A History of English. Chapter 1 Introduction. Introduction 1. “To Aetius, thrice consul, the groans of the Britons.” Bede (730), Ecclesiastical History of the English nation; Gildas, De Excidio Britannicae Picts,Scots, Huns
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A History of English
One “truth”:English is a contact language, a MischspracheContact situations: Latin, Celtic, Scandinavian (Viking), Norman French, Central French, Latin again
Fisc flodu ahof on fergenberig
War† gasric grorn †ær he on greut gisworn
Den Fisch hat die Flut emporgehoben auf die Strandeshöhe
Es ward der Ozean bekümmert als er auf das Geröll antrieb
“And who in time knows wither we may vent
The treasure of our tongue, to what strange shores
This gaine of our best glorie shal be sent,
T’inrich vnknowing Nations with our stores?
Which worlds in th’yet vnformed Occident
May come refin’d with th’accents that are ours?”