Evolution and functioning of French borrowings in the English vocabulary in the field of fashion, food, clothes

The role of English language in a global world. The historical background, main periods of borrowings in the Middle and Modern English language. The functioning of French borrowings in the field of fashion, food, clothes in Middle and Modern English.

Рубрика Иностранные языки и языкознание
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Язык английский
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The Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Abai Kazakh National Pedagogical University

Diploma paper

050119- “Two foreign languages: The English and German languages”


Done by: A. Nurzhigitova

3 year student- Foreign language: two foreign languages

Supervisor: B.E.Bukabayeva,

candidate of philological sciences

Almaty, 2013




1.1 The role of English language in a global world

1.2 The historical background of the English language

1.3 The main periods of borrowings in the English language

1.3.1 The borrowed words in the Middle English language

1.3.2 The borrowed words in the Modern English language


2.1 Functioning of French borrowings in Middle English

2.2 Functioning of French borrowings in Modern English




The actuality of the diploma paper. The English is a Germanic language and took origin from the Indo-European Family. It is the second spread spoken language in the world after Chinese. Nowadays about 300 million people considered as native speakers, 300 million people use English as a second language and 100 million people use it as a foreign language. English is a language of science, aviation, computing, diplomacy, tourism and friendship. Over 45 countries use English as official and co-official language, but in some countries where it has not official status English is spoken extensively and more actively.

English becomes the world`s unofficial international language and this domination is unique in history. Chinese is spoken by more people, but English is now the most wide spread language in the world. All business agreements, official deals and documents conducted in English. Not only business documents, but two third of all scientific papers are written in English. Over 70% of State post and mails are written and addressed in English. Most international tourism and business, aviation and diplomacy, computing and research works are conducted in English.

English contains many borrowed words from other languages, brought to England during its development. One of this languages is French. French borrowed words brought to country during the 11th century by Norman Conquest.

In learning French borrowings we learn its importance. Its theoretical importance is used when we learn borrowings deeply in science. It means we learn theoretical importance deeply for learning the lexicological studies. This importance is used in the science, and in oral speech we needn`t to learn theoretically. We can note that borrowed words were built by word-building suffixes, and nowadays we know several French suffixes which build English word.

In practice we analyze the functioning of French borrowed words when we try to explain our minds. In the theoretical importance we need to learn the cognitive and cultural aspects of borrowed words, their origin and structure of these words and we try to understand their meanings. But in practice we needn`t learn them deeply, we only use them in our speech.

The objects of the diploma paper are French borrowed words from other languages. There used the column of English-French equivalents.

The aims of the diploma paper are to research the cognitive and cultural origin of French borrowed words in the English language and its main role in our days, to research the structure of the language and to divide borrowings into periods according to their functioning.

Tasks: First of all we must divide borrowings into three periods and learn their classification according to their functioning. The classification of French borrowed words consists of three periods: 1066-1250, 1250-1400, 1400- our days.

In the first period there appeared about 900 words, because that was the time when Normans began to settle and William the Conqueror allowed the common people to keep their mother tongue. We can count very few borrowed words because of it. But later there increased the number of loan words.

In the second period there used borrowed words in such direction of the life, in government, in cousin, in culture and etc. Norman Aristocracy began to use non-English words, and those words used to be native ones.

In the third period the number of French borrowed words increased and people mixed them with their native words. Nowadays those words used to be English and the English lexicology full of them.

In comparison of Middle English with Modern English is difficult, because in some way we found some difficulties to derive words into periods. One of the famous writers of Middle English is Chaucer, when we read his “Canterbury tales” we note some borrowed words which were spoken at that time. Nowadays we don`t use them very rarely. The language of that time was called “Anglo-Norman”.

But how the language became Modern English. The language developed and needed exchange. There came the time of technology and computing, this was the first reason for changing it. The second reason is the wide spread of English. So English is completed by foreign words.

Novelty of the diploma paper is the researching of the French borrowed words from other languages. Especially information about French borrowed words. There used table of bilingualism equivalent of French and English words, map where shown the territory of Normandy (the country of Norman people). The extract from the work which was written in the Old English language.

Structure of the diploma paper consists of two parts. In the first part I try to research origin, the historical background, the cognitive and cultural structure of borrowed words in the English language. We can know how developed the language, its role in our lives and we get information about loan words and native English words. In researching of the lexical structure of the language we find interesting information about borrowed words from other languages.

