English Language Contribution

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Contribution of Men/Women in the Development of English Language and Linguistics
Godwin S.M, M.A., English Literature, Government Arts College, Ooty
English is one of the most spoken languages in the world; it has been subjected to so many changes from the beginning of its origin till now to attain this state. It is primarily a West Germanic language that originated from the Anglo- Frisian dialects which was brought to England by Germanic invaders who came from North West Germany and Netherlands. Developments of English are given in different phases such as proto- English, old English, Middle English, early modern English, and modern English. Throughout these phases there were several changes in words, formation of sentences, plurals, etc.
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One has to know how English language took changes, from proto-English to the present modern English there were several changes such as Phonological changes, grammatical changes, and the evolution of English pronouns too. Phonological history of English language will give us in detail the changes that English had phonetically. By knowing the phonological history one can understand that for over two thousand years English has undergone several changes in its vowels than consonants, in old English period, several umlaut processes affected vowels in complex ways, this eventually lead to a loss of grammatical case and grammatical gender in the early Middle English. One of the most important umlaut process was I-mutation (c. 500CE), which lead to pervasive alterations of all sorts, among those many of them survive in the modern day English that we use at present. It made changes to several parts of speech such as noun paradigms (foot vs. feet), verb paradigms (sold vs. sell), normal derivatives from adjectives (strong vs. strength), from other nouns (fox vs. vixen), verbal derivatives (food vs. to feed), and comparative adjectives (old vs. elder). Comparing with vowels consonants is more stable, although few consonants such as velar consonants are modified by palatalization, this produced alterations such as speak vs. Speech…show more content…
One such field is the grammatical side of a language, Latin, modern German, and Icelandic had an extensive declension system English language too had such system once in the past. Old English was distinguished between the nominative, accusative, dative and genitive cases and for strongly declined adjectives and some pronouns also a separate instrumental case (which later completely coincided with dative), the dual number was also distinguished from the singular and plural. Simplification of declension occurred during Middle English period, when the accusative and the dative cases were merged into a single oblique case of pronoun that also replaced the genitive case after prepositions. Nouns of modern English were no longer decline for case, except for the genitive.
All modern linguistics was historical in orientation at the beginning; every study including the study of modern dialects looked at their origins. Ferdinand de Saussure’s distinction between synchronic and diachronic linguistics is fundamental to the present day organization of the discipline. Primary is accorded to synchronic linguistics, and diachronic linguistics deals with the study of successive synchronic stages. Saussure’s clear demarcation has had both defenders and
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