História da língua inglesa

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História da língua inglesa

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História da língua inglesa

  1. 1. HISTÓRIA DA LÍNGUA INGLESA Ricardo Schütz Atualizado em 28 de março de 2008 The history of every language is unique, because each language is inherently bound to the thinking, nature, and spirit of a people, all of which are continuously altered by the twists and turns of events. (Crane, Yeager and Whitman. An Introduction to Linguistics) INTRODUÇÃO A língua inglesa é fruto de uma história complexa e enraizada num passado muito distante. Há indícios de presença humana nas ilhas britânicas já antes da última era do gelo, quando as mesmas ainda não haviam se separado do continente europeu e antes dos oceanos formarem o Canal da Mancha. Esse recente fenômeno geológico que separou as ilhas britânicas do continente, ocorrido há cerca de 7.000 anos, também isolou os povos que lá viviam dos conturbados movimentos e do obscurantismo que caracterizaram os primórdios da Idade Média na Europa. Sítios arqueológicos evidenciam que as terras úmidas que os romanos vieram a denominar de Britannia já abrigavam uma próspera cultura há 8.000 anos, embora pouco se saiba a respeito. OS CELTAS A história da Inglaterra inicia com os celtas. Por volta de 1000 a.C., depois de muitas migrações, vários dialetos das línguas indo-européias tornam-se grupos de línguas distintos, sendo um desses grupos o celta. Os celtas se originaram presumivelmente de populações que já habitavam a Europa na Idade do Bronze. Durante cerca de 8 séculos, de 700 a.C. a 100 A.D., o povo celta habitou as regiões hoje conhecidas como Espanha, França, Alemanha e Inglaterra. O celta chegou a ser o principal grupo de línguas na Europa, antes de acabarem os povos celtas quase que totalmente assimilados pelo Império Romano. A PRESENÇA ROMANA Em 55 e 54 a.C. ocorrem as primeiras invasões romanas de reconhecimento, sob o comando pessoal de Júlio César. Em 44 A.D., à época do Imperador Claudius, ocorre a terceira invasão, quando então a principal ilha britânica é anexada ao Império Romano até os limites com a Caledônia (atual Escócia) e o latim começa a exercer influência na cultura celta-bretã. Três séculos e meio de presença das legiões romanas e seus mercadores, trouxeram profunda influência na estrutura econômica, política e social das tribos celtas que habitavam a Grã Bretanha. Palavras latinas naturalmente passaram a ser usadas para muitos dos novos conceitos. OS ANGLO-SAXÕES Devido às dificuldades em Roma enfrentadas pelo Império, as legiões romanas, em 410 A.D., se
  2. 2. retiram da Britannia, deixando seus habitantes celtas à mercê de inimigos (Scots e Picts). Uma vez que Roma já não dispunha de forças militares para defendê-los, os celtas, em 449 A.D., recorrem às tribos germânicas (Jutes, Angles, Saxons e Frisians) para obter ajuda. Estes, entretanto, de forma oportunista, acabam tornando-se invasores, estabelecendo-se nas áreas mais férteis do sudeste da Grã-Bretanha, destruindo vilas e massacrando a população local. Os celtas-bretões sobreviventes refugiam-se no oeste. Prova da violência e do descaso dos invasores pela cultura local é o fato de que quase não ficaram traços da língua celta no inglês. São os dialetos germânicos falados pelos anglos e pelos saxões que vão dar origem ao inglês. A palavra England, por exemplo, originou-se de Angle-land (terra dos anglos). A partir daí, a história da língua inglesa é dividida em três períodos: Old English, Middle English e Modern English. A segunda metade do século V, quando ocorreram as invasões germânicas, marca o início do período denominado Old English. INTRODUÇÃO DO CRISTIANISMO Em 432 A.D. St. Patrick inicia sua missão de levar o cristianismo à população celta da Irlanda. Em 597 A.D. a Igreja manda missionários liderados por Santo Agostinho para converter os anglo- saxões ao cristianismo. O processo de cristianização ocorre gradual e pacificamente, marcando o início da influência do latim sobre a língua germânica dos anglos-saxões, origem do inglês moderno. Esta influência ocorre de duas formas: introdução de vocabulário novo referente a religião e adaptação do vocabulário anglo-saxão para cobrir novas áreas de significado. A necessidade de reprodução de textos bíblicos representa também o início da literatura inglesa. A introdução do cristianismo representou também a rejeição de elementos da cultura celta e associação dos mesmos a bruxaria. A observação ainda hoje de Halloween na noite de 31 de outubro é exemplo remanescente de cultura celta na visão do cristianismo. Àquele período, a Inglaterra encontra-se dividida em sete reinos anglo-saxões e o Old English, então falado, na verdade não era uma única língua, mas sim uma variedade de diferentes dialetos. Os dialetos do inglês antigo de antes do cristianismo eram línguas funcionais para descrever fatos concretos e atender necessidades de comunicação diária. O vocabulário de origem greco-latina introduzido pela cristianização expandiu a linguagem anglo-saxônica na direção de conceitos abstratos. Ao final do século 8, iniciam os ataques dos Vikings contra a Inglaterra. Originários da Escandinávia, esses povos usavam de violência e seus ataques causaram destruição em muitas regiões da Europa. Os vikings que se estabeleceram na Inglaterra eram predominantemente provenientes da Dinamarca e falavam dinamarquês. Esses mais de 200 anos de presença de dinamarqueses na Inglaterra naturalmente exerceram influência sobre o Old English. Entretanto, devido à semelhança entre as duas línguas, torna-se difícil determinar esta influência com precisão. OLD ENGLISH (500 - 1100 A.D.) Old English, às vezes também também denominado Anglo-Saxon, comparado ao inglês moderno, é uma língua quase irreconhecível, tanto na pronúncia, quanto no vocabulário e na gramática. Para um falante nativo de inglês hoje, das 54 palavras do Pai Nosso em Old English, menos de 15% são reconhecíveis na escrita, e provavelmente nada seria reconhecido ao ser pronunciado. A correlação entre pronúncia e ortografia, entretanto, era muito mais próxima do que no inglês moderno. No plano gramatical, as diferenças
  3. 3. também são substanciais. Em Old English, os substantivos declinam e têm gênero (masculino, feminino e neutro), e os verbos são conjugados. A CONQUISTA DA INGLATERRA PELOS NORMANDOS NA BATALHA DE HASTINGS A Batalha de Hastings em 1066, foi um evento histórico de grande importância na história da Inglaterra. Representou não só uma drástica reorganização política, mas também alterou os rumos da língua inglesa, marcando o início de uma nova era. A batalha foi travada entre o exército normando, comandado por William, Duque da Normandia (norte da França), e o exército anglo-saxão liderado por King Harold, em 14 de outubro de 1066. O predecessor de Harold havia tido fortes vínculos com a corte da Normandia e supostamente prometido o trono da Inglaterra para o Duque da Normandia. Após sua morte, entretanto, o conselho do reino apontou Harold como sucessor, levando William a apelar para a guerra como forma de impor seus pretensos direitos. Veja como um artista do século 11 representou, em tapeçaria, a travessia do Canal da Mancha pelas tropas de William: A sangrenta batalha só terminou ao fim do dia, com o Rei Harold e seus irmãos mortos e um saldo de 1500 a 2000 guerreiros mortos do lado normando e outros tantos ou mais, do lado inglês. William havia conquistado em poucos dias uma vitória que romanos, saxões e dinamarqueses haviam lutado longa e duramente para alcançar. Ele havia conquistado um país de um milhão e meio de habitantes e provavelmente o mais rico da Europa, na época. Por esse feito ficou conhecido na história como William the Conqueror. O regime que se instaurou a partir da conquista foi caracterizado pela centralização, pela força e, naturalmente, pela língua dos conquistadores: o dialeto francês denominado Norman French. O próprio William l não falava inglês e, por ocasião de sua morte em 1087, não havia uma única região da Inglaterra que não fosse controlada por um normando. Seus sucessores, William II (1087-1100) e Henry I (1100-1135), passaram cerca de metade de seus reinados na França e provavelmente possuíam pouco conhecimento de inglês.
  4. 4. Durante os 300 anos que se seguiram, principalmente nos 150 anos iniciais, a língua usada pela aristocracia na Inglaterra foi o francês. Falar francês tornou-se então condição para aqueles de origem anglo-saxônica em busca de ascensão social através da simpatia e dos favores da classe dominante. MIDDLE ENGLISH (1100 - 1500) O elemento mais importante do período que corresponde ao Middle English foi, sem dúvida, a forte presença e influência da língua francesa no inglês. Essa verdadeira transfusão de cultura franco-normanda na nação anglo-saxônica, que durou três séculos, resultou principalmente num aporte considerável de vocabulário. Isto demonstra que, por mais forte que possa ser a influência de uma língua sobre outra, esta influência normalmente não vai além de um enriquecimento de vocabulário, dificilmente afetando a pronúncia ou a estrutura gramatical. O passar dos séculos e as disputas que acabaram ocorrendo entre os normandos das ilhas britânicas e os do continente, provocam o surgimento de um sentimento nacionalista e, pelo final do século 15, já se torna evidente que o inglês havia prevalecido. Até mesmo como linguagem escrita, o inglês já havia substituído o francês e o latim como língua oficial para documentos. Também começava a surgir uma literatura nacional. Muito vocabulário novo foi incorporado com a introdução de novos conceitos administrativos, políticos e sociais, para os quais não havia equivalentes em inglês. Em alguns casos, entretanto, já existiam palavras de origem germânica, as quais, ou acabaram desaparecendo, ou passaram a coexistir com os equivalentes de origem francesa, em princípio como sinônimos, mas, com o tempo, adquirindo conotações diferentes. Exemplos: Anglo-Saxão Francês Anglo-Saxão Francês Anglo-Saxão Francês answer begin bill chicken clothe come end fair feed respond commence beak poultry dress arrive finish beautiful nourish folk freedom ghost happiness help hide house hunt kin people liberty phantom felicity aid conceal mansion chase relations kingly look pig sheep shut sight wish work yearly royal search pork mutton close vision desire labor annual Pequenas diferenças dialetais resultantes desta simbiose entre diferentes grupos sociais e suas respectivas línguas podem ser observadas ainda atualmente. Nos meios intelectuais das classes mais privilegiadas dos países de língua inglesa existe até hoje uma tendência a um uso maior de palavras de origem latina. De acordo com o norte-americano Pat Brown, freqüentador do fórum de discussões deste site, The split between the French-speaking Normans and peasant English-speaking Saxons still exists today in a curious fashion. The Normans, as the conquerors and rulers, became the upper-class of England and their speech metamorphosed into today's well-educated English - composed primarily of Latin-based vocabulary. The common everyday speech of most modern English speakers however is still directly based on the Anglo-Saxon. Além da influência do francês sobre seu vocabulário, o Middle English se caracterizou também pela gradual perda de declinações, pela neutralização e perda de vogais atônicas em final de palavra e pelo início do Great Vowel Shift. THE GREAT VOWEL SHIFT Uma acentuada mudança na pronúncia das vogais do inglês ocorreu principalmente durante os séculos 15 e 16. Praticamente todos os sons vogais, inclusive ditongos, sofreram alterações e algumas consoantes deixaram de ser pronunciadas. De uma forma geral, as mudanças das vogais corresponderam a um movimento na direção dos extremos do espectro de vogais, como representado no gráfico abaixo.
