Language Change

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Language Change Dates

Old English                                                               450-1100

Middle English                                                          1100-1500

Early Modern English                                               1500-1800

Present Day English                                                1800-present

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Greek & Latin.

  • In 15th & 16th century european scholars became interested with ancient greeks and latin.
  • Many words from the ancient greeks and latin were introduced into English.
  • When new things were invented new name shad to be made up. Scientists started borrowing words from Greek & Latin to make new names.
  • Greek words include : telephone, astronaut, photograph & arthritis. Often two words were combined together.
  • Latin words include : education, pregnant, society & benefit. 1 latin word can give a number of related english words : socious mean companion. This is the root for english words such as social, society, socialise, associate, sociology, sociable.
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Trade, Conquest & Other Cultures & American Words.

  • Words have also come into English from trade, conquest and other cultures.
  • Tea is chinese (trade), cot is hindi (ruled), tomato is mexican (culture), hurricane is carib (culture).
  • Words have also come from religion, travel, art, music, film, television and books

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  • Some words that were first used in America are now used in English. E.G. teenager, supermarket, boos, overcoat & graveyard.
  • Others are only used in American English not British English such as sidewalk, elevator & automobile.
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Greek & Latin Cont.

  • The suffix -ology from logos (word) is often used to mean the study of a particular subject. E.G. biology, psychology & geology.
  • The letters 'ph' are also a common combination of greek words.
  • Words which end in -ation almost always come from Latin such as population, creation & station. This is also similar for words ending in -ect like direct.
  • English has also borrowed many Latin prefixes. A prefix is a small group of wrods that can be put at the start of a word to change the meaning for example:

Inter-                      between/among                         international & intermingle

Pre-                       before                                         premarital & premenstrual

Non-                      not                                              non-violence & non-event

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