Name: University: Course: Tutor: Date: Historical Linguistics or Diachronic Linguistics Introduction Many scholars and people interested in language study have established that, though trivial, language changes with time. This could be as well referred to as language evolution…
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However, scholars of language evolution have provided evidence that language is mutable and this mutability could be narrowed down to empirical evidence by some comparisons of each language in reference to some different stages in development in given historical perspectives. This school of thought that presupposes language evolution argues that it does not demand for one to be a trained specialist in order to notice that language has changed. This could be attributed to the fact that over the years, people who are not interested in language studies have still acknowledged the observations that language has changed. For example, during his time, Socrates in Cratylus (418C) ,as Plato notes, did comment on what he happened to analyze as the ‘conservative pronunciation’ when referring to the women of his time while comparing this to the pronunciation of the other women, in which case he mistook this for innovative pronunciation (Howatt 12-18). This paper considers historical linguistics while putting into account the Anglo-Saxons, Norman Conquest, Old and Modern English, French and German influences on language, we notice that indeed there have been many changes in language over time. There is thus enough evidence to claim brought about by a continuing force in every language. Historical linguistics deals with general changes in language over time where such languages are described, catalogued, and eventually explained to give meaning to others. It is simply the study of how languages have evolved and managed to change over a given period of time putting in mind the empirical evidence (Collingwood 325). Anglo-Saxons, Norman Conquest, Old to Modern English, French and Germanic influences, as well as other languages Anglo-Saxon describes the Germanic tribes that did invade the southern and eastern parts of the then Great Britain during the beginning of 5th Century AD. This group forms the time of creating the English nation to the time of Norman Conquest. It is part of the old English. This language experienced gradual and at times dramatic changes (Baugh and Thomas 44-48). These Anglos, Saxons and jutes were isolated from the Germanic tribes’ mainland and this led to the development of Anglo-Saxons leading to a diversion from the Germanic mainland languages. For example, the old language of Anglo-Saxon’s consonant [sk] did change to [sh] like was in skield to shield. The amazing thing is that this change did take place in all the words that were used at the time. The recent borrowings made from Latin and aboriginal languages were not spared too, for instance, the disk to dish and skip to ship. This evolution of the old English used by Anglo-Saxons was influenced by the events known to be historical and cultural in nature, which were the conversion of the British people to Christians by the roman missionaries and the Latin borrowing; and secondly, the Viking invasion into the Isles of Britain (Jambor 103–123). These two developments brought extreme changes to the language leading to dropping of many strong verbs and regularizing others. For instance, help/help-ed was born by dropping holp. Despite the changes due to the Norse influence, the Old English still maintained its Germanic form (Collingwood 325). When the Anglo-Saxon’s era ended, the Norman French invasion came into place led by William the Conqueror during the battle of
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“Historical Linguistics or Diachronic Linguistics Essay”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/english/1436301-historical-linguistics-or-diachronic-linguistics.
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