different modern languages,

in study •  15 days ago

including not only English and German but also Dutch, Icelandic, Norwegian, and Swedish, among others The Angles, the Saxons. and the Jutes were members of Germanic tribes who left their homeland in what is now northern Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark and migrated to Britain in the fifth century. Prior to the arrival of these Anglo Saxons, the inhabitants of Britain spoke Celtic, a language quite different from that of the new settlers.

There was a great deal of animosiy between the Anglo Saxons and the Celtic peoples and over a period of time, the stronger Anglo-Saxons came to dominate the area, linguis- tically and otherwis
Today, of the Celtic Innguages originally spoken in Britain, only Welsh remains in wide active use there.

Breton is still spoken across the English Channel in Brittany by the descendants of those Britons who migrated at about the same time that the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes invaded England; Gaelic is spoken in parts of Ireland, and its use is encouraged by the government. In contrast, English, the modern form of the language of the Anglo Saxons, is spoken not only in Britain and the United States but also in such widely separated areas as Australia and India The language brought by the Anglo-Saxons to Britain was by no means "pure Germanic.

Borrowing had already taken place, mostly from the atin spoken by the soldiers who extended the Roman empire through what is now France, Belgium, and parts of Germany. The Romans did not rule the Germanic peoples in northen Europe, but the territories of the two linguistic groups bordered on one another.

This, naturally, resulted in intercommunlcation, whereby speakers of one language are in linguistic contact with speakers of another language.

Intercommunication is a necessary, if not always sufficient condition for lexical borrowing. Since the language of the early Anglo-Saxons was quite similar to that of other Germanic groups at this time, many of the early borrowings from Latin now constitute lexical items not only in Modem English but in other modern Germanic languages as well. For example, Latin vinum is the source of Modem English wine and Modern German Wein (where the letter w represents a v sound).

Like Modern English cheese and Modern German Kase, the word for 'wine' was borrowed from Latin by Germanic before the Anglo-Saxons were separated from other Germanic-speaking peoples. The differences between the words in the modern languages are due to the fact that different sound changes occurred in German and in English.

The geographical separa tion and consequent lack of intercommunication betwcen the Anglo- Saxons and the Ger manic people on the European continent allowed the speech of each group to change in different ways. Since the fifth century, the language of each group has undergone different sound changes, as well as changes in syntax and lexicon, and the result is separate modern languages where once there were only dialects of the same language. Our earliest written records of the speech of the Anglo-Saxons date from the seventh century and the label Old English is frequently used to identify the language as it was from this point until the cleventh century. Of course, the language itself did not undergo any sudden change in the seventh century.

The date is merely a convenient point from which to begin a study of the development of the English language. One must start somewhere, and the first written records seem a logical place to begin We have already noted that by the start of the Old English period, our language already included a number of borrowed words. Most of those which can stüll be identified were drawn from Latin.

Some entered the language even before the Anglo-Saxon migra

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