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A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. Henry, M. (1990). Words: Integrated decoding and spelling instruction based on word origin and word structure. Austin: PRO-ED. Facts. Over ____ million people speak English (__________ the population of the world)

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a brief history of the english language


Henry, M. (1990). Words: Integrated decoding and spelling instruction based on word origin and word structure. Austin: PRO-ED.

  • Over ____ million people speak English (__________ the population of the world)
  • When we learn English, we are actually learning ____ languages- each with its own phonology and structure.
  • HERE’S WHY!
germanic influence
Germanic Influence
  • English is classified as a ____________ language
    • However, less than ___% of the words are Germanic
  • The _______, _________, and _________ came from northern _________________ bringing their language with them
  • Later, the ______________ (known as the Danes) invaded the land and spoke a northern branch of Germanic
germanic words
Germanic Words
  • Relatively few in number
  • Common, everyday words in the language
  • Includes all words on the _______ list
  • All words on any lists of the “_____________________” are Germanic
features of germanic words
Features of Germanic Words
  • Short because over time, the endings dropped off
  • Most of our _____________ words are Germanic
    • Examples: the, but, cold, sit
  • ___________________ words in the language
  • Least ____________________
  • Most difficult to ____________
    • Examples: they, could, was, write, old, most, thought
  • ___________, ___________, and _____________________ of vowels are characteristics of the Germanic strain of language
latin words
Latin Words
  • Over ___________ the words in the English language are based on Latin
  • A handful of Latin words entered during the language during the __________ era
  • Most of the Latin words came by way of _____________ (a _______ language)
    • Ex. glamour
  • Some of the _________ had settled in Northern France (i.e., Normandy which means “north men”) and adopted the French language
  • In ______, they invaded England
  • For the next 300 years, no king of England (keep in mind: every English king was also king of France at that time) spoke English but instead spoke ___________ (the language of the _________ and ________________)
  • Later, __________ in England borrowed words directly from Latin itself
  • _________________ (with its center in Rome) adopted Latin for its services)
  • As Christianity spread over western Europe, the people attending services learned Latin words
  • Latin was also the required language at _________ and _____________
    • Ex. calculus
characteristics of latin words
Characteristics of Latin Words
  • Consist of a _________, __________, and _______
    • Examples: pre dic tion, in somni a
  • Seldom use vowel pairs
  • Use ____________ or vowel ____________ for long sound
    • Examples: invade, denote
  • Never uses sh for /sh/; instead, the sound is spelled ti, ci, si, or xi
    • Examples: invention, social, permission, complexion
greek words
Greek Words
  • _________% of the English vocabulary is based on Greek
  • Greek words came into the language from 2 sources:
    • _______ (as every educated Roman knew Greek)
    • Borrowed by ____________
characteristics of greek words
Characteristics of Greek Words
  • Recognized by their spelling and structure
  • Use ___ for /f/ (Example: physics)
  • Use ____ for /k/ (Example: chemistry)
  • Use ___ for /i/ (Example: gym, type)
  • Often consists of 2 elements joined by a connecting ___ (Example: hydrogen, photograph)
  • Scientists use Greek when they want a new word for a __________ or _____________
    • Examples: neutron, electron, cardiogram
    • Greek has become the language of _________


Specialized words used mostly in science, though some (i.e., television) are common


Technical, sophisticated words used primarily in more formal settings such as literature & textbooks


Common, everyday, down-to-earth words used frequently in ordinary situations and found in school primers

more influences
More Influences
  • Crusaders and the trade with medieval __________ brought words such as tea, sofa, and sherbet
  • From ______: calico, bungalow, jungle
  • From _________: dingo, outback, kangaroo
  • From __________: safari
move to the new world
Move to the New World
  • Foreign words flooded into the language
  • The Dutch were among the first _________ which is why we have so many Dutch words (Example: cookie, landscape, coleslaw)
  • French explorers who settled in ____________ added chowder, pumpkin, prairie, levee, and others to the list
  • ____________________ contributed banana, cola, goober, yam, gorilla, tote, and okra
influence of the native americans
Influence of the Native Americans
  • Place names of rivers, mountains, landmarks, and names of over half the states
    • Can you think of some of these?
  • Other native words include: caribou, toboggan, papoose, raccoon, tobacco
other changes cause new words to enter
Other Changes Cause New Words to Enter
  • Potato famine (1845) brought ____________ immigrants
  • 1848 revolution caused Germans to settle in ______________ and the __________________
  • After the American Civil War came the Spanish, Italians, and Scandinavians
  • Czechs, Slovaks, and Poles followed
  • Chinese were hired to build the ____________ (and they remained)
  • Japanese settled on the _____________________
  • Refugees from all over Europe fled from World War II
  • Also, there followed a huge influx from Puerto Rico, China,