  5. 5. PRONÚNCIA ANTES DO SÉCULO 15 PRONÚNCIA MODERNA fine /fi:ne/ hus /hu:s/ ded /de:d/, semelhante a dedo em português fame /fa:me/, semelhante à atual pronúncia de father so /só:/, semelhante à atual pronúncia de saw to /to:/, semelhante à atual pronúncia de toe /fayn/ house /haws/ deed /diyd/ /feym/ /sow/ /tuw/ O sistema de sons vogais da língua inglesa antes do século 15 era bastante semelhante ao das demais línguas da Europa ocidental, inclusive do português de hoje. Portanto, a atual falta de correlação entre ortografia e pronúncia do inglês moderno, que se observa principalmente nas vogais, é, em grande parte, conseqüência desta mudança ocorrida no século 15. MODERN ENGLISH (a apartir de 1500) Enquanto que o Middle English se caracterizou por uma acentuada diversidade de dialetos, o Modern English representou um período de padronização e unificação da língua. O advento da imprensa em 1475 e a criação de um sistema postal em 1516 possibilitaram a disseminação do dialeto de Londres - já então o centro político, social e econômico da Inglaterra. A disponibilidade de materiais impressos também deu impulso à educação, trazendo o alfabetismo ao alcance da classe média. A reprodução e disseminação de uma ortografia finalmente padronizada, entretanto, coincidiu com o período em que ocorria ainda a Great Vowel Shift. As mudanças ocorridas na pronúncia a partir de então, não foram acompanhadas de reformas ortográficas, o que revela um caráter conservador da cultura inglesa. Temos aí a origem da atual falta de correlação entre pronúncia e ortografia no inglês moderno. D’Eugenio assim explica o que ocorreu: O processo de padronização da língua inglesa iniciou em princípios do século 16 com o advento da litografia, e acabou fixando-se nas presentes formas ao longo do século 18, com a publicação dos dicionários de Samuel Johnson (figura ao lado) em 1755, Thomas Sheridan em 1780 e John Walker em 1791. Desde então, a ortografia do inglês mudou em apenas pequenos detalhes, enquanto que a sua pronúncia sofreu grandes transformações. O resultado disto é que hoje em dia temos um sistema ortográfico baseado na língua como ela era falada no século 18, sendo usado para representar a pronúncia da língua no século 20. (319, minha tradução) Da mesma forma que os primeiros dicionários serviram para padronizar a ortografia, os primeiros trabalhos descrevendo a estrutura gramatical do inglês influenciaram o uso da língua, incorporando conceitos gramaticais das línguas latinas e trazendo uma uniformidade gramatical. Durante os séculos 16 e 17 ocorreu o surgimento e a incorporação definitiva do verbo auxiliar do para frases interrogativas e negativas. A partir do século 18 passou a ser considerado incorreto o uso de dupla negação numa mesma frase como, por exemplo: She didn't go neither. SHAKESPEARE William Shakespeare (1564-1616), representou uma forte influência no desenvolvimento de uma linguagem literária. Sua imensa obra é caracterizada pelo uso criativo do vocabulário então existente, bem como pela criação de palavras novas. Substantivos transformados em verbos e verbos em adjetivos, bem como a
  6. 6. livre adição de prefixos e sufixos e o uso de linguagem figurada são freqüentes nos trabalhos de Shakespeare. Ao mesmo tempo em que a literatura se desenvolvia, o colonialismo britânico do século 19, levava a língua inglesa a áreas remotas do mundo, proporcionando contato com culturas diferentes e trazendo novo enriquecimento ao vocabulário do inglês. Desde o início da era cristã até o século 19, seis idiomas chegaram a ser falados na Inglaterra: Celta, Latim, Old English, Norman French, Middle English e Modern English. Essa diversidade de influências explica o fato de ser o inglês uma língua menos sistemática e menos regular, quando comparado às línguas latinas e mesmo ao alemão. Poderia nos levar a concluir também que o inglês de hoje pode ser comparado a uma colcha feita de retalhos de tecidos de origem das mais diversas. AMERICAN ENGLISH A esperança de alcançar prosperidade e os anseios por liberdade de religião foram os fatores que determinaram a colonização da América do Norte. A chegada dos primeiros imigrantes ingleses em 1620, marca o início da presença da língua inglesa no Novo Mundo. À época da independência dos Estados Unidos, em 1776, quando a população do país chegava perto de 4 milhões, o dialeto norte-americano já mostrava características distintas em relação aos dialetos das ilhas britânicas. O contato com a realidade de um novo ambiente, com as culturas indígenas nativas e com o espanhol das regiões adjacentes ao sul, colonizadas pela Espanha, provocou um desenvolvimento de vocabulário diverso do inglês britânico. Hoje, entretanto, as diferenças entre os dialetos britânicos e norte-americanos estão basicamente na pronúncia, além de pequenas diferenças no vocabulário. Ao contrário do que aconteceu entre Brasil e Portugal, Estados Unidos da América e Inglaterra mantiveram fortes laços culturais, comerciais e políticos. Enquanto que o português ao longo de 4 séculos se desenvolveu em dois dialetos substancialmente diferentes em Portugal e no Brasil, as diferenças entre os dialetos britânico e norte-americano são menos significativas. O INGLÊS COMO LÍNGUA DO MUNDO Fatos históricos recentes explicam o atual papel do inglês como língua do mundo. Em primeiro lugar, temos o grande poderio econômico da Inglaterra nos séculos 18, 19 e 20, alavancado pela Revolução Industrial, e a conseqüente expansão do colonialismo britânico. Esse verdadeiro império de influência política e econômica atingiu seu ápice na primeira metade do século 20, com uma expansão territorial que alcançava 20% das terras do planeta. O British Empire chegou a ficar conhecido como "the empire where the sun never sets" devido à sua vasta abrangência geográfica, provocando uma igualmente vasta disseminação da língua inglesa. Em segundo lugar, o poderio político-militar do EUA a partir da segunda guerra mundial e a marcante influência econômica e cultural resultante, acabaram por deslocar o francês como língua predominante nos meios diplomáticos e solidificar o inglês na posição de padrão das comunicacões internacionais. Simultaneamente, ocorre um rápido desenvolvimento do transporte aéreo e das tecnologias de telecomunicação. Surgem os conceitos de information superhighway e global village para caracterizar um mundo no qual uma linguagem comum de comunicação é imprescindível.
  7. 7. RESUMO CRONOLÓGICO • 10.000 - 6.000 a.C. - Sítios arqueológicos evidenciam a presença do homem nas terras que encontravam-se ainda unidas ao continente europeu e que os romanos posteriormente viriam a denominar de Britannia. • 1.200 - 600 a.C. - Celtas se estabelecem na Europa e ilhas britânicas, marcando a partir daí sua presença na Europa por cerca de 8 séculos, antes de sua quase completa assimilação pelo Império Romano. • 55 e 54 a.C. - Primeiras incursões romanas de reconhecimento, sob o comando de Júlio César. • 44 A.D. - Legiões romanas, à época do Imperador Claudius, invadem e anexam a principal ilha britânica. • 50 A.D. - Os romanos fundam Londinium às margens do Tâmisa. • 410 A.D. - Legiões romanas se retiram das ilhas britânicas para defender Roma de ataques dos bárbaros. • 432 A.D. - St. Patrick inicia sua missão de cristianizar a Irlanda. • 450 - 550 A.D. - Tribos germânicas (anglos e saxões) se estabelecem na Britannia após a saída das legiões romanas. Início do período Old English. • 500 - 1100 - Período que corresponde ao Old English. • 465 A.D. - Suposta data de nascimento do lendário Rei Artur. • 597 A.D. - Chegada de Santo Agostinho e seus missionários para converter os anglo- saxões ao cristianismo. Inicia o primeiro período de influência do latim na língua anglo- saxônica. • 600 A.D. - A Inglaterra encontra-se dividida em 7 reinos anglo-saxões. • 787 - 1000 A.D. - Ataques escandinavos (Vikings). • 871 A.D. - Coroação do King Alfred, rei dos saxões do oeste, reconhecido como rei da Inglaterra após ter expulsado os Vikings. • 1066 - Batalha de Hastings, em que os franceses normandos, liderados por William, derrotam Harold, conquistando a Inglaterra e dando início a um período de 350 anos de forte influência do francês sobre o inglês. • 1066-1087 - Reinado de William I (William the Conqueror), primeiro rei normando. • 1087-1100 - Reinado de William II, filho de William I e segundo rei normando.
  8. 8. • 1100-1135 - Reinado de Henry I, também filho de William I, o terceiro rei normando e o primeiro a ter uma esposa britânica (Mathilda of Scotland). É provável que Henry I tivesse algum domínio sobre o inglês, e foi em seu reinado que as diferenças entre as sociedades anglo-saxônica e normanda começaram a lentamente diminuir. • 1100 - 1500 - Período que corresponde ao Middle English. • 1204 - King John, Rei da Inglaterra, entra em conflito com o Rei Philip da França, marcando o início de um novo período de valorização do sentimento nacionalista inglês. • 1300 - Robert of Gloucester faz referência à língua inglesa como sendo ainda uma língua falada na Inglaterra apenas por "low people". • 1362 - Inglês é usado, pela primeira vez, na abertura do Parlamento Inglês. • 1400 - 1600 - Período em que ocorrem com mais intensidade as mudança de vogais (Great Vowel Shift). • 1475 - Advento da imprensa, dando início a uma padronização da ortografia e levando à disseminação da forma ortográfica do dialeto de Londres. • 1500 até hoje - Período correspondente ao Modern English. • 1516 - Henrique VIII cria o primeiro sistema postal da Inglaterra. • 1558 - Início do reinado de Elizabeth I (filha de Henrique VIII) e da era elisabetana, período caracterizado por um substancial aumento do vocabulário do inglês e pelas monumentais obras literárias de Spenser, Shakespeare e Jonson. • 1564 - Nascimento de William Shakespeare. • 1603 - Morte de Elizabeth I e fim do período elisabetano. • 1611 - A Igreja da Inglaterra publica a King James Bible, que exerceu grande influência na linguagem de então. • 1616 - Falecimento de William Shakespeare. • 1620 - Os Pilgrims chegam à America do Norte e estabelecem a Colônia de Plymouth. • 1755 - Samuel Johnson publica A Dictionary of the English Language, trazendo estabilidade à língua inglesa. • 1762 - Bishop Robert Lowth publica Short Introduction to English Grammar, a primeira gramática influente da língua inglesa. • 1776 - Declaração da independência dos Estados Unidos.
