Distribution of English Language Speakers. Why?. Why is English a Germanic language? Why is it the prominent language? What is the cause of multiple English accents?. English Speaking Countries. English Colonies. English v . French.
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Why is English a Germanic language?
Why is it the prominent language?
What is the cause of multiple English accents?
More recently the U.S. has diffused English to the Philippines (1899).
In 1946 when they gained independence it retained English as an official language along with Filipino.
The diffusion of English is mainly due to migration since the 17th century in addition to colonization.
But it doesn’t explain the existence of English, especially as a Germanic language with Latin and French influence.
While England had been inhabited for thousands of years little is known of the people or language until the Celts around 2000 B.C.
Most English people today trace their roots to Anglo-Saxons, the two largest tribes of invaders.
Modern English has evolved as a result of the 3 forms of German spoken by those tribes.
The word England is derived from “Angles’ land” written in old English “Engles’ land.” The language of the Angles was known as “englisc.”
The Angles came from a corner, or angle, of Germany.
In addition to the German tribes that settled Vikings invaded and many stayed behind, influencing the language.
In A.D. 1066 England was invaded by the Normans (from Normandy) who spoke French.
This is why English is very different from German today.
When the French invaded they made French the official language of England for over 300 years. All nobles, royals and clergy spoke French.
However, most common people continued to speak English because they were not educated in French.
When England and lost control of Normandy (the invaders having been in England so long had really become English) the country began a long history of conflict with France.
Most dialects reflect features of the environments where groups live, which is why geographers are interested in them.
The boundaries of certain words used in a country are the isogloss, and they can be constructed for many different words.
Every word has an isogloss, but many have overlapping boundaries.
The development of dialects is why American English is different from British English.
When there are multiple dialects one is often the standard language and widely recognized as the most acceptable.
The standard form of British speech is British Received Pronunciation, which is used by the “upper crust.”
One dialect emerged as dominant. Obviously, it was the language spoken by the upper class residents of London and those at Oxford and Cambridge.
These people eventually wrote the books on proper grammar, arbitrarily deciding that their version of English was “correct.”
In the 17th century the Atlantic Coast was settled by the English who established English as the language of colonial America.
Even though the United States has been a destination for many immigrants, people found English firmly established when they arrived.
These people became acculturated into a society that already spoke English.
Aaron Webster (creator of the American Dictionary) with an agenda to develop an American dialect.
He removed the u from words like honour and colour and replaced the c in many words with an s, like defence.
Since the British and Americans didn’t interact easily or often the pronunciation deviated over time.
New England: Puritans from southeastern England not many from the north of England.
Southeastern: Diversity of people from southeast England, including deported prisoners, indentured servants, and political and religious refugees.
Middle Atlantic: more diverse, Quakers, Scots & Irish, German, Dutch, and Swedish immigrants as well.