The Dawn of English

Discussion in 'History and Culture' started by longknife, Sep 7, 2014.

  1. longknife

    longknife New Member

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  2. Moi621

    Moi621 Well-Known Member Donor

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    I've always believed in the explanations given by Robert MacNeill in
    The Story of English. And he dwells on his Scot heritage a bit too.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Story_of_English

    [video=youtube;7FtSUPAM-uA]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FtSUPAM-uA&list=PL6D54D1C7DAE31B36[/video]
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FtSUPAM-uA&list=PL6D54D1C7DAE31B36
    Links to whole playlist. The Whole Thing.

    We were so very lucky to drop gender, case, and agreement littered through adjectives, verbs, etc. We developed the preposition, word order and a simple "s" for most pleural.
    What I don't understand is how Altaic languages and Chinese get along with less grammar.
    A Chinese friend just explained some to me, like why some don't grasp "articles" although they live here for decades. How could they have enough grammar :hmm:


    Moi :oldman:
    English has got to be the easiest language.
    I've spoken it since I was a baby and can't learn any other languages.


    r > g


     
  3. longknife

    longknife New Member

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    English, to me, has always been a complex language that has some benefits of not using things from the "original" to the beauty of including words from many sources and cultures. It is also a truly "living" language with new words and meanings on a daily basis.
     
  4. wyly

    wyly Well-Known Member

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    good podcast...a few errors that the presenter wouldn't be aware of...there was likely no tribe of angles, it may been been just a location...the frisian tribe occupied the entire north west coast of europe from the mouth of the rhine across northern germany and up the danish coast(angleland?) , in fact danish frisians still live there, as well as in nw germany and northern netherlands and the language is still alive...another thing anthropologists havent fully worked out, the saxons...they lived right alongside the frisians without much apparent conflict, its possible (and this is my own opinion) the frisians were primarily fisherman and the saxons farmers ...the franks(dutch) battled with both but for some reason had a particular dislike for the saxons...were the saxons and frisians just two clans instead of separate tribes?...I agree with the podcast the conflict with the franks was likely the reason the frisians and saxons went to england...

    Modern dna has confirmed that todays english are not only linguistically frisian but genetically as well...the original english of post roman britian it would appear were almost completely replaced by frisians, the original inhabitants remaining in the west and north...

    Other than that very interesting podcast, I speak dutch and understand a smattering of german...saxon and frisian were always a mystery listening to them i always felt i should be able to understand them but couldn't. .. I'll listen more closely in the future with my english ear and not my dutch ear...my granny spoke , frisian, dutch, saxon and german, i was always impressed with that. ..
     
  5. longknife

    longknife New Member

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    I was once fluent in German [Hock Deutsch] and could barely understand one word of Dutch.
     
  6. wyly

    wyly Well-Known Member

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    It helps to know what a conversation is about, once you know the topic then you can begin picking out many similar words then fill in the blanks to get the gist of the conversation...I practice during ww2 movies by not reading the subtitles..similar to how I learned to read Chaucer...
     
  7. wyly

    wyly Well-Known Member

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    Take an english phrase
    "The library is on the left side of the street" translate it into german and dutch...pick out the words you recognize, adjust for accent and fill in for the words you don't recognize...It's like trying to understand Chaucer spoken by someone with a strong southern US accent...

    Die Bibliothek ist auf der linken Seite der Straße.
    De bibliotheek is aan de linkerkant van de straat.

    - - - Updated - - -
     
  8. longknife

    longknife New Member

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    I do the same thing and often surprise myself at how much I remember after more than 4 decades.
     
  9. longknife

    longknife New Member

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    I can't think of an example at the moment but, I remember what drove me nuts about German was having a sentence go on an on until the verb finally showed up at the end.

    Sort of like, He to the library from his home early one morning went.
     
  10. Lil Mike

    Lil Mike Well-Known Member

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    Really? I'm surprised. Written Dutch often looks to me like a mixture of German and English. Although understanding it may be a different story...
     
  11. Diuretic

    Diuretic Well-Known Member

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    I speak Hock Deutsch when I've had too much wine :alcoholic:
     
  12. Moi621

    Moi621 Well-Known Member Donor

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    Did anyone bother to watch to video history of English ? :roll:

    Okay, here is a story from the video and some is verified with the translations into Dutch and German earlier this discussion. Robert MacNiell tells it like this:
    There is the Danish man and the Saxon woman living on the farm in England.
    Okay make one Frisian.
    Their basic words for this and that are recognizable but once they go to their grammar - communication stops. Remember we are talking cases, gender, and grammatical agreements.
    So -
    They dropped the gender, made the pleural easier with a simple "s" , discarded the cases in favor of word order and the almighty English preposition.

    MacNiel uses the example of "The King visits the Pope".
    In those Germanic languages, the word order is not important. You know who is doing the visiting by the case applied to the nouns.

    I believe he also mentions that within 100 years of the Norman invasion, the Normans were teaching their children, French as a Second Language. The efforts of the Normans to hold to their French, failed. Their children had to play with Brit kids I guess.