  9. 9. • 1700 - 1900 - Revolução Industrial, a qual alavancou o poderio econômico da Inglaterra, permitindo a expansão do colonialismo britânico e conseqüentemente da língua inglesa no século 19. • 1806 - Ano de publicação do primeiro dicionário de Noah Webster: A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language. • 1890 - 1920 - Apogeu do Império Britânico. • 1928 - Ano de publicação da primeira edição do Oxford English Dictionary (OED), em 12 volumes e contendo cerca de 415 mil entradas. • 1945 - Fim da segunda guerra mundial, marca o início de um período de influência político- militar dos EUA e uma conseqüente influência econômica e cultural decisiva para o papel do inglês como língua internacional nos dias de hoje. • 1989 - Ano de publicação da segunda edição do Oxford English Dictionary (OED), em 20 volumes e em CD-ROM, contendo mais de 500 mil entradas. • 1985 - 1995 - Surgimento da Internet. BIBLIOGRAFIA Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 140 [WSCp], Lord's Prayer - a translation of the Gospels written in Bath in the first half of the 11th century; edited by Liuzza (1994). Read by Cathy Ball (Department of Linguistics, Georgetown University) for Edward Vanetten's Sunday School class. <http://www.georgetown.edu/faculty/ballc/oe/paternoster-oe.html>. Online Oct 21, 2003. Crack, Glen Ray. Battle of Hastings 1066 <http://battle1066.com/>. Online. June 27, 2001. Crane, L. Ben, Edward Yeager and Randal L. Whitman. An Introduction to Linguistics. Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1981. Crystal, David. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. Cambridge University Press, 1999. D'Eugenio, Antonio. Major Problems of English Phonology. Foggia, Italy: Atlantica, 1982. Encarta 97 Encyclopedia. Microsoft, 1997. McArthur, Tom. The Oxford Companion to the English Language. Oxford, 1992. Norton-Taylor, Duncan. The Celts. Time Inc, 1974. Wallbank, T. Walter, Alastair M. Taylor and Nels M. Bailkey. Civilization Past and Present. Scott, Foresman & Co., 1962. OUTROS SITES SOBRE A HISTÓRIA DO INGLÊS: Merriam-Webster's History of English - The excellent Merriam-Webster's version of the history of the English language. link English Through the Ages - Very complete text plenty of linguistic information and sample texts in Old and Middle English. link Internet Resources for the History of English - A collection of links about the history of English by the University of Wisconsin, USA. link Não deixe de citar a fonte. Diga não ao plágio. O uso dos materiais publicados neste site é livre. Pedimos apenas que todos respeitem a ética acadêmica citando a fonte e informando o endereço do site, para que outros possam também explorá-lo bem como ter acesso às atualizações e complementações que fazemos diariamente.
  10. 10. COMO FAZER UMA CITAÇÃO DESTA PÁGINA: Schütz, Ricardo. "História da Língua Inglesa." English Made in Brazil <http://www.sk.com.br/sk-enhis.html>. Online. 28 de março de 2008. Observe que ao citar textos encontrados na internet, é necessário colocar a data, devido às freqüentes alterações que os mesmos podem sofrer. O que é língua? História da Língua Inglesa Inglês, a Língua do Mundo - O Inglês e o Português no Mundo O Fim do Monolingüismo Aprendizado de Línguas - Que significa "aprender inglês"? - Language Acquisition x Learning - The Communicative Approach - Interlíngua e fossilização - Tradução mental não funciona - O que é talento para línguas? - O bom aprendiz Por que crianças aprendem melhor? - O papel dos pais - O papel da escola - O papel do governo Como escolher um curso de inglês - O que é um bom professor - Bibliografia do professor de inglês Rumos para o ensino de línguas - Centros de Convívio Multicultural Como abrir uma escola de línguas - Marketing na Educação Pronúncia - Sinalização Fonética - Sinalização Ortográfica - Interferência da Ortografia - Regras de Pronúncia - Pronúncia do Passado - Vogais do Inglês e do Português - Consoantes Inglês x Português - Flapping Rule - Acentuação Tônica (Word Stress) - Rhythm & Vowel Reduction - Can & can't - Dicas sobre pronúncia Word Formation (Morfologia) Vocabulário - Falsos Conhecidos - Palavras de Múltiplo Sentido - English Lexical Ambiguity - Make, Do, Take & Get - Contrastes Idiomáticos - Provérbios - Verbos Irregulares Etimologia (Word Histories) American x British Gramática - Erros Comuns - Perfect Tense - To & For - Phrasal Verbs - Preposition-Dependent Words Interpretação de Textos (Reading) Como Redigir em Inglês (Writing) - Palavras Conectivas (Transitions) - Como não redigir e como traduzir Perguntas & Respostas Fórum de discussões Mensagens recebidas Colaborações Humor Equipe E-mail: emb@sk.com.br Língua Inglesa: Origem e Formação (RESENHA TEMÁTICA) Eliomar Rodrigues-Rocha A língua só existe a título de sistema de construção para enunciados possíveis; mas por outro lado, ela só existe a título de descrição obtida a partir de um conjunto de enunciados reais. Michel Foucault – A arqueologia do saber 1. Introdução Neste trabalho abordarei dois aspectos relevantes na História da Língua Inglesa: a origem dos primeiros povos na região conhecida hoje como Inglaterra e a influência que sofreram na formação da língua falada naquele país. Consciente dessa necessidade busco, então, uma maior clareza para tais indagações. Para tanto, alinhavarei alguns pontos entre os vários povos que circularam na região da atual Inglaterra nas épocas de invasões: que língua, dialeto ou expressão usavam? O que predominou após sua circulação para outras regiões? Que convenções lingüísticas foram feitas pelos nativos nos aspectos fonológicos, sintáticos ou semânticos? Que relevância social, religiosa, econômica e política tinha determinado uso lingüístico?
  11. 11. De acordo com Crane, Yeager e Whitmam, na obra An Introduction to Linguistics, a história da Inglaterra se inicia com os celtas que se originaram, presumivelmente, de populações que já habitavam a Europa na Idade do Bronze (700 a.C) e as regiões hoje conhecidas como Espanha, França, Alemanha e Inglaterra. O idioma celta chegou a ser o principal grupo de línguas na Europa e espalhou-se em direção ao norte e sul, prova disso são os nomes de algumas tribos celtas que sobrevivem em Belgi – Belgium, Gaul – Gallic, Welsh – Wales etc.. Diferentes grupos celtas invadiram e colonizaram a Irlanda e a Bretanha durante um longo período surgindo, assim, o celta falado na Irlanda e Espanha, porém com a invasão romana em 55 e 54 a.C. novas mudanças acontecem na língua, pois após três séculos e meio de presença romana na região não é estranho que ocorra uma profunda influência nas estruturas econômica, política e social das tribos celtas que habitavam a Grã-Bretanha. Nesse contexto, algumas palavras e expressões passaram a ser usadas para muitos dos novos conceitos, como diz Baugh, “where the Romans lived and ruled there Romans ways were found"1 (1981, p. 45). Por volta de 410 a.C. as legiões romanas abandonam a região e os habitantes celtas ficam a mercê de inimigos. Necessitando de proteção, os celtas recorrem às tribos germânicas (Jutes, Saxons e Frisians), mas estas se aproveitam da oportunidade e se estabelecem nas áreas mais férteis do sudeste da Grã-Bretanha, destruindo vilas e massacrando a população local. Modificando, também, hábitos, costumes e tradições, refletindo seu domínio, principalmente no aspecto lingüístico, haja vista que quando comunidades diferentes se misturam durante um longo espaço de tempo a tendência é se estabelecer o que os sociolingüísticos denominam de conflito lingüísticos. Nesse circular, o dominador impõe suas regras, seus valores, porque, de acordo com Michel Foucault (1999), toda classe que aspira à dominação deve conquistar primeiro o poder político, para depois apresentar seu interesse como interesse geral. E, sabemos que isso é somente possível através da língua. Dessa maneira, os diversos dialetos germânicos falados pelos Anglo-Saxões é que vão dar origem ao Inglês. Podemos, a partir desse evento, dividir a História da Língua Inglesa em três grandes períodos: Old English, Middle e Modern English. Vale ressaltar que essa divisão está, convencionalmente, ligada aos aspectos históricos lingüísticos e não a marcos históricos, denominados documentos/monumentos por Foucault (2002). 2. Old English Por volta do século V em diante, as terras da Inglaterra foram invadidas por tribos germânicas – Anglo-Saxões e Jutes. O dialeto anglo-saxão incorpora-se aos demais em uma espécie de domínio e o vocabulário inglês vai sendo grandemente influenciado ao longo do tempo. Com a introdução do cristianismo ocorreu a primeira onda de palavras do latim e do grego para a língua inglesa. Mais tarde fora influenciada pelos invasores escandinavos que falavam o Old Norse, que, provavelmente, assemelhava-se ao dialeto falado pelos povos anglo-saxões. Vários desenvolvimentos internos dentro do Old English reduziram o papel de inflexões por algum tempo e o contato com o Old
