Research Project I
Colloquial English in the Digital Age
The English language has evolved in sporadic bursts throughout history as its speakers
have come into contact with other languages by way of war, conquest, and spreading religions.
Major fluctuations in literacy levels of English speakers also occurred with these events, causing
changes in pronunciation and the recorded spelling of words.
The major distinguishing periods
as defined by historians are Old English (449-1066), Middle English (1066-1489), Early Modern
English (1476- 1776), and Modern English (1776- present).
This paper hopes to uncover,
through observation and data analysis, a future trend in the evolving English Language.
comparing the results to predictable allomorphy, conjecture can be made as to whether these
changes plan on permanence.
In the past, fluctuations of English spelling, pronunciation, and meaning have been
concurrent with notable historical events.
For example the evacuation of the island by the
Romans, the arrival of Christianity, the Scandinavian invasions, the Norman Conquest, discovery
and re-translation of the Greek classics from the Muslims, invention of the printing press, and the
Each of these events in some way influenced the culture and every day lives of
common English speakers.
However these are well documented cases with centuries of data
with which to track their complex effects.
This paper seeks to observe trends that occur right
Cambell, James (ed). 1982. pg 236
Stockwell, Robert & Minkova, Donka 2001, pg 54