    Good series linked. If you like this topic, you will love The Story of English linked above.

    Moi :oldman:
    Trust Moi, You'll Like It.


    r > g


    View attachment 30798
    We don't need no stinkin' extra "u"-s
     
  13. wyly

    wyly Well-Known Member

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    this is common where there is military victory but not followed up by a population migration of the victor or genocide of the host population...the victor (normans) were assimilated by the much larger host population and lost their language...just as the conquering Franks(dutch) were assimulated by the host Gauls, they left their name(France) but their language disappeared...it would appear the frisian/saxon invasion genetically replaced the native britians by driving the natives out, genocide, massive migration or a combination of the three...

    The spread of arabic occurred despite the invaders small numbers, arab governors taxed conquered non arab speakers causing conquerered peoples to learn arabic in order to avoid taxation...
     
  14. Moi621

    Moi621 Well-Known Member Donor

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    Arab or Turk / Kurd speaking Arabic and spreading Islam ?


    Moi :oldman:
    Did anyone watch the "Story of English" linked above :blankstare:

    r > g


    No :flagcanada:
     
  15. ALFORCE

    ALFORCE Member

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    I think that Chinese will be the worlds most spoken language, cause its economy is beefing up and is overtaking the US economy.
     
  16. lizarddust

    lizarddust Well-Known Member

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    Being pedantic here, its actually 'Hoch', meaning 'high'.
     
  17. longknife

    longknife New Member

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    I should've remembered that. Oops.
     
  18. Mushroom

    Mushroom Well-Known Member

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    When I first read the topic, that is what came immediately to mind.

    I remember both watching that series 30 years ago, and got the book that documented it.

    English is rather unique because it is probably the most "blended" language in the world. It is not really native to any specific area of the planet, but is blended from multiple invasions (Anglo, Saxons, Latins), as well as words acquired from various invasions and occupations of foreign lands (American Indian, India, Spanish, etc). It is a classic example of a hodge-podge language.

    Consider the following words, and where they came from:

    Pajamas - India
    Rodeo - Mexico (Spanish)
    Honcho - Japan
    Bangle - India
    Bungalow - India
    Admiral - Arabia
    Average - Arabia
    Jacket - French
    Lamp - French
    Catsup - China

    The list is nearly endless. Most people have no idea of the number of words they use came from literally all over the world.
     
  19. longknife

    longknife New Member

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    And how many words in English don't sound like the word they come from in another language?

    Speaking German and Spanish, I always recognize a few.

    Haus - house
    Brot - bread (yet bred is not even close)
     
  20. Sixteen String Jack

    Sixteen String Jack New Member

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    Frisian is the most closely-related language to English (unless you consider Scots to be a separate language rather than a dialect of English, in which case it would be Scots, although two-thirds of Scots speakers don't consider it to be a separate language from English).

    Frisian: Bûter, brea, en griene tsiis is goed Ingelsk en goed Frysk.

    English: Butter, bread, and green cheese is good English and good Fries.

    The poem is pronounced about the same in either language. Here are some more examples:

    Wat is dit? What is this?

    Wat kostet dit? How much is this?

    Wat is jo namme? What's your name?

    Wêr komme jo wei? Where are you from?

    Ik hear dy. I hear you.


    Even though there are similarities, especially in grammar, English and Frisian speakers generally can't understand each other, which makes them separate languages.

    Around the sixth century A.D. invaders from northwest Germany pushed their way into England. They spoke dialects of German that included Anglo-Saxon and Frisian and that were probably mutually understandable. As they settled into their new English home, they continued to speak a Germanic language that we call Old English.

    The Frisian speakers among the invaders left a number of place names in England:

    In Yorkshire Frisby, Frising hall, and Fryston

    In Suffolk Fressingfeld, Friston, Framlingham, and Ipswich

    In Lincoln Friston, Friesthorpe, Newark, and Boston

    There are also variations of Friesland in Leicester, Nottingham, and Worcestershire, and many other examples.

    In 1066 the Normans under William the Conqueror attacked and took over England. And, although the Normans and English weren't really interested in having a dialogue, they had to communicate just to get daily business done. So, over the next three centuries, the Norman French and Old English languages merged. Eventually they became Middle English, and then modern English. This set English (and also Scots) quite a bit apart from its German relatives because of the large influx of Latin words from Norman French. That accounts for a lot of the difference between the English and Frisian of today. Scholars generally consider Frisian closely related to Dutch.
     
  21. lizarddust

    lizarddust Well-Known Member

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    Being of German birth and still relatively able to use German, I see a fair bit of German in this. A Dutchman would see Dutch.
     
  22. Independant thinker

    Independant thinker Banned

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    All my life, the Englsh language has been denigrated and all my life I have loved it. It allows manners and sensitivity. There is no more communicative language.
     
  23. longknife

    longknife New Member

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    This is a great site to check out modern English usage/words @ http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Modern+English
     
  24. Alucard

    Alucard New Member Past Donor

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    English certainly has homonyms that make the language difficult to understand.
     
  25. unkotare

    unkotare Well-Known Member

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    Different grammar doesn’t mean less.
     

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