. Infusion of the French language to Anglo-Saxon language and mixing French with Norman language led to the formation of two distinctive English languages: One from the Roman origin and the other one from the German origin. New words were formed as a result of these two processes and they include the following: Words formed from Franco-Norman language town/city stream/river sheep/mutton house/home tongue/language coming/arrival bookstore/library mansion/manor kitchen/cuisine.
town/city Words that originated from the Franco-Norman origin are: Words from Franco-Norman Origin soldier (soudier>soldat) candle (candeile) jacket (jacquet) monmey (moneie) garden (gardin>jardin) mayor (maire) England rulers and kings acquired their names and titles from the French language such as duke, baron, peer, and prince. Other titles originated from Middle English words: lord, queen, earl, lady, and king. Romans came back to invade British islands in 50 BCE after they withdrew from protecting them. These Islands includes Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and England. Their stay in Britain created a major impact on English languages. This is because Romans speak Latin and some of the words in English originated from the Latin Language. Typically, French and Spanish are Latin languages and they both created an impact in the development of English language.
Gallo-Romans were further moved to East Armorica by the Britons. Germanic tribes in Central Europe were the main influencer of the English language leading to the referral of English language as the Germanic language in the present day. Those tribes comprised of Swedish, German, Austrian and Dutch. Germanic invasion in 449 CE was as a result of Roman military withdrawal. Germans realized that they had an opportunity to steal from the Britons because they had no one to protect them. 7 Invasions by the Normans Duke Williams of Normandy of France brought about the subject of loanwords after he conquered English territorial lands. Words from French were incorporated into English language and some French phonemic sounds were used when speaking the English language.
8 The contribution of Latin and scientific words The Latin language created a major impact on the development of English language because many words were borrowed to form other English words during the coming of Missionaries. Most scientific writings used the Latin language while authors such as Shakespeare used the English language in writing their books and journals. The English language reduced its overdependence on Greek and Latin words because of too much scientific information that it made it difficult for people to understand the complex scientific words found in English. Humanitarians used terminologies from Greek to help them in their study of humans and their evolutions. Words borrowed include anthropology, geography, physiology, archeology, and hydrography. Latin words were highly valued because they were mostly used in teaching university student during the 16th century.
However, too much borrowing of Latin language made people consider it as being barbaric, complex and more profound that could be easily understood by commoners who are uneducated. Strong English supporters termed the Latin language as Popish as they thought that the language was used in the church to prevent the native people from questioning church leaders and it was used by royals to hide their mistakes. Chess, curry, lilac, pariah, and arsenic were borrowed from India. Alcohol, arsenal, apricot, algebra, cotton, alchemy and azimuth originated from the Arabic language. Coffee, caviar, horde, and dolman came from Turkish. CHAPTER SIX: THE ANALYSIS OF NAMES AND LOANWORDS 6. 1 Scandinavian Place / Name Vikings from Denmark and Norway made their way through the sea to England.
The second scenario is where the Vikings used the names they found in England to call places without changing them. The third instance is where the Old Norse embraced Old English names by calling them using their own sounds and phonetic habits. The Vikings possibly used all the three Scenarios when naming places, the most common ones being the Third Scenario. They translated English names into their own language by changing the sound or by changing phonetic sounds in Old English language. 1 Scandinavian Loanwords Scandinavian loan words were divided into two groups based on the period in which they were used (Baugh and Cable 99). For example, sick –ill, no-nay, and rear-raise. The third instances, words having a similar meaning in both languages have been incorporated in modern English as having originated from Scandinavian and Old English.
Example of such words includes; fast, thick, burn, scrape and drag. In the fourth instance, native words that were rarely used brought into use by the Old Norse and they include, run, till, blend and rim. Scandinavian words replaced Old English words which had been used for a long time in the fifth scenario. However, similar words are written with sc in Old English and “sk” in Old Norse were incorporated in modern English to form different meanings. For instance, the Scandinavian word “skyrta” is used as “skirt” in Modern English and Old English word “scryte ” refers to “skirt” in Modern English. Gift in Old Norse meant present while in Old English it meant marriage which indicates that it was borrowed from Old Norse to be used in Modern English.
