1. Tell me about the Great Vowel Shift. The Great Vowel Shift is a noted historical change in the English language. If French has been the greatest influence to produce modern English, the Great Vowel Shift has been the second greatest. Because of the Great Vowel Shift, all the long vowels of late old English were transformed into short vowels with different qualities. In the Great Vowel Shift, long vowels “moved up” in their place of articulation that changed their “quality. ” 2. In what ways was William’s victory at Hastings in 1066 significant for the English language?
William’s victory at Hastings in 1066 was significant for the English language because it established French as the language of the upper class. Anglo-Saxon became the language of an under class, because of this, there ceased to be a standard Anglo-Saxon. English was used amongst the lower and middle classes and was a mark of inferiority. English began to be used in business and trade. London’s middle class initiated the new standard. 3. Describe the sound changes in Grimm’s Law. Grimm’s law noted a change in the consonant system of Indo-European, his law changed pre-Germanic into a distinctive Germanic.
Grimm’s law described 3 changes in the language: Voice aspirated stops (VAS); Voiceless stops (VLS); and Voiced stops (VS). ChangeInitialChanged to Voice Aspiriatedbh, dh, Jh, gh, gwhB, ? , ? , ? w Voicelessp, t, c, k, kwO, O, x, xw VoicedB, d, F, g, gwp, t, k, kw In the 1830s Jacob Grimm discovered that Germanic also fit the Indo-European pattern – provided you shift consonants by Grimm’s Law. 4. Name a few things that the Danish settlements in the midlands and the north added to English. Before the Norman Conquest there was a long period of “Danish” influence in England.
They spoke a Scandanavian language (north Germanic). This language was partly comprehensible to English speakers. This was around the year 900, about 100-150 years prior to the Norman invasion. The “Danes” contributed a few very common words to English such as window, low, take, give, call and die. Among the personal pronouns of English, the plural forms are originally “Danish. ” Danish Forms MasculineFeminineNeuter 5. Where does Standard English come from? How did it become respectable? In the 1400s some people got the idea that English needed to be “fixed. John Dryden believed that English should be as orderly as Augustan Latin (which had become a dead language). Then in 1582, the Accademia Della Crusca wanted to make a dictionary for their aristocratic interest. For this purpose, they created subcommittees for improving language. The Accademia Francaise around 1635 also attempted to improve English. But the first substantial English dictionary (which significantly benefited the standardization of English) was published by Samuel Johnson in 1755. Geographically, standard Old English came from West Saxon.
English became respectable by being so universal at the time. English became a language that could be used for trade, and at home, and eventually, in politics. Because of this universality it easily became a respectable language. 6. What grammatical complications did Old English have, that modern English has lost? Name one or two such peculiarities which it has not yet lost. Old English relied upon inflections to present meaning, word order was not very important, it was variable. Today, we use word order and prepositions to convey the meanings that inflection would have conveyed in Old English.
Another attribute of Old English that we have now lost is the existence of long vowels. In Old English, vowel length changed the meaning of the word. Today we don’t even have long vowels! Old English used to experience complications with the comparison of adjectives – we still do! Throughout time many people have suggested to make the comparison of adjectives follow a regular pattern, but so far, English just chooses to be tricky. 7. Work out the Anglo-Saxon words on the Franks casket Fragment and Translate. Whale bone, Fish flood, when he on grit swam