Language Change Timeline

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 Proto-Language:

  • 500,000- 350,000BC – Study of fossilised ear bones suggest ability to understand speech.
  • 40,000BC – Homo sapiens found in Africa and Europe. Some believe this is where true language originated.
  • 8, 000BC – Probable first Indo-European speakers in Turkey.
  • 5, 000BC – First system of writing, Sumerian, which then develops into cuneiform script.
  • 2,000BC – First alphabetic script (ie. Non-pictorial) developed by Semitic Egyptian workers.
  • 1,500BC – Oldest surviving Sanskrit texts.
  • 400BC – Celts spread to England.
  • 55BC- Roman military expedition lands in England.

Anno Domino Language:

  •  43 – Roman invasion of England under Claudius.
  • 150 – Germanic speakers settle in England from the coast of Germany.
  • 436 - Romans complete withdrawel from Britain.
  • 449 – Traditional date for the beginning of Anglo-Saxon Settlement.
  • 450-480 – First (surviving) Old English (OE) runic inscriptions.
  • 597 - St Augustine arrives in Britain.
  • c700 – First manuscript records of OE.
  • 792 - Vikings raid Britain.
  • 871 – Alfred becomes King of Wessex and translates from Latin to OE.
  • 995

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