  12. 12. Norse acelerou esse processo, especialmente nos dialetos falados no norte daquela região. O período Old English terminou com a invasão dos Normandos, quando a língua foi influenciada por um número maior de falantes que usavam o Norman dialect. Essa conquista foi de tamanha relevância, pois novas palavras incorporaram-se à língua falada pelas pessoas comuns, isto é, por servos e escravos. Mais tarde, muitos dos novos termos passaram a ser usados na corte e no militarismo adquirindo, portanto, um elevado status social. O Old English não era uma língua uniforme, pois era preservada por inscrições runics nas traduções bíblicas complexas e fragmentos diversos. Em geral, a diferença entre o Old e o Modern English está na forma escrita, na pronúncia, no vocabulário e na gramática. De acordo com Baugh (1981), qualquer pessoa que não tenha uma especialização voltada ao Old English é incapaz de compreender qualquer texto da época. Por exemplo, a palavra stãn corresponde a stone no inglês atual. No entanto, a maior diferença entre esses dois períodos está na gramática, especificamente, no campo sintático e no campo analítico. Esse período finda com a batalha de Hastings, em 1066, onde o rei William – o conquistador – derrotou o exército dos anglos – saxões e impôs suas leis seu sistema de governo e sua língua – a francesa. A partir desse evento se estabelece o segundo o período – o Middle English. 3. Middle English Quando pensamos no Middle English nos vêm à mente imagens de castelos com altas torres, rodeadas por uma grande muralha, isso porque os castelos são características do sistema social normando conhecido como feudalismo. Entretanto, o elemento mais importante desse período foi, sem dúvida, a presença e influência da língua francesa no inglês. Essa verdadeira transfusão de cultura franco-normanda na nação anglo-saxônica, que durou três séculos, resultou principalmente, num aporte considerável de vocabulário – nada mais. Isso demonstra que, por mais forte que possa ser a influência de uma língua sobre outra, essa influência, normalmente, não vai além de um enriquecimento de vocabulário, dificilmente afetando a pronúncia ou estrutura gramatical. O passar dos séculos e as disputas que acabaram ocorrendo entre os normandos das ilhas britânicas e os habitantes do continente, provocam o surgimento de um sentimento nacionalista e, pelo final do século XV, o inglês já havia prevalecido. Até mesmo como linguagem escrita, o inglês já havia substituído o francês e o latim como língua oficial para documentos. Muito vocabulário novo foi incorporado com a introdução de novos conceitos administrativos, políticos e sociais, para os quais não havia equivalentes em inglês. Em alguns casos, entretanto, já existiam palavras de origem germânica, as quais, ou acabaram desaparecendo, ou passaram a coexistir com as equivalentes de origem francesa, em principio como sinônimos, mas com o tempo adquirindo conotações diferentes. Podemos demonstrar tal asserção, com palavras como: answer – respond, shut – close, kingly – royal, help – aid, folk – people, look – search etc… Além da influência do francês sobre seu vocabulário, o Middle English se caracterizou, também, pela gradual perda de declinações, pela
  13. 13. neutralização e perda de vogais atônicas em final de palavra e pelo início da Great Vowel Shift, que se caracteriza pela acentuada mudança na pronúncia das vogais do inglês, inclusive os ditongos sofreram alterações e certas consoantes deixaram de ser pronunciadas. Esse período traz uma onda de inovações no inglês, que foi denominada Modern English. 4. Modern English O Modern English se estende do século XVI à atualidade. Na primeira parte desse período aconteceu uma revolução complexa da fonologia do inglês. Enquanto o Middle English se caracterizou por uma acentuada diversidade de dialetos, o Modern English representa um período de padronização e unificação da língua, porém sem uma pronúncia única ou uniforme, pois os sons variam de lugar para lugar e de grupo social para grupo social. Essas mudanças continuaram durante o período representado numa típica fonologia do inglês moderno. Mas, se as mudanças ocorridas na pronúncia não foram acompanhadas de reformas ortográficas, isso revela-se em um caráter conservador da cultura inglesa. Outro ponto significativo é o uso da acentuação com o advento da imprensa com influência direta do Latim e Grego. Mais tarde, em contato com outras culturas e dialetos, a língua inglesa se desenvolve em muitas áreas onde os ingleses haviam colonizado, fazendo, assim, pequenas mas interessantes contribuições para o vocabulário do inglês, como por exemplo, os nomes dos dias da semana no inglês moderno que vieram dos nomes dos principais deuses anglo-saxões: Thursday (dia de Thor – o deus do trovão), Friday (dia de Frey – deusa da fertilidade). Esse nome vem da palavra escandinava Frigedaeg, conforme a revista Aquarius, 1995; e Sunday (o dia do deus sol) e assim sucessivamente. Como registra a História, os caldeus e os egípcios, muitos séculos antes de Cristo, já dividiam a semana em sete dias. Os antigos romanos, no tempo do imperador Augusto (63 a. C. – d.C. 14), usavam o termo “settimana” para designar a semana com sete dias. É significativo observar que o Modern English se inicia com a Renascença, período de reformas, descobertas, exploração etc. Nesse período, os pensadores e artistas, voltaram aos Clássicos e com eles muitas palavras latinas e gregas foram adotadas e muitos desses termos “inkhorn” sobrevivem ainda nos dias atuais. 5. Conclusão Após uma imersão nos três períodos da história cultural da Língua Inglesa e analisando os aspectos, fonológico, sintático e semântico, bem como suas relevâncias no campo social, cultural, político e econômico, concluímos que a língua é o instrumento através do qual o indivíduo alcança o seu objetivo maior: a dominação seja ela através da sedução, intimidação ou imposição. Esse último, logicamente, predominando sobre os outros dois, uma vez que o colonizador, diante de um grupo que almeja colonizar, impõe bruscamente sua linguagem e sua cultura, como aconteceu no Brasil na época da colonização. Aos nativos não fora dada a chance do diálogo, antes, houve a usurpação e força opressora sobre todos. É importante que percebamos a necessidade do conhecimento
  14. 14. lingüístico para que ocorra a colonização, pois, de acordo com Bakhtin (1997, p. 67), “somente através da experiência vivida é que se adquire a competência para determinados usos da língua”, isto é, no fazer do dia-a-dia é que nos construímos e somos construídos. Nas palavras de Foucault (2002, p. 96), “a língua só existe a título de sistema de construção para enunciados possíveis; mas por outro lado, ela só existe a título de descrição obtida a partir de um conjunto de enunciados reais”. Assim, podemos compreender que um enunciado pode ser feito de signos e, ainda, esses signos regem o enunciado, como diz Foucault, “os signos que constituem seus elementos são formas que se impõem e que os regem do interior” (2002, p. 96). Com Foucault (1969, p. 22), concebemos o discurso como uma dispersão, isto é, como sendo formado por elementos que não estão ligados por nenhum princípio de unidade. Isso foi clarificado no trabalho ora elaborado. Podemos visualizar, de forma clara, que as palavras utilizadas pelos falantes, sejam da língua inglesa ou não, têm um ponto em comum: o objeto, o signo lingüístico, que existe, coexiste e se transforma num espaço comum discursivo. Ora servindo ao falante ora assujeitando-o, como nos ensina Roland Barthes em Aula: “os signos só existem na medida em que são reconhecidos. O signo é um seguidor gregário; em cada signo dorme esse monstro: o estereótipo” (p. 15). O convite está feito, trapaceemos com os signos, porque somente assim poderemos nos libertar dessa trama. Será isso possível? É preciso, como ensinou Foucault, que a soberania do significante seja suspensa. 6. Referências Bibliográficas BARTHES, Roland. Aula. Trad. Leyla Perrone-Moisés. São Paulo: Cultrix, 1988. Baugh, Albert. A History of the English Language, Oxford: University Press, 1997 Bakthin, Mikhail. Marxismo e Filosofia da Linguagem, Hucitec, São Paulo, 1997. Claire, Kramsh. Language and Culture, Oxford Univ. Press, 4 edição, 2003 Crane, L. Ben, Edward Yeager and Randal L. Whitman. An Introduction to Linguistics Boston: Litlle, Brown & Co, 1981. Crystal, David. The Cambridge Encyclopedic of the English Language. Cambridge University Press, 2 edição, 2003. Foucault, Michel. Arqueologia do Saber. Pontes, 2 edição, São Paulo, 2002. ____________. Microfísica do poder. Rio de Janeiro: Graal, 1999. AMOS, Eduardo. & PRESCHER, Elisabeth. Brasil and other stories. São Paulo: Moderna, 1995 [Aquarius – Level 1]. Brief Histories of the English Language
  15. 15. 1. A Brief History of the English Language – by Douglas F. Hasty, M.L.S. 2. A History of the English Language: Past Changes Precipitate Worldwide Popularity – by Lauralee B. York. 3. A Brief History of the English Language – by Andrzej Diniejko (The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. Cambridge University Press, 1995). 4. History of the English Language – by J. Lynch, Rutgers University. 5. The Origin and History of the English Language – by Kryss Katsiavriades. 6. Brief History of English – by Jeremy Smith. 7. History of the English Language – by Tatyana Kostadinova. 8. A Brief Look at the History of English – © 2000 by Merriam- Webster, Inc. 9. A (Very) Brief History of the English Language – by David Wilton. 10. A Brief History of English Usage – by E. Ward Gilman, Editor. A Brief History of the English Language by Douglas F. Hasty Old English, until 1066 Immigrants from Denmark and NW Germany arrived in Britain in the 5th and 6th Centuries A.D., speaking in related dialects belonging to the Germanic and Teutonic branches of the Indo-European language family. Today, English is most closely related to Flemish, Dutch, and German, and is somewhat related to Icelandic, Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish. Icelandic, unchanged for 1,000 years, is very close to Old English. Viking invasions, begun in the 8th Century, gave English a Norwegian and Danish influence which lasted until the Norman Conquest of 1066. Old English Words The Angles came from an angle-shaped land area in contemporary Germany. Their name "Angli" from the Latin and commonly-spoken, pre-5th Century German mutated into the Old English "Engle". Later, "Engle" changed to "Angel-cyn" meaning "Angle-race" by A.D. 1000, changing to "Engla-land". Some Old English words which have survived intact include: feet, geese, teeth, men, women, lice, and mice. The modern word "like" can be a noun, adjective, verb, and preposition. In Old English, though, the word was different for each type: gelica as a noun, geic as an adjective, lician as a verb, and gelice as a preposition. Middle English, from 1066 until the 15th Century The Norman Invasion and Conquest of Britain in 1066 and the resulting French Court of William the Conqueror gave the Norwegian-Dutch influenced English a Norman-Parisian-French effect.