In the second part we find more information about borrowed words from the French language. The French borrowed words consist of three main periods. The first period depended on the Old Middle English period. The second period depended on the Middle English period. The third period depended on the Late Middle and Early Modern English period.


english language french borrowing

1.1 The role of English language in a global world

English is Germanic language and took origin from Indo-European Family. It is the first world spread language in the world. Nowadays it is considered as a language of development, computing and technology. About 45 countries use English as official and co-official language, 300 million people speak English as a native speakers, 300 million people use the language as the second language, and about 100 million people learn English as foreign language. The status of the English language is more active and extensive. English is used in trade sphere also, it is the language of international business, mailing and tourism. Today learning the English language is essential [1, 35-40pp].

You will find more people communicating in English than those speaking Arabic and French collectively. Undoubtedly, the popularity of the language has termed English as the international language of diplomacy, business, science, technology, banking, computing, medicine, aviation, engineering, tourism, UN & NATO armed forces, Hollywood films and the best pop and rock music of the world. Want anymore? Apart from these unfamiliar and strange facts, there are several other reasons that state the importance of learning the universal language, English.

In addition to this, western culture carried in foreign countries in the form of music and movies. If you want to be successful in international business, learning English is very important. In many places, in Asia, Africa and South America, the chance to learn English determines who will increase their living standards, and who will remain in poverty.

It is essential to understand IT, to work for international business and organization or government. It is also very important requirement for all the major multinational companies. It is very important for your leisure: it permits you to travel around the world, being able to communicate and understand people around you and to see movies and read the books in their original language.

Most of the businesses engaged in dealing with international clients and suppliers prefer using English as the primary source of communication. While people have their own native languages, English serves as the most common and user-friendly language to interpret, translate and communicate with English-speaking customers and professionals. Hence, to make the best out of the available opportunities, one has to be highly fluent in English.

Languages differ from country to country and from region to region. Thus, if you happen to travel to another country, either for business or leisure purpose, you are sure to land yourself into great trouble, in case you are not conversant with the native language. In such circumstances, English comes to your rescue as it is a global language spoken by more than 900 million people across the globe, either as native language or second language. Familiarity to English can get you to communicate with anyone and everyone where you travel, thereby easily handling the situation.

People not only travel to places worldwide for business and pleasure, but they leave their homeland and travel to another country for study purpose as well. Travel to any country on this earth and you would find English as the main medium of teaching, as it is practically impossible for a new person to study in the local language of the country, in particular. Hence, education has, by far, increased the importance of English to a great extent.

Parents residing in an English-speaking country are bound to face difficulties in raising their children, who mostly attend an English school nowadays, if they themselves aren't able to understand English. For instance, if the teacher of your kids does not speak your native language, you will definitely have problems in communicating with him/her. Furthermore, if your kids bring back homework to be done in English, you will be of no help to them if you do not understand the language.

English language teaching classes start at nursery schools, where children can learn English easily. The teaching of English helps to get the final goal to make children grow up and get a multicultural education.

Generally speaking, English is the universal language on the internet, but it has no official status and it will never have. The reason for the position of English are the imperialism and economical and political importance of English speaking countries.

The position of English can only be altered by major world-scale political and economical changes, such as increasing importance of the European Union or a coalition between Japan and China. Such powers might wish and be able to promote a language other than English, possibly a constructed language, for international communication.

International English is the concept of the English language as a global means of communication in numerous dialects, and also the movement towards an international standard for the language. It is also referred to as Global English, World English, Common English, Continental English or General English. Sometimes these terms refer simply to the array of varieties of English spoken throughout the world.

Sometimes “International English” and the related terms above refer to a desired standardization, i.e. Standard English; however there is no consensus on the path to this goal.

Braj Kachru divides the use of English into three concentric circles.

The inner circle is the traditional base of English and includes countries such as the United Kingdom and Ireland and the Anglophone populations of the former British colonies of the United States, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and various islands of the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean.

In the outer circle are those countries where English has official or historical importance. This includes most of the countries of the Commonwealth of Nations, including populous countries such as India, Pakistan and Nigeria; and others, such as the Philippines, under the sphere of influence of English-speaking countries. Here English may serve as a useful lingua franca between ethnic and language groups. Higher education, the legislature and judiciary, national commerce, and so on, maybe all be carried out predominantly in English.

