Introduction to Linguistics
  02.11.06 From IE to ME
 
 

02. 11. 2006 From Indo- European to Middle Old English

The indo- european language family

  • some language are similar because they developed from the same language

  • similarities in form and meaning in

  • almost all european language (except basque and finno- ugrig language)

  • languages of South Central Asia



The origin of indo- european

  • Baltic theory

    • the oldest, based on shared botanical vocabulary such as “beech, Buche, ... fagus”, and the putative geographical location of these plants explains a possible origin, but not reasons for dispersion.

  • South East European Theory
    • similar to the Baltic theory; no resons for dispersion.


  • The Flood Theory

    • gives reasons for dispersion - a natural catastrophe.


  • The Caucasus Theory

    • The origins of agriculture are said to have spread East-West from the Fertile Crescent (Iraq) between about 7,000 - 3000 BC, which coincides with what has been postulated about the East-West spread of the Indo-European languages.



    Indo European Expansion


  • 5000 to 3000 BC (spread of agriculture)

  • Hellenic Expansion 330 BC (Alexander the Great, greek influence)

  • Roman expansion 100 BC – 400 AD (Latin influence)

  • romance languages

  • roman catholic church

  • Colonal expansion adter 1492

  • romance languages ( Portuguese, Spanish, French)

  • germanic languages ( Dutch, English)

     

     

    QUIZ

Indo-European languages now dominate the language

maps of the world:


  • Why are Portuguese and Spanish the official national languages of South American states?

  • Spanish and Portuguese colonies

  • Why are varieties of Dutch among the official national languages of Indonesia and South Africa?

    Maybe because of the atlantic triangle. Ships from europe travelled to the african coast to exchange cheap goods for black slaves. They shipped to the Carribean islands and American coast, exchanged for rum, sugar, ...

     

  • Why is English the official national language of the USA, Australia, New Zealand?

    Australia

    James Cook visited Australia in 1770, within 20 years first penal colony in Sidney, prisoners -> Sidney, from 19th century immigration increased, British isles main sourse of settlers -> main influence on language

    New Zealand

    James Cook 1769, whalers and traders from Europe 1790, christian missionary 1814, -> increase in European immigration

  • In which African countries are the following Indo-European languages among the official national languages?

  • English

  • French

  • Portuguese


English:

  • gambia

  • sierra leone

  • liberia

  • ghana

  • nigeria

  • uganda

  • sambia

  • simbabwe

  • botswana

  • namibia


French

  • senegal

  • mali

  • guinea

  • côte d'ivoire

  • togo

  • benin

  • burkina faso

  • niger

  • gabun

  • kongo

  • d. r. Kongo


Portuguese

  • angola

  • mosambique



Settlements of Britain: Who was in Britain before the English?

  • Earliest known: Celts

  • Goidelic Celtic (e.g. Gaelic, spoken today in the West of Ireland and North-West Scotland)

  • Brythonic Celtic (e.g. Welsh, now spoken in Wales, and Breton, re-introduced to European mainland from Wales and Cornwall)

  • West and Northgermanic migration

  • West Germanic: Angles, Saxons: after about 400 AD

  • North Germanic: Vikings after about 600 AD

  • Norman French (French-speaking descendants Viking): 1066


The Celts

  • Where did the Celts originate?

  • The Baltic theory: the oldest, based on shared botanical vocabulary such as “beech, Buche, ... fagus”, and the putative geographical location of these plants explains a possible origin, but not reasons for dispersion.

  • The South-East European Theory: similar to the Baltic theory; no resons for dispersion.

  • The Flood Theory gives reasons for dispersion - a natural catastrophe.

  • The Caucasus Theory: The origins of agriculture are said to have spread East-West from the Fertile Crescent (Iraq) between about 7,000 - 3000 BC, which coincides with what has been postulated about the East-West spread of the Indo-European languages.

     

  • Name 3 Celtic town names in the area of modern Germany and give their meanings

  • Halle

  • Badsalzuflen

  • Salzburg ( Austria)

  • salt

  • Where do the Celts live now?

  • Ireland (north west)

  • Scotland

  • Wales

  • What is their significance for English studies?

  • Historically

  • origin of English language

  • currently

  • still some people who speak gaelic ( ireland, wales, scotland)



Learner's diary

In today's lecture we talked about the origin of the English language up to Middle English. First of all we talkes about the different theories about the origin of the indo european language and then we spoke about the expansion of it, which was mainly influenced by the roman expansion. Further we learned about the early inhabitants of the British isles, which were the celts, and the migration of Angles, Saxons, Vikings and Normans.   

I liked today's lecture because I think the history of English is quite interesting. The lecture was well structured and the slides helped me to follow the lecture. But I think  there were so many pictures, it was of course nice to look at them during the lecture, but they do not really help me to revise the lecture at home. Especially the two big tree diagramms about the English language were rather confusing than helpfull. And I also found the different theories about the origin of the indo european language a bit confusing because I do not really know whether I have to remember all of them or just the most likely one.


References

 
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