  16. 16. From 1066 until about 1400, Latin, French, and English were spoken. English almost disappeared entirely into obscurity during this period by the French and Latin dominated court and government. However, in 1362, the Parliament opened with English as the language of choice, and the language was saved from extinction. Present-day English is approximately 50% Germanic (English and Scandinavian) and 50% Romance (French and Latin). Middle English Words Many new words added to Middle English during this period came from Norman French, Parisian French, and Scandinavian. Norman French words imported into Middle English include: catch, wage, warden, reward, and warrant. Parisian French gave Middle English: chase, guarantee, regard, guardian, and gage. Scandinavian gave to Middle English the important word of law. English nobility had titles which were derived from both Middle English and French. French provided: prince, duke, peer, marquis, viscount, and baron. Middle English independently developed king, queen, lord, lady, and earl. Governmental administrative divisions from French include county, city, village, justice, palace, mansion, and residence. Middle English words include town, home, house, and hall. Early Modern English, from the 15th Century to the 17th Century During this period, English became more organized and began to resemble the modern version of English. Although the word order and sentence construction was still slightly different, Early Modern English was at least recognizable to the Early Modern English speaker. For example, the Old English "To us pleases sailing" became "We like sailing." Classical elements, from Greek and Latin, profoundly influenced work creation and origin. From Greek, Early Modern English received grammar, logic, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music. Also, the "tele-" prefix meaning "far" later used to develop telephone and television was taken. Modern English, from the 17th Century to Modern Times Modern English developed through the efforts of literary and political writings, where literacy was uniformly found. Modern English was heavily influenced by classical usage, the emergence of the university-educated class, Shakespeare, the common language found in the East Midlands section of present-day England, and an organized effort to document and standardize English. Current inflections have remained almost unchanged for 400 years, but sounds of vowels and consonants have changed greatly. As a result, spelling has also changed considerably. For example, from Early English to Modern English, lyf became life, deel became deal, hoom became home, mone became moon, and hous became house. Advantages and Disadvantages of Modern English Modern English is composed of several languages, with grammar rules, spelling, and word usage both complimenting and competing for clarity. The disadvantages of Modern English include: an alphabet which is unable to adequately represent all needed sounds without using repeated or combined letters, a limit of 23 letters of the 26 in the alphabet which can effectively express twice the number of sounds actually needed, and a system of spelling which is not based upon pronunciation but foreign language word origin and countless changes throughout history. The
  17. 17. advantages of Modern English include: single consonants which are clearly understood and usually represent the same sounds in the same positions, the lack of accent marks found in other languages which permits quicker writing, and the present spelling displays European language origins and connections which allows European language speakers to become immediately aware of thousands of words. Modern English Words British English, known as Standard English or Oxford English, underwent changes as the colonization of North American and the creation of the United States occurred. British English words changed into American English words, such as centre to center, metre to meter, theatre to theater, favour to favor, honour to honor, labour to labor, neighbour to neighbor, cheque to check, connexion to connection, gaol to jail, the storey of a house to story, and tyre for tire. Since 1900, words with consistent spelling but different meanings from British English to American English include: to let for to rent, dual carriageway for divided highway, lift for elevator, amber for yellow, to ring for to telephone, zebra crossing for pedestrian crossing, and pavement for sidewalk. American English, from the 18th Century until Modern Times Until the 18th Century, British and American English were remarkably similar with almost no variance. Immigration to America by other English peoples changed the language by 1700. Noah Webster, author of the first authoritative American English dictionary, created many changes. The "-re" endings became "-er" and the "-our" endings became "-or". Spelling by pronunciation and personal choice from Webster were influences. Cough, Sought, Thorough, Thought, and Through Why do these "ough" words have the same central spelling but are so different? This is a characteristic of English, which imported similarly spelled or defined words from different languages over the past 1,000 years. Cough From the Middle High German kuchen meaning to breathe heavily, to the French-Old English cohhian, to the Middle English coughen is derived the current word cough. Sought From the Greek hegeisthai meaning to lead, to the Latin sagire meaning to perceive keenly, to the Old High German suohhen meaning to seek, to the French-Old English secan, to the Middle English sekken, is derived the past tense sought of the present tense of the verb to seek. Thorough
  18. 18. From the French-Old English thurh and thuruh to the Middle English thorow is derived the current word thorough. Thought From the Old English thencan, which is related to the French-Old English word hoht, which remained the same in Middle English, is derived the current word thought. Through From the Sanskrit word tarati, meaning he crossed over, came the Latin word, trans meaning across or beyond. Beginning with Old High German durh, to the French-Old English thurh, to the Middle English thurh, thruh, or through, is derived the current word through. A Brief History of the English Language English is a Germanic language belonging to the Indo-European family, and developed from Anglo- Saxon dialects under the strong influence of Norman French and Latin. Its growth can be traced back to the 5th century AD when groups of West Germanic tribes (Angles, Saxons, and Jutes) settled in the British Isles. The Celts, the original inhabitants of the British Isles, left behind only a handful of words which have survived in modern English, e.g. bin, dun and crag, as well as the names of such places as Dundee, Carlisle and Dover. Many rivers in Britain are called by Celtic names, e.g. Avon and Thames. The early influence of Latin is reflected in the word castrum (camp), which lies behind the names of British cities such as Lancaster, Doncaster, Winchester, etc. Three stages of development We can distinguish three stages in the development of English: Old English (8th-12th centuries), Middle English (12th-15th centuries) and Modern English (15th century until the present). In Old English adjectives, nouns, pronouns and verbs were inflected, as in Polish. Verbs had only two tenses: present and past. There were no articles in Old English. The definite article the developed later from the Old English demonstrative se (that) and the indefinite article a/an from the numeral one. One remnant of Old English is the irregular plural in such words as: man/men, woman/women, foot/feet, tooth/teeth, goose/geese, mouse/mice, louse/lice and ox/oxen. The earliest monuments of Old English are inscriptions on stone or wood in a special alphabet known as "runes". Gradually the Latin alphabet began to be employed in Anglo-Saxon Britain. The vocabulary of Old English consisted mostly of words of Germanic stock. For example, the days of the week were named after the pagan gods of Norse mythology: Wednesday, after the supreme god Woden; Thursday after Thor, the god of thunder, and Friday after Frigga, Woden's wife. A small number of words were borrowed from Latin, e.g. bishop, candle, martyr, school, wine. The Vikings, who invaded Britain in the 8th-10th centuries, added such common words as window (wind's eye), call, die, get, give, take, skin, as well as the verb form are.
  19. 19. After the Norman invasion in 1066, Norman French became the official language of the court in England. It was a dialect of French influenced by popular Latin and Old Norse. Many modern English words derive from Norman French, e.g. beef, bacon, mutton, pork, veal, etc. Even today a court officer utters the words Oyez, Oyez, meaning listen. This expression stems from the Norman word oir (to hear). A number of terms dealing with government, such as liberty, parliament, authority, etc., crossed the Channel along with the Normans. Although Norman French became the language of the Royal Court and the ruling class, Old English or Anglo-Saxon was still spoken by the common people. Gradually it was transformed into what is called Middle English, which lost most of its inflections and greatly expanded its vocabulary by borrowing from Norman French and Latin. After the end of the 15th century the London dialect of English was recognised as the standard form of English, especially in writing. The writers of the Elizabethan age (Edmund Spenser, Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare and others) exerted a great influence on the growth and perfection of literary English. Shakespeare, a great master of the English language, invented many words which are now in common use, e.g.: accommodation, assassination, courtship; and idiomatic expressions: star-crossed lovers, the mind's eye, what the dickens, salad days, love is blind. A book which had a profound effect on the development of the standard form of the English language was the Authorised or King James Version of the Bible, first published in 1611. It was widely read and helped to keep alive English words of Germanic stock. There are many expressions still used today which first appeared in the Authorised Version, e.g. by the skin of our teeth, an eye for an eye, cast pearls before swine, the salt of the earth, money is the root of all evil, in sheep's clothing. The next factor which contributed to the development of standard or literary English was the Protestant Reformation. Numerous books on religion, treatises, and pamphlets written in plain English were distributed in churches or read for ordinary people. In the 17th and 18th centuries a number of English language dictionaries began to appear. The writers of the 18th century paid much attention to the "correctness" of the language. Two great men of letters, Jonathan Swift and Samuel Johnson, exerted a great influence on the development of norms of standard English. Dr Johnson compiled A Dictionary of the English Language (1755), which led to a greater standardisation of spelling. In the 19th century, Englishmen who served in the colonies brought home exotic new vocabulary, e.g. bungalow, dinghy, kangaroo, kayak, jungle, etc., which was soon adapted into the language. The Industrial Revolution and subsequent technological advancement produced a number of terms which are now used not only in English but in many other languages, e.g. locomotive, dynamo, volt, watt, etc. During the sixteen hundred years of its history the English language has undergone constant change and is still changing. Standard English and regional dialects British English has a standard accent called Received Pronunciation (RP), used mainly by the middle classes, especially in the south. For almost two hundred years, until about 1960, RP was the accent of most educated Englishmen, particularly those who attended public schools. Today there is a growing tendency to regard a slight regional accent as acceptable. A number of regional accents are used in Britain. One major distinguishing feature is the pronunciation of certain sounds.
