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Linguistic Impact (1).doc - The English language is usually...

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The English language is usually divided up into four major periods that can be justified both on the basisof linguistic differences and on the basis of historical events that influenced the later development ofEnglish language These periods are Old English (450-1150), Middle English (1150-1500), Early ModernEnglish (1500-1700) and Modern English (1700-present). These years are not strict boundaries but roughapproximations. The development of the language was largely brought about by historical upheavels,invasions and conquests which allowed foreign powers to impact on the language. This essay is anattempt to study, however punctiliously, the linguistic impacts of the Roman conquests, the Anglo-saxonconquests, the Scandinavian conquests, the Norman conquests.THE ROMAN CONQUESTHistorically, speaking, It all began in 55 BC when Julius Caesar invaded England with a bad result, due tosome difficulties with the terrain and the troublesome natives. However, in 54 BC Julius Caesarestablished himself in the Southeast of England. He exacted a tribute from the natives and this tributewas never paid.In AD 43 Emperor Claudius undertook the conquest of the island with an army of 40,000 men, under thecommand of the senator Aulus Paulus. Within three years, the Centre and the Southeast of Englandwere under Roman rule.The landing was first unopposed. But the Roman forces were eventually drawnup on the south bank of the Thames until the pre-arranged arrival of Claudius from Rome (the futureemperor, Vespasian, played a notable part). The Thames was then crossed in three ways, by swimming,by a bridge and by a ford at Westminster.The awaiting Britons were easily defeated by Claudius and peace negotiated. He returned to Rome andthe rest of the campaign was left in the hands of Plautius, governor of the new province.Before exammining the linguistic impacts of these skirmishes it would be prudent to point out some ofthe social and cultural impacts. Firstly, Britain adopted Roman ways of life. This is evident from theconstruction of highways and roads. London became the provincial capital and major trading centre inEurope. Foundation of the first cities: houses, baths, temples Roman house-building style. e.g. withheating apparatus and water supply.Building of houses in the countryside: villas.General use of Romandress and Roman ornaments.This process was cut in the fifth century mainly due to new invasions from the North-Western part of thecontinent.On the second half of the third century, the Roman Empire was disintegrating. In AD 367 there was a co-ordinated assault upon Britain by Picts, Irish, Scots, Saxons and Franks.
Finally the Romans left the province, approximately in 410, when the last of the Roman troops wereofficially withdrawn from the island.

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Term
Fall
Professor
Dr. Akinsete

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