Historical features of language change

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  • Created on: 30-04-13 20:52
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Historical Features
Celts 500BC-43B C
Large love of poetry
Would fight naked to show their strength, used blue war paint and gold bands as religious
good luck symbols
They would decorate their homes with severed heads of their enemies and believed some
had magical properties
In battle, they would work into a battle frenzy (believed to be caused by some form of
hallucinogenic in the minerals they used as war paint). They were not a structured army like
the Romans
Remnants of the Celtic language are still found in Gaelic and Welsh
The Celts lived a way of life based on ethical codes and honor codes and had developed a
culture of their own full of unique drawings, sculptures, jewelry, folklore, and building
designs and techniques. They were also skilled in blacksmithing, farming and diplomacy
Romans 43BC-450AD
Invented the book
Introduced concepts such as public baths
Built straight roads from London to major cities
Romans failed to invade Scotland (Caledonia) so Hadrian built a wall, sealing them in
It took the Romans a few attempts to invade. Julius Caesar failed and Caligula forgot to tell
his army
They didn't just bring a new language, but new fruits and plants and animals, as well as
Romans names England `Britannia'
Anglo-Saxons 449AD
1/3 of the Anglo-Saxon language survives today
Highly superstitious, believing they couldn't go across rocks because dragons lived there and
couldn't go into forests because elves lived there
They lived in small villages and their life was mainly based on agricultural
There are 400 surviving manuscripts from this period, including poetry, religious texts and
This was a period of cultural depression, known as the `dark ages'. Although some Roman
structures were still used without central government they soon fell into disrepair
England was not unified, instead separated into the states of Wales, West Wales, Wessex,
Sussex, Kent, Essex, East Anglia, Mercia, Cumbria and Deria
Christians 597AD
Only monks could read or write
The bible was written in Latin; only the educated could read it

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Augustine led a mission to make Britain Christian. Although Christianity was not introduced at
this point (e.g. Emperor Constantine), it had not caught on
All Christians were Catholic and believed the Pope was appointed by God, this is what
Augustine created
He developed the ideas of what is now recognised as Christian hell and Christian sins#
Monasteries became a popular option amongst men who were happy to receive an
education and live a life devoted to religion.…read more

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Age of Standardisation 1700s AD
William Shakespeare is known to have spelt his own name at least six different ways
Spelling, punctuation and grammar was not taught in schools as the language had not been
standardised until this point
It was standardised in the triangle between London, Oxford and Cambridge
The dictionary was written in 1755 by Samuel Johnson
The invention of the printing press and the increase in educated people led to
standardisation becoming needed
With the increase in a professional class (e.g.…read more


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