The expending circle refers to those countries where English has no official role, but is nonetheless important for certain functions, notably international business. This use of English as a lingua franca by now includes most of the rest of the world not categorized above.

Research in English as a lingua franca in the sense of “English in the Expending Circle” is comparatively recent. Linguists who have been active in this field are Jennifer Jenkins, Barbara Seidlhofer, Christiane Meierkord and Joachim Grzega.

English is an additional language (EAL) is usually based on the standards of either American English or British English. English as an international language (EIL) is EAL with emphasis on learning different major dialect forms; in particular, it aims to equip students with the linguistic tools to communicate internationally. Roger Nunn considers different types of competence in relation to the teaching of English as an International language, arguing that linguistic competence has yet to be adequately addressed in recent considerations of EIL.

Several models of “simplified English” have been suggested for teaching English as a foreign language: Basic English, developed by Charles Kay Ogden ( and later also I. A. Richards) in the 1930s, a recent revival has initiated by Bill Templers.

Threshold Level English, developed by van Ek and Alexander

Globish, developed by Jean-Paul Nerriere

Basic Global English, developed by Joachim Grzega

International English sometimes refers to English as it is actually being used and developed in the world; as a language owner not just by native speakers, but by all those who come to use it.

Basically, it covers the English language at large, often (but not always or necessarily) implicitly seen as standard. It is certainly also commonly used in connection with the acquisition, use, and study of English as the world's lingua franca ('TEIL: Teaching English as an International Language'), and especially when the language is considered as a whole in contrast with British English, American English, South African English, and the like.

It especially means English words and phrases generally understood throughout the English-speaking world as opposed to localisms. The importance of non-native English language skills can be recognized behind the long-standing joke that the international language of science and technology is broken English.

"What could be better than a type of English that saves you from having to re-edit publications for individual regional markets! Teachers and learners of English as a second language also find it an attractive idea -- both often concerned that their English should be neutral, without American or British or Canadian or Australian coloring. Any regional variety of English has a set of political, social and cultural connotations attached to it, even the so-called 'standard' forms."

According to this viewpoint, International English is a concept of English that minimizes the aspects defined by either the colonial imperialism of Victorian Britain or the so-called "cultural imperialism" of the 20th century United States. While British colonialism laid the foundation for English over much of the world, International English is a product of an emerging world culture, very much attributable to the influence of the United States as well, but conceptually based on a far greater degree of cross-talk and linguistic trans cult ration, which tends to mitigate both U.S. influence and British colonial influence.

The development of International English often centers on academic and scientific communities, where formal English usage is prevalent, and creative use of the language is at a minimum. This formal International English allows entry into Western culture as a whole and Western cultural values in general.

The continued growth of the English language itself is seen by many as a kind of cultural imperialism, whether it is English in one form or English in two slightly different forms.

Robert Phillipson argues against the possibility of such neutrality in his Linguistic Imperialism (1992). Learners who wish to use purportedly correct English are in fact faced with the dual standard of American English and British English, and other less known standard Englishes (including Australian, Scots and Canadian).

Edward Trimnell, author of Why You Need a Foreign Language & How to Learn One (2005) argues that the international version of English is only adequate for communicating basic ideas. For complex discussions and business/technical situations, English is not an adequate communication tool for non-native speakers of the language. Trimnell also asserts that native English-speakers have become "dependent on the language skills of others" by placing their faith in international English.

Modern English, sometimes described as the first global lingua franca, is the dominant language or in some instances even the required international language of communications, science, information technology, business, aviation, entertainment, radio and diplomacy. Its spread beyond the British Isles began with the growth of the British Empire, and by the late 19th century its reach was truly global. Following the British colonization of North America, it became the dominant language in the United States and in Canada. The growing economic and cultural influence of the US and its status as a global superpower since World War II have significantly accelerated the language's spread across the planet. English replaced German as the dominant language of science Nobel Prize laureates during the second half of the 20th century (compare the Evolution of Nobel Prizes by country).

A working knowledge of English has become a requirement in a number of fields, occupations and professions such as medicine and computing; as a consequence over a billion people speak English to at least a basic level (see English language learning and teaching). It is one of six official languages of the United Nations.

