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Language Old English (450-1100 AD). did not sound or look like English today half of the most commonly used words in Modern English have Old English roots.

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language http www englishclub com english language history htm


old english 450 1100 ad
Old English (450-1100 AD)
  • did not sound or look like English today
  • half of the most commonly used words in Modern English have Old English roots

Fæderureþuþeeart on heofonumsiþinnamagehalgodtobecumeþin rice gewurþeþinwilla on eorðanswaswa on heofonumurnegedæghwamlicanhlafsyle us to dægand forgyf us uregyltasswaswa we forgyfaðurumgyltendumand ne gelædþu us on costnunge ac alys us of yfelesoþlice.

middle english 1100 1500
Middle English (1100-1500)
  • linguistic class division (lower classes spoke English & upper classes spoke French)
  • 14th century English became dominant in Britain again, but with many French words added
  • language of the great poet Chaucer (Lyfprounced“leef”)

Ourefadirþat art in heueneshalwid be þi name; þireume or kyngdom come to be. Be þiwille don in herþe as it is douninheuene. yeue to us today oureechedayes bred. And foryeue to us ouredettisþat is ouresynnys as we foryeuen to ouredettourisþat is to men þathansynned in us. And lede us not into temptacion but delyuere us from euyl.

early modern english 1500 1800
Early Modern English (1500-1800)
  • change in pronunciation, with vowels being pronounced shorter and shorter (Lyf = life)
  • invention of printing
    • books became cheaper, more people learned to read
    • standardization to English, spelling and grammar became fixed
    • 1604 , first English dictionary was published

Our father which art in heauen, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heauen. Giue us this day our daily bread. And forgiue us our debts as we forgiue our debters. And lead us not into temptation, but deliuer us from euill. Amen.

late modern english 1800 present
Late Modern English (1800 – Present)

The main difference between Early Modern

English and Late Modern English is vocabulary.

more words:

  • Industrial Revolution and technology created a need for new words
  • The British Empire at its height covered one quarter of the earth's surface, and the English language adopted foreign words from many countries.
which language did shakespeare use

Which language did Shakespeare use?

Hint: Think of the time frame.

shakespeare s influence on language
Shakespeare’s Influence on Language
  • more than any other individual
  • vocabulary around 30,000 words (average around 10,000)
  • invented new words and phrases (fair play, foul play, into thin air, It was Greek to me, One fell swoop, rhyme and reason, method to madness, Too much of a good thing…)
  • used old words in new ways
  • used verbs as nouns and nouns as verbs (“Lord Angelo dukes it well in his absence” Measure for Measure 3.2.91)
  • poetic language of the educated English society AND master of plain speech of the common person
  • Enjoyed playing word games (puns)

Shakespeare continues to influence our

language and our world. The more you

watch for allusions to Shakespeare

and his work, the more you will find

them – in songs, newspapers, books,

films, and television shows and, of

course, onstage.