Old English word blÅma was a description for ‘ingot of iron’ while blÅm in Old Norse explained ‘blooming of flowers’ and the word is used in Modern English as bloom for flowers. Origin of modern English words can also be determined by checking their vowels and sounds. The English language borrowed prefixes and suffixes from Latinand French language as shown below: Prefix Example Suffix Example Ex Except Ible Credible Per Pervert Ant –ent Important / different De Deduce Al Capital Pre Predestine Meant Segment / argument Dis Distract Able Admirable Inter Interval Sub Subscribe Pro Prosecute French and Latin represent words that originated from Greek. Examples are words such as comedy, magic, theatre, agony, fantasy, tragedy and horizon. 4 French Loan Words Middle English period experienced a vast change in languages from Anglo-Saxon, Latin, and Normand to Franco-Norman languages Thus it had to borrow words from these languages although it was highly influenced by the Franco-Norman language.
Words borrowed ranged from arts, medicine, the government, education, the court and the army. Both French and Norman words were incorporated into Middle English words during the reign of William the Conqueror. Modern English Third Person Pronouns Masculine Feminine Neuter Plural Subject He She It they Object Him Her It Them Possessive His Her Its Their Borrowing of pronouns by the English people might have been the reason for the failure of the Vikings to distinguish between singular and plural when speaking and hearing Old English (Baugh and Cable 102). Unlike hē which developed into he and hī which were transformed into hi, Old English developed they from Scandinavian’s þei (Baugh and Cable 162). Plural form of to be in Old English was borrowed from Vikings which was known as “syndon” (Baugh and Cable 102).
According to Baugh and Cable (102), Second person singular, plurals of third persons and present plural in Modern English originated from Old Norse. Therefore, Old Norse contributed tremendously in the formation of verbs and pronouns to the Old English language. 1 Form (Grammatical) words Old Norse words influenced grammatical words in English such as pronouns, adverbs, prepositions, and verbs to be. Examples include conjunctions such as though, adverbs like ever (aye) and pronouns such as they, them and their. CHAPTER SEVEN: SUMMARY OF THE DEVELOPMENT, SPREAD, AND USE OF MODERN ENGLISH LANGUAGE 7. 1 Survival of English language Many languages were absorbed and some languages vanished with time and this makes us ask ourselves how English managed to survive despite threats exhibited by every language which claimed its dominance.
“There are three motives which explain the survival of English language. Having no one to lead them, Normans had to decide on whether to go on French side or on the English side. This led to the establishment of an independent English nation that away from the French people. English people began to love and cherish their native language after they united with the Normans. Normans initial invasion of England was slowly forgotten and the two tribes became cohesive than never before. 2 Re-Establishment of English Language The English language relied on French when borrowing various words but the war created a rivalry between the two leading to the development of English language which was free from French words and phrases. Many people believed that introduction of foreign words in English made the language become more affluent because of new words that were added to it.
This belief was contrary to what Gabriel Harvey thought about the English language. In his poem, he wrote that the English language had become a totally different language from the rest because it looked like a dumpsite for all other languages. Words found in the English language had their origin from Spain, France, Greece, Italy and Latin countries making it less possessive by England as most of the words are generic. Printing press introduced by William Caxton was essential in improving the spelling and correcting grammatical errors in English. Other languages such as Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish have been used since they are spoken in different countries through learning. People all over the world have been able to spread messages to others using the English language through movies, songs, poems, research, plays, and novels.
English has kept growing since 19th century despite the collapse of British Empire. The United States continued to influence people to embrace English language making it a world language unlike Spanish, French, Chinese and Russian which are considered as National languages. It provides the basis for which trade can be conducted and different people can share their business ideas. Internet will support the development of various languages in future including English. It will enable people to learn new developments in English language and other languages. The English language will maintain its current status as a center for international trade, scientific research, and economic benefits. In future, English will be able to create oneness among larger tribes such as the lusophines, francophones, and Hispanophones (Baugh and Cable, 96).