One impact of the growth of English has been to reduce native linguistic diversity in many parts of the world, and its influence continues to play an important role in language attrition. Conversely the natural internal variety of English along with creoles and pidgins have the potential to produce new distinct languages from English over time.

Learning English is not that difficult if you have taken admission in the right institution. Believe me, it is fun learning and it can be learned easily. However, the time frame for learning English depends on somebody's current level. If somebody has to start from the scratch then it might take 4-5 months if the classes are held from Monday to Friday for 2 hours. People get really scared and become hopeless after trying to learn English language by them or after taking admissions in one or two institutions. However, the fact is that one should do an intelligent search before joining any institution for learning English. There are major difference in writing English and speaking English. It's not necessary that a person who can write fluent English can also speak English fluently. So, you have to be very cautious while joining an institute and before that you need to understand your requirement whether you're going to learn how to write correct English or how to speak English fluently, as many of the institute are able to teach you how to write correct English and they fail when it comes to teach you how to speak English fluently.

Reading, writing, watching, listening and talking makes 100% and this is how you gain confidence and start speaking English fluently. If we're talking about importance of English language, how could we avoid importance of personality development? If a person is fluent in English language, but if he doesn't have knowledge about body language and etiquettes, he/she should not be able to demonstrate his/her abilities well. Hence, personality development program is also an important part to learn and you should have the proper knowledge about it. Some of the institutes offer it with no charges or as a combo pack along with spoken English. They also teach you interview techniques as a very minimal cost once you have enrolled yourself for English language course.

To sum up, I would say you should not get scared or loose confidence when it comes to English language. It is just that you should try and find an institute who has the right techniques to teach English speaking course to their students along with personality development program and interview techniques.

A language is a systematic means of communication by the use of sounds or conventional symbols. It is the code we all use to express ourselves and communicate to others. It is a communication by word of mouth. It is the mental faculty or power of vocal communication. It is a system for communicating ideas and feelings using sounds, gestures, signs or marks. Any means of communicating ideas, specifically, human speech, the expression of ideas by the voice and sounds articulated by the organs of the throat and mouth is a language. This is a system for communication. A language is the written and spoken methods of combining words to create meaning used by a particular group of people.

Language, so far as we know, is something specific to humans, that is to say it is the basic capacity that distinguishes humans from all other living beings. Language therefore remains potentially a communicative medium capable of expressing ideas and concepts as well as moods, feelings and attitudes.

A set of linguists who based their assumptions of language on psychology made claims that language is nothing but `habit formation'. According to them, language is learnt through use, through practice. In their view, `the more one is exposed to the use of language, the better one learns'.

Written languages use symbols (characters) to build words. The entire set of words is the language's vocabulary. The ways in which the words can be meaningfully combined is defined by the language's syntax and grammar. The actual meaning of words and combinations of words is defined by the language's semantics.

The latest and the most advanced discoveries and inventions in science and technology are being made in the universities located in the United States of America where English language is the means of scientific discourse.

English language comes to our aid in our commercial transactions throughout the globe. English is the language of the latest business management in the world and Indian proficiency in English has brought laurels to many Indian business managers. English is a means not only for international commerce; it has become increasingly essential for inter-state commerce and communication.

A language attracts people because of the wealth of literature and knowledge enshrined in it. English poses no danger to Indian languages. The Indian languages are vibrant and are developing by the contributions of great minds using them as their vehicle of expression. English is available to us as a historical heritage in addition to our own language. We must make the best use of English to develop ourselves culturally and materially so that we can compete with the best in the world of mind and matter. English language is our window to the world.

English language is one tool to establish our viewpoint. We can learn from others experience. We can check the theories of foreigners against our experience. We can reject the untenable and accept the tenable. We can also propagate our theories among the international audience and readers.

We can make use of English to promote our worldview and spiritual heritage throughout the globe. Swami Vivekananda established the greatness of Indian view of religion at the world conference of religions in Chicago in 1893. He addressed the gathering in impressive English. Many spiritual gurus have since converted thousands of English people to our spirituality by expressing their thought and ideas in masterful English. English has thus become an effective means of promoting Indian view of life, and strengthening our cultural identity in the world.

