Билеты по истории английского языка (The history of the English language)

    Дисциплина: Педагогика
    Тип работы: Реферат
    Тема: Билеты по истории английского языка (The history of the English language)

    Periods in the history of English.

    The history of English covers roughly 1200 years.

    The commonly

    accepted, traditional

    periodisation divides English history into three periods:

    The Old English period

    (OE) begins about 700 a. d. (it’s the time to which the earliest writings in English belong), and lasts till about 12

    th century.

    The Middle English period

    (ME) lasts from about the beginning of the 12

    th century till 15

    th century.

    The Modern English


    MnE) begins at about 15

    th century and lasts to the present day.

    Within the Modern English period it’s customary to distinguish between Early Modern English - 1500 - 1660, and Late Modern English - 1660 -

    Synchronic and Diachronic Aspects.

    Before embarking on a study of the historical development of the English language we will briefly consider the two aspects of such study, now commonly called the


    and the


    We would get a descriptive grammar of the language of the period. Thus, a study of the language of Chaucer and his contemporaries would yield a system of

    Middle English grammar. A study of the language of King Alfred’s works and translations, of Old English poems, and other texts of the period would be


    as a study of 20

    th- century language.

    this would yield



    Let us illustrate this statement by one example.

    The study of the system of substantives in the 9

    th c. leads to the conclusion that in Old English the substantives had four cases: the nominative, genitive, dative, and accusative. In a similar way, the study of the

    system of substantives in the 14

    th c. leads to the conclusion that in Middle English the substantive had two cases: the common and the genitive. Both these conclusions are strictly synchronic. But when we

    compare the results obtained by the study of the 9

    th and of the 14

    th c., and draw the conclusion that during the intervening centuries the number of cases of substantives was reduced from four to two, this is a diachronic statement. Such

    reasoning of course applies to many other phenomena.

    Origin of the English Language. Languages in England before English.

    The English Language originated from Anglo- Frisian dialects, which made part of the West Germanic language group. The Germanic tribes which

    conquered Britain in the 5

    th c. belonged, as ancient historians say, to three tribes, the Angles, the Saxons, and the Jutes. These tribes occupied the following territories on the continent: the

    Angles lived north of the

    Schlei river; the Saxons lived in modern Holstein; the Jutes lived in Northern

    Sleswick, which is now part of Denmark. About the 4

    th century A. D. (


    Domini) these tribes spread westwards.

    The earliest mention of the British Isles is in the 4

    th c. B. C. (Before Christ). At this time Britain was inhabited by Celtic tribes (Britons and Gaels), who spoke various Celtic languages.

    Celtic languages are divided into two main groups: the Gallo- Breton and the Gaelic. The Gallo- Breton group comprises (1) Gallic, which was

    spoken in Gaul (modern France), and (2) British, represented by Welsh (or

    Cymry) in Wales, Cornish in Cornwall (became extinct in the 18

    th c.), and Breton in Brittany. The Gaelic group comprises (1) Irish, (2) Scots, so- called Erse, (3) Manx, on the isle of Man, between Scotland and Ireland.

    Writings in OE. OE

    poetry. “

    Beowulf”. Наиболее яркие произведения

    Among the earliest insertions in Latin texts are pieces of OE poetry.

    Bede’s HISTORIA



    ANGLORUM (written in Latin in the 8

    th c.) contains an English fragment of five lines known as “

    Bede’s Death Song” and a religious poem of nine lines, “

    Cadmon’s Hymn”.

    All in all we have about 30, 000 lines of OE verse from many poets of some three centuries. The names of the poets are unknown except

    Cadmon and

    Cynewulf, two early Northumbrian authors.

    The greatest poem of the time was BEOWULF, an epic of the 7

    th or 8

    th c. It was originally composed in the Mercian or Northumbrian dialect, but has come down to us in a 10

    th c. It is based on old legends about the tribal life of the ancient

    Teutons. The author is unknown.

    In the 10

    th c. some new war poems were composed and inserted in the prose historical chronicles: THE





    Another group of poems are OE elegiac (lyrical) poems: WIDSITH (“The

    Traveller’s Song”), THE


    SEAFARER, and others.

    Religious poems paraphrase, more or less closely, the books of the Bible - GENESIS, EXODUS. ELENE, ANDREAS, CHRIST, FATE


    tell the life- stories of apostles and saint or deal with various subjects associated with the Gospels.

    OE prose is a most valuable source of information for the history of the language. The earliest samples of continuous prose are the first pages

    of the


    CHRONICLES (by King Alfred, VII - IX c.): brief annals of the year’s happenings made at various monasteries.

    One of the most important contributions is the West Saxon version of

    Orosius’s World History. Alfred’s other translations were a book of instruction for parish priests




    The famous philosophical treatise



    Boethius, a Roman philosopher and seaman.

    By the 10

    th c. the West Saxon dialect had firmly established itself as the written form of English. The two important 10

    th c. writers are

    AElfric and


    AElfric was the most outstanding writer of the later OE period. He produced the




    and a



    Wulfstan, the second prominent late West Saxon author, was Archbishop of York in the early 11

    th c. He is famous for his collections of passionate sermons known as the


    The Roman conquest.

    In 55 B. C. the Romans under Julius Caesar first landed in Britain. This first appearance of the Romans had no further consequences


    : after a brief stay the Romans went back to Gaul. In the year 54 Caesar landed in Britain for a second time, he routed


    the Britons and advanced


    as far as the Thames. But this stay was also a short one.

    Permanent conquest

    (постоянные завоевания

    of Britain began in 43 A. D., under the emperor Claudius. The Romans subdued (подчинили

    the Britons, and colonized the country, establishing a great number of military camps, which eventually

    (в конце концов

    developed into English cities. About 80 A. D., under the emperor

    Domitian, the Romans reached the river

    Glotta (the Clyde) and the river

    Bodotria (the Forth). Thus, they occupied a territory including the modern cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

    In this period Britain became a Roman province. This colonization had a profound


    effect on the country. Roman civilization – paved


    roads, powerful walls of military camps – completely transformed the aspect


    of the country. The Latin language superseded


    the Celtic dialects in township and probably also sp...

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