  20. 20. For example, the Scots and Irish pronounce the 'r' consonant in all positions, whereas in RP 'r' is dropped before a consonant. In some dialects 'h' at the beginning of a word is often dropped. In England we can distinguish Northern, Midlands and South Western dialects. Scottish English The Scots speak English, but with their own accent. The various Scottish dialects should not be confused with Gaelic, the Celtic language spoken in the north and west of the country. Scottish Gaelic, the traditional language of Scotland, is basically the same language as Irish Gaelic, and Gaelic speakers from the two countries can usually manage to understand each other. There are still plenty of people in Scotland, particularly in the Highlands, who understand Gaelic, but few places where it remains the language of common conversation, apart from the Hebrides. The variety of English spoken in Scotland is Scots, descended from the language of the Saxons, who came north to avoid the Normans after 1066. Few English speakers can fully understand a true Scots speaker. Welsh English Welsh English is famous for its musical quality. Words are usually stressed in a different way than in RP. Welsh people often use the forms of the past participle instead of the simple past tense, e.g. He never seen her. Another interesting feature of Welsh English is the sentence filler 'look you', which means 'you know'. A great number of people in Wales still use their native language, called Cymraeg or Cymric (from Cymru, meaning Wales), one of the oldest languages in Europe. Irish English Under the Constitution of the Republic of Ireland, the Irish language is the national language of the country, English being the second. The Irish language belongs to the Celtic branch of the Indo- European family of languages. According to statistics, about 30 per cent of the population of the Republic of Ireland claim to have a knowledge of Irish, although few of them use it in everyday life. Although Irish Gaelic is in decline, it has influenced Irish English. A popular construction used in Ireland is to be after doing, e.g. He's after reading a book, which means that he has just finished reading a book. In spelling, the English language used in Ireland follows British practice. However, the Irish accent is different from English accents, particularly from that of southeast England. It is very musical and has a characteristic intonation. In many ways the Irish accent is a relic of the English spoken in the past. Many features of Middle English and Early Modern English, which have completely disappeared in today's Standard English, still survive in Irish English, e.g. the second person plural 'youse' instead of Standard English 'you'. World English Today English is one of the richest languages in the world with a vocabulary of more than 600,000 words. However, the majority of people can communicate effectively in everyday situations with only 2,000-3,000 words. English has become an international language and at present every seventh person in the world speaks or understands English. Over a third of the world's population live in
  21. 21. countries where English is spoken either as the native language or as one of the official languages. English is spoken as a native language by some 300 million people living in the British Isles, North America, Australia, New Zealand, the West Indies and South Africa. For another 300 million people living in India, Pakistan, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Africa, English is the second language. Last but not least, English is the primary medium of international communication in science, technology, trade, aviation, diplomacy and popular culture. People who speak English fall into three categories: those for whom English is a native language; those who use English as a second language and those who have learnt English as a foreign language. It is true to say that English has become the chief world language and its importance is still growing. Andrzej Diniejko For further reading, see: David Crystal, The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1995. Brief History of English by Jeremy Smith English and the Indo-European Languages ,--Icelandic |--Faeroese ,--------------------------------|-- Norwegian | |--(Norn 18c) | |--Swedish | `--Danish | ,-- (Burgundian) | ,-----------------------------|--(Vandal) | | `--(Gothic 16c) | | ,-Yiddish ,-Balto-Slavic | | ,-high-------------------------German | ,-North--' | |
  22. 22. ,--Afrikaans |-Germanic|-East------' | ,--|--Dutch | | ,-German--low--Old Saxon---------' `--Flemish |-Italic `-West|-Old Frisian--------------------------Frisian |(6c BC Latin) | ,-Northumbrian-N. dialect-lowland Scots |-Albanian `-Old English|-Mercian-Midland dialect-Modern English | |-Kentish Indo |-Armenian `-West Saxon---S. dialect- Dorsetshire dialect European-| ,--(Cornish 1777) |-(Anatolian 2000-1700 BC) ,--|--Welsh | | |-- (Cumbric) |-(Tocharian) ,--(Gaulish) | `--Breton | |--Brythionic (p-Celts)-----------' ,--(Manx 1974) |-Celtic-------|--Goidelic (q-Celts)----------------|--Irish Gaelic | |--(Celtiberian) `--Scottish Gaelic | `--(Galatian) |-Greek(Mycenaen)-Classic Greek--Koine (common)--------Greek | (1400-800 BC) (800-400 BC) (400 BC-500 AD) `-Indo-Iranian-----------------------------------------Romany (10c BC Sanskrit) 450-1150 Old English 1150-1500 Middle English (Chaucer) 1500-1800 Early Modern (Shakespeare) 1800-1900 19th century (Industrial Revolution & Victorians) 1900-1993 Modern (Technology) Celts dominated southern Germany and the northern Alps in the 1st millennium BC. They began migrating in all directions in the 5th century BC, though it is not known when they reached Britain. They were eventually pushed back to the Scottish Highlands in the north, Wales in the west, and Cornwall in the southwest, by the invading Anglo-Saxons who began arriving in the 5th century AD. In the 6th century a large group from South Wales and Cornwall emigrated to Brittany in northern France where they still speak Breton. In the 7th century Scottish Gaelic was introduced from Ireland. Little is known of the Picts whose language died out in the 10th century as the people merged with the Scots. Languages in Britain In addition to English, Scottish Gaelic is spoken in Scotland, Irish Gaelic is spoken in Ireland, Welsh is spoken in Wales, Romany has been spoken by travelling gypsies for centuries all over
  23. 23. Europe including Britain, Manx was spoken in the Isle of Man until the middle part of this century, and Cornish was spoken in Cornwall until about the end of the eighteenth century. English is primarily a Germanic language stemming from invading Angle, Saxon, Jute and Frisian tribes of northern Germany who settled in England in the 5th century, the beginning of the Old English Period. This language derived from Proto-Germanic, which was the mother tongue of German, English, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian. It was the main branch of the prehistoric Indo- European language. The Angel-Seaxans were the English Saxons, as opposed to the Ald-Seaxans. the Old Saxons of the continent. English evolved into a distinct language separate from the original speech of the Angels and Saxons by around the 10th century. Of the 1000 most frequently used words 83% are of Old English origin. Of our remaining vocabulary about 30% are Anglo- Saxon survivals. Tens of thousands of our current words are of French and Latin origin. Old English 450-1150 (Germanic) Old English is predominantly Anglo-Saxon. It also borrowed from church Latin (~450 words) and from Old Norse. 7th century Christian missions to Britain brought learning and literacy, initially entirely in Latin, but an Old English written language did emerge in the northeast and in the West Saxon kingdom of Alfred the Great in the second half of the 9th century. The first known written English sentence, "This she-wolf is a reward to my kinsman," is an Anglo Saxon runic inscription on a gold medallion (about the size of a 50› piece) found in Suffolk, dated about AD 450-480. From the 8th to the 11th centuries Vikings plundered lands adjacent to the Baltic and North Seas. The Danish King Cnut conquered Norway and England, usurping the English throne, in the early 11th century. Large numbers of Scandinavians settled in England throughout the Old English period, giving the language several thousand common words. Old English characters: ash ‘ /a/, thorn /th/, eth /dh/, and schwa. With his invading Normans, William the Conqueror (1066) established French Domination. They were originally Danes (`Northmen') who settled the northern coast of France (Normandy) in the 8th and 9th centuries. All Old English nobility were wiped out. Norman French became the language of the aristocracy and government (Normanized Latin was used in government, church and learning), and English remained the speech of the masses. So until about 1200 it was bilingual, when many french words were absorbed into English. (English: ox, sheep, swine, calf. French: beef, mutton, pork, veal.) By the mid-1300s English had reasserted itself, with a statute in 1362 enacted in Parliament that all lawsuits be conducted in English. French became a cultivated rather than a native language. The Hundred Years' War (1337-1453) meant French was the language of the enemy country. Black
  24. 24. Death (1349-50), which killed off 30% of the people, increased the economic importance of the labouring classes and with it the importance of their language. Middle English 1150-1500 (Germanic + Romance) Geoffrey Chaucer (1340-1400). Chaucer's English (the variety or dialect spoken in London) established itself as the standard. However, from 1250-1400 English adopted the greatest number of French words (40%), and of the nearly 10,000, 75% are still in use. It also changed in fundamental ways, especially in pronunciation and grammar (simpler), from highly inflected (Germanic) to a very analytical (modern). Some dialects retain some of the early pronunciations for a few words (/doon/ for down in northern England and Scotland). Early Modern English 1500-1800 (Renaissance) In 1476, William Caxton (1422-1491) set up the first printing press in Westminster Abbey. By 1640 there were 20,000 titles printed (mostly in London) in English. This pushed English, written and spoken, towards a standard form. The Dictionary was produced, notably Samuel Johnson's in 1755 (which he did on his own time!). 1650-1800: The Age of Reason (Augustan Age), characterized by a strong sense of order and value of standards and regulations. The language of this time is recognizable today. The `Great Vowel Shift' occurred, and spelling reform. A strong central government used English as the national language for all purposes despite the revival of the classics. Latin and Greek were the most important sources of new words, followed by French, Italian, and Spanish. Most Latin and Greek introductions were deliberate attempts by 16th and early 17th century writers to enrich the language, to elevate `low' English. Words also came in from 50 other languages, largely due to the expansion of the British Empire. 19th Century English 1800-1900 (No change - just expansions) The Industrial Revolution and the Victorian Age. Words began to come to England from America. English dialect terms became standard English. American English The first settled English colony was in Jamestown, Virginia in 1607 who were contemporaries of William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Francis Bacon (1561-1626), Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593) and Donne (1572-1631). By the 18th century American was recognized as distinct from British English. The earliest sign is perhaps the absorption of Indian words, almost exclusively the Algonquian speaking tribes. American also borrowed many words from Africans brought in with the slave trade, and European immigrants, but they tended to be regional: African in the South,
  25. 25. French in Louisiana, Spanish in the Southwest, German in Pennsylvania, Dutch in New York, Spanish being the most pervasive European language that American borrowed from. Many words and pronunciations died out in England but survive in American. Words adopted new meanings in the new world. Great changes were wrought in 20th century American, with global economic, political, and technological prominence. Modern English 1900-present Science and Technology, the entertainment industry, the world wars, the car have contributed to the English lexicon. Formations: `self-explaining compounds', Greek and Latin compounds, borrowings from other languages, deliberate coinages, extending meaning of current words, slang, and acronyms; are used ever more frequently. A Brief History of English Usage E. Ward Gilman, Editor English usage today is an area of discourse—sometimes it seems more like dispute—about the way words are used and ought to be used. This discourse makes up the subject matter of a large number of books that put the word usage in their titles. Behind usage as a subject lies a collection of opinions about what English grammar is or should be, about the propriety of using certain words and phrases, and about the social status of those who use certain words and constructions. A fairly large number of these opinions have been with us long enough to be regarded as rules or at least to be referred to as rules. In fact they are often regarded as rules of grammar, even if they concern only matters of social status or vocabulary selection. And many of these rules are widely believed to have universal application even though they are far from universally observed. To understand how these opinions and rules developed, we have to go back in history at least as far back as the year 1417 when the official correspondence of Henry V suddenly and almost entirely stopped being written in French and started being written in English. By mid-century many government documents and even private letters were in English and before 1500 even statutes were being recorded in the mother tongue. This restoration of English as the official language of the royal bureaucracy was one very important influence on the gradual emergence of a single standard dialect of English out of the many varied regional dialects that already existed. English now had to serve the functions formerly served by Latin and French, languages which had already assumed standard forms and this new reality was a powerful spur to the formation of a standard in writing English that could be quite independent of variable speech. The process was certainly not completed within the 15th century but increasingly the written form of the language that modern scholars call Chancery English had its effect. in combination with other influences such as the newfangled process of printing from movable type. But the rise of Standard English did not by itself generate concern over usage. There was no special interest in language as such at that time. Indeed. the English historian G. M. Trevelyan called the 15th century until its last fifteen or twenty years, the most intellectually barren epoch in English