Generally, Standard English today does not depend on accent but rather on shared educational experience, mainly of the printed language. Present-day English is an immensely varied language, having absorbed material from many other tongues. It is spoken by more than 300 million native speakers, and between 400 and 800 million foreign users. It is the official language of air transport and shipping; the leading language of science, technology, computers, and commerce; and a major medium of education, publishing, and international negotiation. For this reason, scholars frequently refer to its latest phase as World English.

Language, of course, is knowledge, and in our world today knowledge is one of the key factors in competitiveness. Brains and knowledge are what create the prosperity and growth we tend to take for granted. In an advanced industrial society in an increasingly interdependent world, the knowledge of other languages becomes indispensable. Just think of how the advent of the Internet has changed our lives. For the last few years, millions of people across the world, who share common interests, are able to communicate with each other and exchange ideas. Not only are they able to do this due to the various technological advances, but also because they share a common language.

Frankly speaking, it is highly essential to know the language for communication. In general, the most popular language is English. In this computer age, English is the only language that any one can understand. So to say, it has become as an ideal language for expressing our feelings. First, we have to learn the language and then we have to gain fluency in the language. Unless we have the fluency in English language, it would not be possible to work with the computer. If you do not know English, then you would be in need of a translator to do the job.

The presentation is the most important factor in communicating your feelings. So, naturally you must be sure while you are presenting. what you really wish to say. At any point, do not try to write or speak, beyond your capability. Even if it is a small and simple sentence, it would reach the receiver perfectly. This is our basic idea. Slowly, you can improve the standard of your language by practice. If you know to form the sentences, it is more than enough to go deep into the subject. Though this only an article about the importance of the English Language, we have to learn some of the basic points in presenting the sentences.

English is the only language that the German, the Chinese, the Japanese & Russians are keen to learn although their mother languages are developed as English. Now almost all the universities are conducting scientific studies through English medium.

The English language is used all over the globe for transaction of international trade. To all in Sri Lanka too a good knowledge of English is essential for the advancement of knowledge & to further our studies. It is almost indispensable for higher scientific and technological studies.

Nowadays, endless options are available to take courses on English as a second language, with a large number of reputable teaching centers and programs to choose from. With the introduction of the internet, there are superb alternatives to take ESL programs online.

The importance of learning English cannot be overstated in an increasingly interconnected and globalized world. For the millions of immigrants that come to the United States from non-English-speaking countries every year, learning to communicate in English is important to enter and ultimately succeed in mainstream America. Working knowledge of the English language can create many opportunities in international markets and regions.

Knowing English opens job and employment opportunities in many countries and markets. Multilateral institutions and agencies in the four United Nation cities of New York, Vienna, The Hague and Geneva recruit professionals with multilingual skills but also expect the candidates to have good English-speaking skills. The Commonwealth of Nations, made up of 50-plus countries that were former British colonies or dependencies, also offers numerous employment opportunities to those who understand and communicate in English.

1.2 The historical background of the English language

The history of the English language really started with the arrival of three Germanic tribes who invaded Britain during the 5th century AD. The figure below shows the timeline of the history of the English language. The earliest known residents of the British Isles were the Celts, who spoke Celtic languages--a separate branch of the Indo-European language family tree. Over the centuries the British Isles were invaded and conquered by various peoples, who brought their languages and customs with them as they settled in their new lives. There is now very little Celtic influence left in English. The earliest time when we can say that English was spoken was in the 5th century CE (Common Era--a politically correct term used to replace AD). In case you hadn't made the connection, “England” <- “Engle Land” <- “Angle Land” (Land of the Angles, a people of northern old Germany). Their name lives on in the district of England named East Anglia, and also in the Anglican Church. In the present day there is still a region of Germany known as Angeln, which is likely the same area from which the original Angles came. Angeln lies in Schleswig-Holstein on the eastern side of the Jutland peninsula near the cities of Flensburg and Schleswig.

In case you hadn't made the connection, “England” <- “Engle Land” <- “Angle Land” (Land of the Angles, a people of northern old Germany). Their name lives on in the district of England named East Anglia, and also in the Anglican Church. In the present day there is still a region of Germany known as Angeln, which is likely the same area from which the original Angles came. Angeln lies in Schleswig-Holstein on the eastern side of the Jutland peninsula near the cities of Flensburg and Schleswig.

