Language Change


Old English-

Vikings invade. King Alfred uses the English language to develop a sense of national identity amongst the English. Development of English from the linguitic influence of Germanic and Viking invaders.

The Middle English:

Mixing of the French with English after the Norman conquest. Period saw the breakdown of the inflectional system of Old English and the expansion of vocabulary with many borrowings from French and Latin

Early modern English 15th-17th century:

continual process of change, as english disguarded older forms of word order and word endings. Latin words for new concepts and ideas

Mid to Late english:

English becomes the official language of the law courts and replaces Latin as the medium of instruction at most schools. John Wycliffe's English translation of the Latin Bible is published. The Great Vowel Shift begins, marking the loss of the so-called "pure" vowel sounds (which are still found in many continental languages) and the loss of the phonetic pairings of most long and short vowel sounds.



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