Technically, the English language will diminish someday just the way Greek, Latin, and Phoenician vanished and was replaced by the English language. It states that English and French have been good travel companions for nine centuries without any alteration in the two languages. English borrowed words from the French language in the 11th century similar to the 18th Century where the reverse happened and French acquired many words from the English language. By the end of the 20th century, both languages became mutually independent of each other and they exchanged words where possible. 6 Why spelling English is still Hard in Modern English Alphabets play a major role in spelling English words because some of them produce one more than one sound when spelled while others are silent in words.
For example, “x” in “box” produces almost two “x” sounds and anyone can easily confuse this by spelling [box] as [boxx]. History of English exhibited borrowing and loaning of words from different languages which led to the spelling of English words differently. That is why dictionaries contain words spelled in American English, Latin English, British English and German English. The spelling of correct English requires one to understand the linguistic origin of the languages. Understanding of different laws guiding representation of alphabetic sounds is also helpful in determining the exact sound to be used for the pronunciation of English words. Learning of correct English spelling requires one to study anthropology and history of English language. The Danish were assimilated into French culture thereby abandoning the German Cultural practices and beliefs.
Despite the attacks made by the Danish against the French people, there was a close contact with Norman French rulers in England and the Dukedom of Normandy. They achieved a close contact by communicating using Norman French language and preserving land holdings in England and France (Baugh and Cable 114;116). Basically, Norman French were viewed as foreigners by the old English people because most of the Norman French came from royal families and some of them had high ranks within the Royals. They were also considered as having remarkable cultures as opposed to Scandinavians who were peasant farmers (Jespersen 82;87). 911:- Norman French comes into existence as they plan to conquer Britain. c. 1000:- “Beowulf” manuscript was written during this period. 1066:- British is invaded by the Normans.
c. 1400:- Beginning of the Great Vowel Shift 1476:- The first printing press was established by William. 1485:- Caxton’s first book “Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur” was published. 1492:- new world of English as discovered by Columbus (Margaret S. 1525:- The New Testament was translated by William Tyndale 1536:- The first Act of Union was developed which united Wales and England. 1549:- Common prayer book was printed in its first version. 1788:- British established its penal colony in Australia 1803:- Act of Union united Ireland and Britain. 1828:- Anther dictionary was published by Noah Webster. 1851: Moby Dick was published by Herman Melville 1922: - Founding of British Broadcasting Corporation. 1928:- Oxford English Dictionary was published and is used to date.
2 Conclusion Norman Conquest played a significant in the development of English language. Modern English prefixes, stems and suffixes contains letters that are from Greek origin for example, synchronize originated from “sin” in Greek which means “plus”. Greek mythology has been used widely in arts and literature of Modern Language. For instance, expressions like “Achilles heel” which means to have some weakness was derived from a Greek poet (Achilles) who was susceptible to his heel despite being a man. Despite Greek being a minority language in the present world, its impacts are still felt in modern science and technology and in other European tongues (Mario Pei, 1966). Dutch words incorporated in Modern English language comprises of (huis-tuin-en-keukenwoorden) which means house, garden and kitchen words (Van der Sijs, 2015).
This created a huge impact on Latin Language because it was not only borrowed verbally but it was also borrowed through writing by the Anglo-Saxon. However, very little words were borrowed directly from Latin after the Norman invasion as most of the words were derived from French Language. 75% of words used today in English are from French because English was a free language and thus it was open to allow borrowing from the Lexical language. Strong influence by different languages is what has made English be a precious language that is respected in every continent. Technically, Modern English has a strong influence from the French language compared to Scandinavian language. Exchange and power in social life New York, J. Wiley  (OCoLC)570151224.
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