During the 7th and 8th Centuries, Northumbria's culture and language dominated Britain. The Viking invasions of the 9th Century brought this domination to an end (along with the destruction of Mercia). Only Wessex remained as an independent kingdom. By the 10th Century, the West Saxon dialect became the official language of Britain. Written Old English is mainly known from this period. It was written in an alphabet called Runic, derived from the Scandinavian languages. The Latin Alphabet was brought over from Ireland by Christian missionaries. This has remained the writing system of English.

Germanic tribes, the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes, crossed the North Sea from what today is Denmark and northern Germany. At that time the inhabitants of Britain spoke a Celtic language. But most of the Celtic speakers were pushed west and north by the invaders - mainly into what is now Wales, Scotland and Ireland. The Angles came from Ungallant and their language was called Englisch - from which the words England and English are derived.

The invading Germanic tribes spoke similar languages, which in Britain developed into what we now call Old English. Old English did not sound or look like English today. Native English speakers now would have great difficulty understanding Old English. Nevertheless, about half of the most commonly used words in Modern English have Old English roots. The words be, strong and water, for example, derive from Old English. Old English was spoken until around 1100.

The original Old English language was then influenced by two further waves of invasion: the first by speakers of the Scandinavian branch of the Germanic language family, who conquered and colonized parts of Britain in the 8th and 9th centuries; the second by the Normans in the 11th century, who spoke Old Norman and ultimately developed an English variety of this called Anglo-Norman. These two invasions caused English to become "mixed" to some degree.

Cohabitation with the Scandinavians resulted in a significant grammatical simplification and lexical enrichment of the Anglo-Frisian core of English; the later Norman occupation led to the grafting onto that Germanic core of a more elaborate layer of words from the Romance languages (Latin-based languages). This Norman influence entered English largely through the courts and government. Thus, English developed into a "borrowing" language of great flexibility, resulting in an enormous and varied vocabulary.

The languages of Germanic peoples gave rise to the English language (the Angles, Saxons, Frisians, Jutes and possibly the Franks, who traded and fought with the Latin-speaking Roman Empire in the centuries-long process of the Germanic peoples' expansion into Western Europe during the Migration Period). Some Latin words for common objects entered the vocabulary of these Germanic peoples before their arrival in Britain and their subsequent formation of England.

The main source of information for the culture of the Germanic peoples (the ancestors of the English) in ancient times is Tacitus' Germania, written around 100 AD. While remaining conversant with Roman civilization and its economy, including serving in the Roman military, they retained political independence. Some Germanic troops served in Britannia under the Romans. It is unlikely that Germanic settlement in Britain was intensified (except for Frisians) until the arrival of mercenaries in the 5th century as described by Gildas. As it was, the Angles, Saxons and Jutes arrived as Germanic pagans, independent of Roman control.

According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, around the year 449, Vortigern, King of the Britons, invited the "Angle kin" (Angles allegedly led by the Germanic brothers Hengist and Horsa) to help him in conflicts with the Picts. In return, the Angles were granted lands in the southeast of Britain. Further aid was sought, and in response "came men of Ald Seaxum of Anglum of Iotum" (Saxons, Angles and Jutes). The Chronicle talks of a subsequent influx of settlers who eventually established seven kingdoms, known as the heptarchy. However, modern scholars view the figures of Hengist and Horsa as Euhemerized deities from Anglo-Saxon paganism, who ultimately stem from the religion of the Proto-Indo-Europeans.[1]

In 1066 William the Conqueror, the Duke of Normandy (part of modern France), invaded and conquered England. The new conquerors (called the Normans) brought with them a kind of French, which became the language of the Royal Court, and the ruling and business classes. For a period there was a kind of linguistic class division, where the lower classes spoke English and the upper classes spoke French. In the 14th century English became dominant in Britain again, but with many French words added. This language is called Middle English. It was the language of the great poet Chaucer (c1340-1400), but it would still be difficult for native English speakers to understand today.

The invaders' Germanic language displaced the indigenous Brythonic languages in most of the areas of Great Britain that were later to become England. The original Celtic languages remained in parts of Scotland, Wales and Cornwall (where Cornish was spoken into the 19th century). The Germanic dialects combined to form what is now called Old English. The most famous surviving work from the Old English period is the epic poem Beowulf composed by an unknown poet.

