What Is The Historical Background Of The English Language?


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Gillian Smith answered
The English language has evolved over hundreds of years.
It is a Germanic language and part of the Indo - European family of languages.
It is a mixture of many languages and dialects over a long period of time. After the withdrawal of the Roman army from the British Isles there were waves of migrations and incomers from what is now Germany and Scandinavia. Germanic tribes; Angles, Frisians, Jutes and Saxons settled in what is south east England in great numbers from around 449AD. However contacts with these peoples would have begun at a much earlier date.
Anglo-Saxon was akin to the Frisian language.
The standard text on the subject is Baugh's 'The history of the English Language'.
It would be a mistake to make sharp divisions as to the boundaries of the incomers and their dialects because of the nature of the successive waves of migration and settlement patterns. There are no documentary sources for the Germanic languages pre- the seventh century AD.
The influences of the early development of the language can be seen in place names. The influences of Germanic, Danish, Old Norse, Anglo- Saxon can be seen and developed through Old , Middle and Norman influences with Latin and some Greek influences.
The development of the English language is still evolving today.

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