Middle English. Scandinavian Invasion. Norman Conquest. Formation of the English national language.
It is impossible to state the exact date of the Scandinavian invasion as it was a long process embracing over two centuries, the first inroads of the Scandinavian Vikings having began as far back as the end of the 8th century. The Scandinavian invasion and the subsequent settlement of the Scandinavian on the territory of England, the constant contacts and intermixture of the English and the Scandinavians brought about many changes in different spheres of the English language: word-stock, grammar and phonetics. The influence of Scandinavian dialects was especially felt in the North and East parts of England, where mass settlement of the invaders and intermarriages with the local population were especially common.
The Norman Conquest began in 1066. The Normans were by origin a Scandinavian tribe who two centuries back began their inroads on the Northern part of France and finally occupied the territory on both shores of the Seine. The French King Charles the Simple ceded to the Normans the territory occupied by them, which came to be called Normandy. The Normans adopted the French language and culture, and when they came to Britain they brought with them the French language.
The heritage of the Norman Conquest was manifold. It united England to Western Europe, opening the gates to European culture and institutions, theology, philosophy and science. The Conquest in effect meant a social revolution in England. The lands of the Saxon aristocracy were divided up among the Normans, who by 1087 composed almost 10% of the total population. Each landlord, in return for his land, had to take an oath of allegiance to the king and provide him with military services if and when required.
Formation of the English national language
The English national language was formed on the basis of the London dialect which was uppermost among Middle English dialects due to the political, geographical, economic and "linguistic" position of London which became the capital of England already in the 11th century before the Norman conquest and which was in the 15th century a thriving economic centre and port of England due to its geographical position near the estuary of the largest river in England. The geographical position of London as a large port and city in the centre of the country where people of the North mingled with "people of the South, on the one hand, enabled the Londoners to acquire features of both southern and northern dialects, and on the other hand, the people coming to London helped to spread the London dialect all over the country.
9.Middle English.Inner history.Phonetics.Grammar.Word-stock.The Middle English period was a time of unprecedentedly rapid development of the language. For the first three centuries English was only a spoken language, and as such had no norm and could develop without any restrain. All the elements of the language changed fundamentally.
Phonetics .The stress is dynamic and fixed in the native words. But in the borrowed French words the stress was on the last syllable:licour [li'ku:r], nature [na'nr.r], etc.New consonant sounds developed in native words:[Ο ship[f ] child[Cfe] bridge OE scip cild brysz.The resonance of the consonant does not depend so much on the position of the consonant, and voiced consonants can appear not only in intervocal, but also in initial and other positions.Vowels in unstressed position were reduced:Old EnglishMiddle English.These sounds were in the end of the word, and it neutralized the difference between the suffixes the main grammar means.Compare:Old English Middle English .Genitive Singular fisces fishes.Nominative Plural fiscas - fishes.Vowels under stress underwent mainly quantitative changes.In Middle English we observe a rhythmic tendency, the aim of which is to obliterate overlong and overshort sequences. The tendency is to have in the word one long vowel + one consonant..Grammar.The grammar system in Middle English gradually but very
quickly changed fundamentally: the Old English was a synthetic language, the Middle English at the end of the period an analytical language. The principal grammatical means of the Old English were preserved, but were no longer principal. At the end of the Middle English period the analytical means, which began
developing in Middle English, are predominant. They are:1. analytical verb-forms (Chaucer: perfect hath holpen(has helped); passive engendered is (is bom));2. the use of prepositions for grammatical purposes
(Chaucer; drought of March);3. a fixed word-order began to develop.Word-stock In Middle English it underwent fundamental changes and became almost new. If in Old English the word-stock was almost completely native, in Middle English there were many borrowings. The principal sources of them were:1. Scandinavian (those who came in the end of the Old English period) over 500 words (take, give, sky, wrong, etc.);2. French (the language of the Norman conquerors) over 3500 words (government, army, battle, etc.).Though the number of the French words is greater, all the Scandinavian words common, colloquial,everyday,indispensable entered the very core of the language, and their influence is very great. The French words are generally terms
indispensable only in certain official spheres, but not colloquial.The Scandinavian borrowings are intensive, the French borrowings extensive:1. the Scandinavians and the English were linguistically similar (both Germanic), the English and the French different(Germanic and Romance languages);2. the English and the Scandinavians were similar socially(neither of the nations formed the upper class); the French and the English were different socially (the French-speaking people forming the ruling class, the English-speaking the lower class);
3. the English and the Scandinavians had similar culture,habits, customs, traditions; the French and the English
different;that is why the assimilation of the French words could not proceed so quickly and intensively as that of Scandinavian.The principal means of enriching vocabulary were thus outer means, i.e. borrowings.
10.New English. Outer history. Emergence of the nation. Establishment of the literary norm. Geographical expansion of English in the 17th-20th centuries and its effect on the language.1. Outer history1.1. Emergence of the nationThe 15 century is a border-line in the history of the English people. In 1485 there ended the War between the Roses. The end of the war meant the end of feudalism and the beginning of capitalism, a new, more peaceful era and the transition between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. An absolute monarchy was established, the first absolute monarch being Henry Tudor. It meant a real unification of the country, political and economic,resulted in the development of capitalism and made it inevitable that one nation and one national language be established.The first king of the period, Henry VII (14851509)strengthened the monarchy and provided the revenue imperative for its very existence. During his reign commerce and hipbuilding were encouraged, and the material wealth of the country increased. New lands Newfoundland and Nova Scotia
were discovered. Following in his steps, his son, Henry VIII 15091547) broke away from the ecclesiastical influence of Rome, made himself head of the Church of England and of the State and transferred the property of the monasteries to himself.Dozens of large ships were built, trade continued to develop, and new territories were drawn into it. It was during the reign of Henry's son, Edward VI (15471553), that trade with Muscovy,or Russia, as we call it today, was opened up.The long reign of Elizabeth I (15581603) was one of the most remarkable for the country, its progress in the discovery and colonizing field tremendous. Queen Elizabeth's reign was also particularly rich in learning it was the age of Shakespeare,
Sidney, Spencer, Bacon, Marlowe and many other famous names.Nevertheless, the evident achievements in foreign policy,trade and culture did not put an end to the controversy of variouspowerful forces in the country. Another problem which was tohave far-reaching concequences was that of whether sovereignty lay with monarch or Parliament advocating the interests of the new developing classes of society. The strife between the Crown and Parliament was aggavated by religious differences. The development of the country required more regular revenue, and forced the Crown to raise taxes, which met with disapproval fromParliament.In the XVII century Charles I (16251649) for over a decade ruled without Parliament, but had finally to reach a compromise, according to which the powers of Parliament were greatly extended. Henceforth one legal system was to apply to the king and his subjects alike, and no taxation was to be raised without Parliament's consent. However, when Paliament demanded further concessions, denied the king control of the army, a crisis followed which is now known under the title of the Great Rebellion. The Crown lost the ensuing war, Charles I surrendered and was executed, and for over a decade the country was ruled by Parliament alone, the most notable leader of that time being Oliver Cromwell. Granted the title of Lord Protector, he was a virtual dictator of the nation, heavily relying on the Army and disillusioning Parliament which had first brought him to power. After the death of Oliver Cromwell the Army and Parliament Were unable to agree on a government, and the restoration of monarchy that followed in 1660, when the son of the executed king, Charles II, was.invited to return to the throne, was more a.
restoration of Parliament than of the King himself. Charles II,who during the time of Cromwell lived in exile in France,brought with him from the Continent a keen interest in scientific development, culture and arts, together with a considerable mfluence of the French language spoken by his supporters.