Old English did not sound or look like the Standard English of today. Any native English speaker of today would find Old English unintelligible without studying it as a separate language. Nevertheless, about half of the most commonly used words in Modern English have Old English roots. The words be, strong and water, for example, derive from Old English; and many non-standard dialects such as Scots and Northumbrian English have retained many features of Old English in vocabulary and pronunciation.[2] Old English was spoken until sometime in the 12th or 13th century.

Later, English was strongly influenced by the North Germanic language Old Norse, spoken by the Norsemen who invaded and settled mainly in the north-east of England (see Jуrvнk and Danelaw). The new and the earlier settlers spoke languages from different branches of the Germanic family; many of their lexical roots were the same or similar, although their grammars were more distinct.

The Germanic language of these Old English-speaking inhabitants was influenced by contact with Norse invaders, which might have been responsible for some of the morphological simplification of Old English, including the loss of grammatical gender and explicitly marked case (with the notable exception of the pronouns). English words of Old Norse origin include anger, bag, both, hit, law, leg, same, skill, sky, take, and many others, possibly even including the pronoun they.

The vocabulary of Old English consisted of an Anglo Saxon base with borrowed words from the Scandinavian languages (Danish and Norse) and Latin. Latin gave English words like street, kitchen, kettle, cup, cheese, wine, angel, bishop, martyr, candle. The Vikings added many Norse words: sky, egg, cake, skin, leg, window (wind eye), husband, fellow, skill, anger, flat, odd, ugly, get, give, take, raise, call, die, they, their, them. Celtic words also survived mainly in place and river names (Devon, Dover, Kent, Trent, Severn, Avon, Thames).

Towards the end of Middle English, a sudden and distinct change in pronunciation (the Great Vowel Shift) started, with vowels being pronounced shorter and shorter. From the 16th century the British had contact with many peoples from around the world. This, and the Renaissance of Classical learning, meant that many new words and phrases entered the language. The invention of printing also meant that there was now a common language in print. Books became cheaper and more people learned to read. Printing also brought standardization to English. Spelling and grammar became fixed, and the dialect of London, where most publishing houses were, became the standard. In 1604 the first English dictionary was published.

Even after the decline of Norman, French retained the status of a formal or prestige language and had (with Norman) a significant influence on the language, which is visible in Modern English today (see English language word origins and List of English words of French origin). A tendency for Norman-derived words to have more formal connotations has continued to the present day; most modern English speakers would consider a "cordial reception" (from French) to be more formal than a "hearty welcome" (Germanic). Another example is the very unusual construction of the words for animals being separate from the words for their meat: e.g., beef and pork (from the Norman bњuf and porc) being the products of 'cows' and 'pigs', animals with Germanic names.

English literature started to reappear around 1200, when a changing political climate and the decline in Anglo-Norman made it more respectable. The Provisions of Oxford, released in 1258, was the first English government document to be published in the English language since the Conquest. In 1362, Edward III became the first king to address Parliament in English. By the end of that century, even the royal court had switched to English. Anglo-Norman remained in use in limited circles somewhat longer, but it had ceased to be a living language.

Modern English is often dated from the Great Vowel Shift, which took place mainly during the 15th century. English was further transformed by the spread of a standardized London-based dialect in government and administration and by the standardizing effect of printing. By the time of William Shakespeare (mid-late 16th century),[6] the language had become clearly recognizable as Modern English. In 1604, the first English dictionary was published, the Table Alphabetical.

The main difference between Early Modern English and Late Modern English is vocabulary. Late Modern English has many more words, arising from two principal factors: firstly, the Industrial Revolution and technology created a need for new words; secondly, the British Empire at its height covered one quarter of the earth's surface, and the English language adopted foreign words from many countries. Since the 16th Century, because of the contact that the British had with many peoples from around the world, and the Renaissance of Classical learning, many words have entered the language either directly or indirectly. New words were created at an increasing rate. Shakespeare coined over 1600 words. This process has grown exponentially in the modern era.

From around 1600, the English colonization of North America resulted in the creation of a distinct American variety of English. Some English pronunciations and words "froze" when they reached America. In some ways, American English is more like the English of Shakespeare than modern British English is. Some expressions that the British call "Americanisms" are in fact original British expressions that were preserved in the colonies while lost for a time in Britain (for example trash for rubbish, loan as a verb instead of lend, and fall for autumn; another example, frame-up, was re-imported into Britain through Hollywood gangster movies). Spanish also had an influence on American English (and subsequently British English), with words like canyon, ranch, stampede and vigilante being examples of Spanish words that entered English through the settlement of the American West. French words (through Louisiana) and West African words (through the slave trade) also influenced American English (and so, to an extent, British English).