Hong Kong, Korea, & Thailand

anglo saxon layer of language
Anglo-Saxon Layer of Language
  • Beginning readers start out reading words from the Anglo-Saxon base of language
  • _________________ used short words typical in early readers
  • __________ are also of Anglo-Saxon origin
  • In addition, prefixes and suffixes are added but many of the Anglo-Saxon prefixes are __________ (forget, without, became, overlook, unhappy, understand, inside, befriend)
  • Anglo-Saxon suffixes: ed, er, ing, ly, s (es), able, hood, ful, less, ness, ship, ish)
latin layer of language
Latin Layer of Language
  • Students encounter these words in ____rd grade
  • Knowledge of consonants & vowels transfers directly to these words
  • None of the complex Anglo-Saxon digraphs are included
  • _______________ sound is the most notable feature (unaccented vowel sound found in unaccented syllables) ~ Letter-sound correspondences are otherwise the same as Anglo-Saxon
    • machine, soda, ahead, about, magazine
latin layer
Latin Layer
  • Root words: usually stressed & contain the major meaning of the word
    • spect, rupt, vis, aud, vent, flect, script, gress, dict, tract, lit, duct, struct, pend, ped
  • Prefixes: pre, re, bi, pro, mid, sub, dis, inter, intro, intra, il, extra, per, ultra, trans
    • Many prefixes have the schwa sound
      • aggressive, appearance, connect, collect, attach

Vowel diagraphs in the suffixes are ALL pronounced as schwas (nation, precious, omission) & initial consonants in the suffixes, followed by i, are pronounced as /sh/

latin suffixes
Latin Suffixes
  • -t(ure)
  • -tion
  • -sion
  • -cian
  • -tious
  • -tial
  • -cial
  • -cious
  • -ist (noun, person)
  • -ive
  • -age
  • -ant
  • -or (noun)
  • -ar (adjective)
  • -ible
  • -ary
  • -ize
  • -ance
latin roots
Latin Roots
  • cred (to believe)
  • duc, duce, duct (to lead)
  • pel, puls (to drive, push)
  • pend (to hang)
  • fac, fact (to make, do)
  • vert, vers (to turn)
  • jac, jec, ject (to throw, lie)
  • rupt (to break, to burst)
  • port (to carry)
  • form (to shape)
  • tract (to pull)
  • scrib, script (to write)
  • spec, spect (to see, watch)
  • stru, struct (to build)
  • dic, dict (to say, tell)
  • flect, flex (to bend)
  • mit, miss (to send)
greek layer of language
Greek Layer of Language
  • Same letter-sound correspondences as those in Anglo-Saxon words, but adds 3 important patterns: ph for /f/, ch for /k/, and the use of y as a long vowel /ī/ or short vowel /ĭ/ (i.e., medial vowel)
  • Usually specialized words in _________, though some are ________ (___________)
  • Often contain silent _ (pneumonia, pseudonym)
  • _______ as in mnemonics
greek combining forms
Greek Combining Forms
  • Not called prefixes and suffixes but ___________________ since there are usually 2 parts of equal stress and importance
greek combining forms26

auto = self

phono = sound

photo = light

hydro = water

tele = distance

micro = small

therm = heat

biblio, hyper, chron, chrom, arch, phys, pysch, peri, bi, semi, hemi, mono, meta, mega, metro, philo, soph, theo, techni


graph, gram = written/drawn

meter = measure

ology = study

scope = watch, see

sphere, crat, cracy, polis

Greek Combining Forms
syllable division rules
Syllable Division Rules
  • Anglo-Saxon = VC/CV; V/CV, VC/V VC/CCV (consonant l-e) are common
  • Latin = Same as Anglo-Saxon but the prefixes and suffixes often consist of syllables based on these patterns (i ble,

in tro)

  • Greek = Same as Anglo-Saxon (many v/cv such as hyper, vc/v such as hemi, also, v/cc such as hydro)
why students need this information
Why Students Need This Information
  • Students use their knowledge to decode unfamiliar words.
  • Teach students this process
    • See if you can identify the language origin.
    • Look for the morpheme units: Anglo-Saxon or Latin prefixes, roots, suffixes. Greek combining forms, or single words making up Anglo-Saxon compound words.
    • If you can’t find a morpheme, or if you find morphemes but still can’t read the word, break the word into syllables using the common syllable division options.
    • If syllable division doesn’t work, or works for only part of the work, use letter-sound correspondences.