  26. 26. history since the Norman conquest. Not until Henry VII had established himself on the throne near the end of the century did the intellectual ferment of the European Renaissance begin to be felt in England. By the middle of the 16th century the English Renaissance was in full flower and the revival of learning and letters brought with it a conscious interest in the English language as a medium for literature and learned discourse. There were those who had their doubts about its suitability. Still the desire to use the vernacular rather than Latin was strong and some of the doubters sought to put flesh on the bare bones of English by importing words from Latin, Italian, and French—the European languages of learned and graceful discourse. Among those who enriched English from the word stock of Europe were Sir Thomas Elyot and Sir Thomas More. Opposed to these enrichers of the language were purists such as Roger.Ascham and Sir John Cheke, who preferred their English, rude as it might be, untainted by foreign imports. The imported learned terms became known as inkhornterms, and their use and misuse by the imperfectly educated became the subject of much lively satire—some of it written by Shakespeare, among many others. In addition to the controversy over imported words there were other concerns, such as the state of English spelling. In those days people mostly spelled things the way they sounded. and there was little uniformity indeed. A number of people consequently became interested in spelling reform. .Among these was the schoolmaster Richard Mulcaster who may have served as the model for Shakespeare's pedant Holofernes. Mulcaster and the somewhat later Edmund Coote were interested in regularizing spelling as best they could. There were more radical reformers too-John Hart, Sir Thomas Smith, and William Bullokar are examples-who devised phonetic alphabets to better represent English speech sounds. Bullokar is worthy of note for another reason: in 1586 he published Bref Grammar for English—the first English grammar book. It was probably intended as an introduction to the subsequent study of Latin grammar. So 16th-century interest in language produced two of the basic tools of the writer on usage. Bullokar, out of his interest in regularizing and reforming, had been moved to write a grammar of English. And the vocabulary controversy—the introduction of inkhorn terms by the enrichers and the revival of English archaisms by the purists (of whom the poet Edmund Spenser was one)—led another schoolmaster, Robert Cawdrey, to produce the first English dictionary in 1604. The 17th century provides several more signposts on the way to the treatment of usage as we know it. One of these is the expression of a desire for regulation of the language by an academy similar to the ones established in Italy in the 16th century and in France in 1635. Calls for the establishment of an English academy came as early as 1617; among the writers to urge one were John Dryden in 1664, John Evelyn in 1665, and Daniel Defoe in 1697. More grammar books were also published at this time. Ben Jonson's appeared posthumously in 1640. It is short and sketchy and is intended for the use of foreigners. Its grammar is descriptive, but Jonson hung his observations on a Latin grammatical framework. It also seems to be the first English grammar book to quote the Roman rhetorician Quintilian's dictum ''Custom is the most certain mistress of language." John Wallis,a mathematician and member of the Royal Society, published in 1658 a grammar, written in Latin, for the use of foreigners who wanted to learn English. Wallis, according to George H. McKnight, abandoned much of the method of Latin grammar. Wallis's grammar is perhaps best
  27. 27. remembered for being the source of the much discussed distinction between shall and will. Wallis's grammar is also the one referred to by Samuel Johnson in the front matter of his 1755 dictionary. John Dryden deserves mention too. He defended the English of his time as an improvement over the English of Shakespeare and Jonson. He is the first person we know of who worried about the preposition at the end of a sentence. He eliminated many such from his own writings when revising his works for a collected edition. He seems to have decided the practice was wrong because it could not happen in Latin. C. C. Fries tells us that 17th-century grammars in general were designed either for foreigners or for school use, in order to lead to the study of Latin. In the 18th century, however, grammars were written predominantly for English speakers, and although they were written for the purpose of instructing, they seem to find more fun in correcting. A change in the underlying philosophy of grammar had occurred, and it is made explicit in perhaps the first 18th-century grammar, A Key to the Art of Letters . . ., published in 1700 by a schoolmaster named A. Lane. He thought it a mistake to view grammar simply as a means to learn a foreign language and asserted that "the true End and Use of Grammar isto teach how to speak and write well and learnedly in a language already known, according to the unalterable Rules of right Reason." Gone was Ben Jonson's appeal to custom. There was evidently a considerable amount of general interest in things grammatical among men of letters, for Addison, Steele, and Swift all treated grammar in one way or another in The Tatler and The Spectator in 1710, 1711, and 1712. In 1712 Swift published yet another proposal for an English academy (it came within a whisker of succeeding): John Oldmixon attacked Swift's proposal in the same year. Public interest must have helped create a market for the grammar books which began appearing with some frequency about this same time. And if controversy fuels sales, grammarians knew it: they were perfectly willing to emphasize their own advantages by denigrating their predecessors, sometimes in abusive terms. We need mention only a few of these productions here. Pride of place must go to Bishop Robert Lowth's A Short Introduction to English Grammar, 1762. Lowth's book is both brief and logical. Lowth was influenced by the theories of James Harris's Hermes, 1751, a curious disquisition about universal grammar. Lowth apparently derived his notions about the perfectibility of English grammar from Harris, and he did not doubt that he could reduce the language to a system of uniform rules. Lowth's approach was strictly prescriptive: he meant to improve and correct, not describe. He judged correctness by his own rules—mostly derived from Latin grammar—which frequently went against established usage. His favorite mode of illustration is what was known as "false syntax": examples of linguistic wrongdoing from the King James Bible, Shakespeare, Sidney, Donne, Milton, Swift, Addison, Pope—the most respected names in English literature. He was so sure of himself that he could permit himself a little joke; discussing the construction where a preposition comes at the end of a clause or sentence, he says. ''This is an idiom, which our language is strongly inclined to.'' Lowth's grammar was not written for children. But he did what he intended to so well that subsequent grammarians fairly fell over themselves in haste to get out versions of Lowth suitable for school use, and most subsequent grammars—including Noah Webster's first—were to some extent based upon Lowth's.
  28. 28. The older descriptive tradition of Jonson and Wallis was not quite dead, however. Joseph Priestley's grammar, first published in 1761, used false syntax too, but in the main Priestlev was more tolerant of established usages that Lowth considered to be in error. In his later editions he politely but firmly disagreed with Lowth on specific points. Priestlev's grammar enjoyed some success and his opinions were treated with respect, but he was not imitated like Lowth. The most successful of the Lowth adapters wasLindley Murray. Murray was an American living in England—Dennis Baron informs us that he had made a considerable fortune trading with the Loyalists during the American Revolution and had moved to England ostensibly for reasons of health. Friends asked him to write a grammar for use in an English girls' school, and he obliged. Murrav considered himself only a compiler, and that he was. He took over verbatim large patches from Lowth and teased them out with pieces taken from Priestley and a few other grammarians and rhetoricians. He removed the authors' names from the false syntax and stirred in a heavy dose of piety. He silently and primly corrected Lowth's jocular little clause to "to which our language is strongly inclined.'' The resulting mixture was one of the most successful grammar books ever, remaining a standard text in American schools for a half century. George Campbell's The Philosophy of Rhetoric, 1776, is not a grammar book proper, but it contains a long discussion of grammatical proprieties. Campbell starts out sensibly enough; he says that grammar is based on usage, and he rejects notions of an abstract or universal grammar. But he then proceeds to examine usage, concluding that the usage that counts is reputable, national, and present use. He goes on to present nine canons of verbal criticism, by one or another of which he can reject any usage he chooses to. By the time all the discussions of barbarisms, solecisms, and improprieties are finished—the discussions are well supplied with examples from many of Bishop Lowth's favorite whipping boys—it is quite apparent that the reputable, national, and present use that passes all tests is simply whatever suits the taste of George Campbell. Books of grammar and rhetoric had existed in English from the 16th and 17th centuries. The 18th century's new contribution was the book of unvarnished usage opinion, best exemplified by Robert Baker's anonymously published Reflections on the English Language, 1770. (Baker was apparently anticipated in this genre by Observations upon the English Language, 1752, another anonymous publication, ascribed by Sterling A. Leonard to one George Harris.) We know nothing of Baker except what he put down about himself in his preface. He says that he left school at fifteen, that he learned no Greek and only the easiest Latin, that he has never seen the folio edition of Johnson's Dictionary, and that he owns no books. He fancies he has good taste, however, and he clearly understands French. His book is patterned on Remarques sur la langue françoise, 1659, written by Claude Faure de Vaugelas, a leading member of the French Academy. Baker's Reflections is a random collection of comments mostly about what he considers misuses, based chiefly on books that he has borrowed or read. He brings forward no authorities to support his ipse dixit pronouncements, many of which are on the order of "This is not good English" or "This does not make sense." Yet a surprising number of the locutions he questioned are still to be found as topics of discussion in current books on usage. It is less surprising perhaps, that the moderns are still repeating Baker's conclusions. The 19th century is so rich in usage lore that it is hard to summarize. We find something new in the entrance of journalists into the usage field. Reviews had commented on grammatical matters
  29. 29. throughout the 18th century, it is true, but in the 19th newspapers and magazines with wider popular appeal began to pronounce. One result of this activity was the usage book that consists of pieces first written for a newspaper or magazine and then collected into a book along with selected comments and suggestions by readers (this type of book is still common today). Perhaps the first of these was A Plea for the Queen's English, 1864, by Henry Alford, dean of Canterbury. Alford was vigorously attacked by George Washington Moon, a writer born in London of American parents, in a work that eventually became titled The Dean's English. The controversy fueled several editions of both books and seems to have entertained readers on both sides of the Atlantic. On the American side of the Atlantic the puristic strictures of Edward S. Gould, originally newspaper and magazine contributions, were collected as Good Englishin 1867. Gould was apparently annoyed to find that Alford had anticipated him on several points, and devoted a section to belaboring the Dean, only to discover that Moon had anticipated him there. He acknowledged the justness of Moon's criticisms and then appended a few parting shots at Moon's English, before tacking on an assault on the spelling reforms of Noah Webster and a series of lectures on pulpit oratory. Moon replied with The Bad English of Lindley Murray and Other Writers on the English Language, 1868, listed by H. L. Mencken as being in its eighth edition in 1882, under the title Bad English Exposed. (Gould was one of the "other writers.'') Language controversy sold books in America as well as in England. The most popular of American 19th-century commentators was Richard Grant White, whose Words and Their Uses, 1870, was also compiled from previously published articles. He did not deign to mention earlier commentators except to take a solitary whack at Dean Alford for his sneer at American English. His chapters on "misused words" and ''words that are not words" hit many of the same targets as Gould's chapters on ''misused words" and "spurious words," but White's chapters are longer. Perhaps his most entertaining sections deal with his denial that English has a grammar, which is introduced by a Dickensian account of having been rapped over the knuckles at age five and a half for not understanding his grammar lesson. White, who was not without intellectual attainments—he had edited Shakespeare—was nevertheless given to frequent faulty etymologizing, and for some reason he was so upset by the progressive passive is being built that he devoted a whole chapter to excoriating it. These last two features caught the attention of the peppery Fitzedward Hall, an American teacher of Sanskrit living in England. Hall produced a whole book—Recent Exemplifications of False Philology, 1872—exposing White's errors, and returned to the attack again with Modern English in 1873. Hall was a new breed of commentator, bringing a wealth of illustrative material from his collection of examples to bear on the various points of contention. Hall's evidence should have been more than enough to overwhelm White's unsupported assertions, but it was not. Partly to blame is the public's disdain of the scholarly, and partly to blame is Hall's style—he never makes a point succinctly, but lets his most trenchant observations dissipate in a cloud of sesquipedalian afterthoughts. White's books, Mencken tells us, remained in print until the 1930s; Hall's collection of examples became part of the foundations of the Oxford English Dictionary. Two other 19th-century innovations deserve mention. William Cullen Bryant's Index Expurgatorius, 1877, is the start of the American newspaper tradition in usage—works written by newspaper editors. Bryant was editor-in-chief and part owner of the New York Evening Post. His Index is simply a list of words not to be used in the Post; there was no explanatory matter. Lists of