Today, American English is particularly influential, due to the USA's dominance of cinema, television, popular music, trade and technology (including the Internet). But there are many other varieties of English around the world, including for example Australian English, New Zealand English, Canadian English, South African English, Indian English and Caribbean English.

1.3 The main periods of borrowings in the English language

There are main periods of French borrowed words in the English language. The first period began from 1066, lasted till 1250. In the first period there appeared only few words. Most people used their native words and kept their mother tongue. The second period began 1250 and lasted till 1400. In the second period the structure of the English language changed, because the Norman-French language was considered as the language of Aristocracy. The language of Government and Court had changes, there the number of borrowed words was increased. The third period began from 1400. In the third period those borrowed words were used as native words, because people used to speak in mixed language.

1.3.1 The borrowed words in the Middle English language

Loanwords are words adopted by the speakers of one language from a different language (the source language). A loanword can also be called a borrowing. The abstract noun borrowing refers to the process of speakers adopting words from a source language into their native language. "Loan" and "borrowing" are of course metaphors, because there is no literal lending process. There is no transfer from one language to another, and no "returning" words to the source language. The words simply come to be used by a speech community that speaks a different language from the one these words originated in.

Borrowing is a consequence of cultural contact between two language communities. Borrowing of words can go in both directions between the two languages in contact, but often there is an asymmetry, such that more words go from one side to the other. In this case the source language community has some advantage of power, prestige and/or wealth that makes the objects and ideas it brings desirable and useful to the borrowing language community. For example, the Germanic tribes in the first few centuries A.D. adopted numerous loanwords from Latin as they adopted new products via trade with the Romans. Few Germanic words, on the other hand, passed into Latin.

The actual process of borrowing is complex and involves many usage events (i.e. instances of use of the new word). Generally, some speakers of the borrowing language know the source language too, or at least enough of it to utilize the relevant word. They (often consciously) adopt the new word when speaking the borrowing language, because it most exactly fits the idea they are trying to express. If they are bilingual in the source language, which is often the case, they might pronounce the words the same or similar to the way they are pronounced in the source language. For example, English speakers adopted the word garage from French, at first with a pronunciation nearer to the French pronunciation than is now usually found. Presumably the very first speakers who used the word in English knew at least some French and heard the word used by French speakers, in a French-speaking context.

Those who first use the new word might use it at first only with speakers of the source language who know the word, but at some point they come to use the word with those to whom the word was not previously known. To these speakers the word may sound 'foreign'. At this stage, when most speakers do not know the word and if they hear it think it is from another language, the word can be called a foreign word. There are many foreign words and phrases used in English such as bon vivant (French), mutatis mutandis (Latin), and Fahrvergnuegen (German).

However, in time more speakers can become familiar with a new foreign word or expression. The community of users of this word can grow to the point where even people who know little or nothing of the source language understand, and even use, the novel word themselves. The new word becomes conventionalized: part of the conventional ways of speaking in the borrowing language. At this point we call it a borrowing or loanword.

Conventionalization is a gradual process in which a word progressively permeates a larger and larger speech community, becoming part of ever more people's linguistic repertoire. As part of its becoming more familiar to more people, a newly borrowed word gradually adopts sound and other characteristics of the borrowing language as speakers who do not know the source language accommodate it to their own linguistic systems. In time, people in the borrowing community do not perceive the word as a loanword at all. Generally, the longer a borrowed word has been in the language, and the more frequently it is used, the more it resembles the native words of the language.

English has gone through many periods in which large numbers of words from a particular language were borrowed. These periods coincide with times of major cultural contact between English speakers and those speaking other languages. The waves of borrowing during periods of especially strong cultural contacts are not sharply delimited, and can overlap. For example, the Norse influence on English began already in the 8th century A.D. and continued strongly well after the Norman Conquest brought a large influx of Norman French to the language.

It is part of the cultural history of English speakers that they have always adopted loanwords from the languages of whatever cultures they have come in contact with. There have been few periods when borrowing became unfashionable, and there has never been a national academy in Britain, the U.S., or other English-speaking countries to attempt to restrict new loanwords, as there has been in many continental European countries.

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