English Language In William Caxton's Morte D Arthur
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William Caxton’s “ Morte D‘Arthur” was first published in 1485, making it a Middle English text. Many of the grammatical and lexical features of the Middle English vernacular are discernable in Caxton’s work. It becomes clear how many changes the English language had to go through to evolve into the Modern English we know today. Especially the preface of “Morte D’Arthur” is an excellent example of these changes.
One of the most noticeable developments has taken place in spelling. For instance, words as “Myn”, “knyghtes”, “lyf” and “whyche”, show that the ‘i’ was written as an ‘y’ in Middle English. This is a consequence of the phenomenon known as the Great Vowel Shift. In Old English, the “i” would have been pronounced as ‘ee’. However after…show more content… Middle English took place after the Norman invasion in 1066, which caused all of England to start speaking mostly French. After English gained popularity there were a lot of words in the English vernacular that were heavily influenced by French. Traces of this influence are still visible in Caxton’s preface. For example ‘remembraunce’, ‘pleasaunte’ and ‘lyberté’ are all words copied from the French language. While the spelling and pronunciation has changed a bit in Modern English, the influence of French is still prominent in the language. These sort of developments influence not only English, but also the Dutch language. Not from French this time, but from English itself. The Dutch language has taken up many loanwords from English in it’s vernacular recently, such as ‘online’, ‘lay-out’ and ‘cool’. However, extensive research by linguist Alison Edwards has proven that while English is becoming more prominent, the Dutch language itself should not be threatened: The statement ‘Speaking both Dutch and English enriches the Dutch language and is an advantage’ received 99% agreement, the highest for any question. (Edwards 116) Unless England decides to invade Holland, the Dutch language shall