  30. 30. forbidden words were popular for a time afterward, but the fashion passed. The newspaper editor as usage arbiter has continued to the present, however. The pseudonymous Alfred Ayres in The Verbalist, 1881, seems to have been the first, or one of the first, of these to arrange his comments in alphabetical order, creating a sort of dictionary of usage. In the early decades of the Republic, many Americans patriotically supported the home-grown version of the language against the language of the vanquished British oppressors. There were proposals for a Federal English—Noah Webster was in the forefront of the movement—and for the establishment of an American academy to promote and regulate the language—John Adams made one such proposal. The British, for their part, were not amused by the presumption of former colonials. Americanisms had been viewed askance as early as 1735, but the frequency and the ferocity of denunciation markedly increased in the 19th century, as British travelers, some of them literary folk like Captain Marryat, Mrs. Frances Trollope, and Charles Dickens, visited the United States and returned to England to publish books of their travels, almost always disparaging in tone. They seldom failed to work in a few criticisms of the language as well as the uncouth character and manners of Americans. British reviewers, too, were outspoken in their denunciation of things American, and especially Americanisms. American writers put up a spirited defense for a time, but the writing class eventually began to wear down under the onslaught. By 1860, in an article crying up Joseph Worcester's dictionary, the Atlantic Monthly could call American English ''provincial." The general attitude after the Civil War seems to have been one of diffidence rather than defiance. The diffident attitude is of interest here because it was in the second half of the 19th century that Americanisms began to make their way silently into American usage books as errors. Many of these, such as balance for remainder and loan for lend, are still denigrated by American usage writers and their native origin passed over in silence. We have said nothing about 19th-century grammars, and not much needs to be said about them. If those grammars were computers, the most successful could be called clones of Lindley Murray. Some dissatisfaction with the older English traditions existed, especially in the first half of the 19th century in this country, but little seems to have resulted from it. Books with innovative systems met with little success. Goold Brown, in his Grammar of English Grammars, first published in 1851, collected most of the grammars published up to his own time, and used them for his examples of false grammar. He also exhibited at length their inconsistencies and disagreements. Goold Brown permitted himself one mild observation (most were rather tart): ''Grammarians would perhaps differ less, if they read more.'' By the end of the 19th century, differences had developed between the ways usage issues were being treated in England and in the United States. Except for the fruits of the Alford-Moon controversy. there seem to be very few British books concerned exclusively with usage problems. The most frequently reprinted of these few was one written by a Scot: William B. Hodgson's Errors in the Use of English, 1881. British literati were not indifferent to such issues, but they seem mainly to have put their comments in reviews and letters and works directed primarily to other subjects. Walter Savage Landor, for instance, delivered himself of a number of idiosyncratic views about
  31. 31. language and usage in one or two of his Imaginary Conversations. John Stuart Mill put a few of his opinions into A System of Logic. America, on the other hand, saw the growth of a small industry devoted to the cultivation of the linguistically insecure, who were being produced in increasing numbers by American public schools using the grammar of Lindley Murray combined with the opinions of Richard Grant White. After the Civil War little handbooks for the guidance of the perplexed appeared with some frequency. We have mentioned one of these. Alfred Ayres's The Verbalist. Others bear such titles as Vulgarisms and Other Errors of Speech, Words: Their Use and Abuse, Some Common Errors of Speech, and Slips of Tongue and Pen. The production of popular books on usage topics continues to be common in the 20th-century United States. The different approaches of the British and Americans to usage questions have continued along the lines evident in the last half of the 19th century. Fewer books devoted to usage issues have been produced in England, and the arena there has been dominated by two names: Fowler and Gowers. H. W. Fowler's best-known work is Modern English Usage, 1926, an expanded. updated. and alphabetized version of The King's English, which he had produced with one of his brothers in 1906. This book gained ready acceptance as an authority, and it is usually treated with considerable deference on both sides of the Atlantic. It is a thick book in small print, packed with a combination of good sense, traditional attitudes, pretension-pricking, minute distinctions, and a good deal of what Otto Jespersen, the Danish scholarly grammarian of the English language, called "language moralizing." Fowler, in the tradition of Alford and Richard Grant White, found much to dislike in the prose of contemporary newspapers. He had no gadfly like George Washington Moon to challenge his authority, although he did dispute a few constructions with Otto Jespersen in the pages of the tracts issued by the Society for Pure English. In some of these disputes a characteristic pattern emerges: the historical grammarian finds a construction in literature and wonders how it came to be; Fowler finds the same construction in the newspapers and condemns it. Sir Ernest Gowers came into usage commentary from a different direction: he was asked to prepare a book for British civil servants to help them avoid the usual bureaucratic jargon of British official prose. The result was Plain Words, 1941. This slender book has gone through several editions, growing a bit each time. In 1965 a new edition of Fowler appeared, edited by Gowers, to which Gowers added a number of his own favorite topics. In addition to Fowler and Gowers, the work of Eric Partridge, particularly Usage and Abusage, 1942, has been influential. In recent vears, while some English books about usage have concerned themselves with traditional questions of propriety, others have taken a different path, explaining the peculiarities of English idiom to learners of English. The treatment of usage in 20th-century America, however, hews steadfastly to the traditional line of linguistic etiquette. School grammars are elaborately graded and decked out with color printing, but the most successful are still solidly based on Lowth and Murray. College handbooks have proliferated since 1917,the date of the earliest one in our collection. The contents of these works have not changed greatly, however: the essential sameness of the ''Glossaries of Usage'' attached to them suggests that their contents are to some extent determined by a desire to carry over from the previous edition as much as possible and to cover what the competition covers. General-purpose
  32. 32. guides for those whose schooling is complete are still produced regularly, and in a wider variety of shapes and sizes than in the 19th century. These have developed offshoots in the form of books aimed at business writers and others aimed at technical and scientific writers. The newspaper tradition has also continued strong. Some usage questions are dealt with in house stylebooks (now often published for outsiders, as well), and newspaper editors have written usage guides for the general public, though these usually have a strong newspaper slant. Especially prominent among these are the several books of Theodore Bernstein, particularly The Careful Writer,1965. A characteristic of writing on usage has been. right from the beginning, disagreement among the writers on specific points. Various attempts at reconciling these differences have been made, especially in the 20th century. One of the earliest dates from 1883, C. W. Bardeen, a schoolbook publisher, put out a little hook in which he tried to discover a consensus by examining some thirty sources, including a number of current usage books, some grammars, some works on philology, some on synonymy, and Webster's and Worcester's dictionaries. Roy Copperud has produced books on the same general plan in 1970 and 1980. Another approach to the problem of varying opinion has been the survey of opinion. Sterling A. Leonard made the first in 1931. Leonard's survey was replicated in 1971 by Raymond D, Crisp, and a similar survey was conducted in England by G. H. Mittins and three colleagues and published in 1970. The results of these surveys are quantified, so that interested readers can discover the relative acceptability or obloquy of each tested item. Somewhat the same idea has also been tried with the usage panel, an assembled panel of experts to whom each individual item is submitted for approval or disapproval. Again, quantification of relative approval or disapproval is the aim. The 20th century is the first in which usage has been studied from a scholarly or historical point of view, although Fitzedward Hall's Modern English of 1873 should probably be acknowledged as a precursor. Thomas R. Lounsbury collected a number of his magazine articles into The Standard of Usage in English, 1908, which examined the background of attitudes and issues. J. Lesslie Hall's English Usage,1917, checked 141 issues drawn from the work of Richard Grant White and from several college-level grammars and rhetorics against evidence from English and American literature. Sterling A. Leonard in The Doctrine of Correctness in English 1700-1800, 1929, provided the first thorough examination of the origins of many attitudes about usage in the 18th century. Looking back from the late 1980s we find that the 1920s and 1930s were a time of considerable interest in the examination and testing of attitudes and beliefs about usage and in a rationalization of the matter and methods of school grammar. Various publications written by Charles C. Fries and Robert C. Pooley, for example, seemed to point the way. They had relatively little influence in the following decades, however; the schoolbooks by and large follow the traditional lines, and the popular books of usage treat the traditional subjects. A notable exception is Bergen and Cornelia Evans's ADictionary of Contemporary American Usage, 1957. The book takes the traditional view of many specific issues, but it is strong in insisting that actual usage, both historical and contemporary, must be weighed carefully in reaching usage opinions.
  33. 33. If the mainstream of usage commentary has continued to run in the same old channels, there have nonetheless been some undercurrents of importance. Serious examination of the received truths has continued. Margaret M. Bryant's Current American Usage, 1962, reported the results of the testing of many specific items against actual use as shown in current books, magazines, and newspapers. Articles in scholarly books and journals (like American Speech) evince continuing interest in real language and real usage in spite of a strong tendency in modern linguistics toward the study of language in more abstract ways. If the popular idea of usage is represented by the continuing series of books produced by the journalists Philip Howard (in England) and William Safire (in the United States) and by the continuing publication of traditionally oriented handbooks, there is also some countervailing critical opinion. as shown by such books as Dwight Bolinger's Language—the Loaded Weapon, Jim Quinn's American Tongue and Cheek, Dennis Baron's Grammar and Good Taste, and Harvey Daniels's Famous Last Word, all published in the early 1980s. A historical sketch of this length necessarily must omit many deserving names and titles and pass over many interesting observers and observations. This we regret, but do not apologize for, as the need to omit what we would prefer to include seems almost omnipresent in our work as lexicographers. Much of the historical information herein draws heavily on materials available in Leonard's Doctrine of Correctness: Charles Carpenter Fries's The Teaching of the English Language, 1927; George H. McKnight's Modern English in the Making, 1928; H. L. Mencken's The American Language, 4th edition, 1936, and Supplement 1, 1945; Baron's Grammar and Good Taste, 1982; and Daniels's Famous Last Words, 1983. These books constitute a rich mine of information for the serious student of English usage and its history, to whom we also recommend a perusal of our bibliography.

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