Origin and Diffusion of English • Second language most spoken. o Official in 50 countries (more than any other language). • English Colonies o English migrated with language as established colonies. ? Official language of most foreign colonies. o North America (Jamestown 1607 and Plymouth in 1620). ? After defeat of French, English is main language. o First to North America, then Ireland, South Asia, South Pacific, and southern Africa. o 1899 – won Philippines from Spain. ? English remained official language after independence. • Origin of English in England Celts around 2000BC (450 pushed by tribes in mainland). o Germans ? Angles, Jutes, and Saxons. ? England – Angles’ land. • Angles from Schleswig-Holstein. ? From Denmark and Germany. ? As groups isolated themselves, created new languages such as English. o Vikings defeated in invasion, but some remained. o Norman Invasion in 1066 ? French as official language for next 300 years (leaders had to speak French). ? 1204 with King John conflict with France. ? 1362 – Statute of Pleading passed by Parliament to have English as official language. • Parliament conducted business in French until 1489.
During this period, French and Germanic languages mingled. Dialects of English • Dialect: regional variation of a language o Reflect distinctive features of the environment where groups live. o English migration throughout history: many dialects. o Standard language: dialect that is well established and widely recognized as most acceptable fro government… ? British Received Pronunciation: standard language of English. • Dialects in England o Jutes in southeast, Angles in north, and Saxons in south and west had basis on dialects of Old English (Kentish, West Saxon, Mercian, and Northumbrian. After French, five main dialects: Northern, East Midland, West Midland, Southwestern, and South eastern (Kentish). ? Same distribution, but affected by French language. o Standard language: one used by upper class in London, Cambridge, and Oxford. ? Printing press in England in 1476: grammar books and dictionaries to establish rules. o NOW: Northern, Midland, and Southern. ? “Ah” in “grass” in South, “uh” in “ground” in North. ? South has two dialects. • Southwesterners: “ai” for eggs, “th” in then for “thing. ” • Southeasterners: “e in pet for apple and cat. Differences between American and British English o When colonies: seventeenth century English as dominate form. ? Sometimes people from other countries affected, but not much. o VOCAB AND SPELLING ? Different because of isolation. ? Diff. vocab because of discoveries of new objects in the colonies and INDIAN influence. • Moose, racoon, chipmunk. • Canoe, moccasin, squash (native americans). ? Different development on each side.
• Lift and elevator, torch and flashlight, boot and trunk. ? Spelling different because of national feeling in the US. ? Noah Webster wanted to create a new dialect of English. o PRONOUNCIATION Communication between England in colonies was written: people started pronouncing things differently ? Pronunciation of “a” and “r”. ? Changed more in UK than in US. • Way pronounced in US is way of the seventeenth century. ? US doesn’t speak proper English because seventeenth century proper English is not the same as today, and colonists were not from upper classes. • Dialects in the US o Brought by dialects from settlers. o Settlements ? New England. • Entirely from England, two thirds Puritans from East Anglia. ? Virginia • Mixture of classes and social backgrounds (deported prisoners, indentured servants, and refugees). Middle Atlantic • From north England and other European countries like Germany, Netherlands or Sweden. • Much more different than north and south of colonies. o Dialect in the East ? Dialects continue today, especially on East Coast. ? Isogloss: word-usage boundaries. ? Separated into Northern, Midland, and Southern by two isoglosses. • Words used in one but not in the other two areas. • Normally referring to rural life, food, and objects from daily life. ? Mass media promotes adoption of same words. • Frying pan before called spider in New England and skillet in Middle Atlantic. Pronunciation ? More familiar, difficult to draw isogloss. ? South: “ha-alf” two syllables for half, y for “Tyuesday”. ? New England: drop r for heart and lark, and replaced by “ah” in other words. • Shows origin of settlers (south England) and high degree of communication (Boston’s port was a place with much interaction with English). ? Standard pronunciation for American West from Middle Atlantic. ? Depends on from which part of original colonies came the people. • Midwest south of Ohio River – Virginia. • Great Lakes – New England. • California gold rush attracted many people.