68 Facts About English language


Middle English language began in the late 11th century after the Norman conquest of England, when considerable French and Latin-derived vocabulary was incorporated into English language over some three hundred years.

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Early Modern English language began in the late 15th century with the start of the Great Vowel Shift and the Renaissance trend of borrowing further Latin and Greek words and roots into English language, concurrent with the introduction of the printing press to London.

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English is an Indo-European language and belongs to the West Germanic group of the Germanic languages.

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Particular dialects of Old and Middle English developed into a number of other Anglic languages, including Scots and the extinct Fingallian and Forth and Bargy dialects of Ireland.

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Unlike Icelandic and Faroese, which were isolated, the development of English was influenced by a long series of invasions of the British Isles by other peoples and languages, particularly Old Norse and Norman French.

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Some scholars have argued that English can be considered a mixed language or a creole—a theory called the Middle English creole hypothesis.

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Old English language developed from a set of West Germanic dialects, often grouped as Anglo-Frisian or North Sea Germanic, and originally spoken along the coasts of Frisia, Lower Saxony and southern Jutland by Germanic peoples known to the historical record as the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes.

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Old English language was divided into four dialects: the Anglian dialects and the Saxon dialects, Kentish and West Saxon.

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Old English is essentially a distinct language from Modern English and is virtually impossible for 21st-century unstudied English-speakers to understand.

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Nevertheless, through intermingling and mixing, first with Danes and then with Normans, amongst many the country English language has arisen, and some use strange stammering, chattering, snarling, and grating gnashing.

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Middle English language is often arbitrarily defined as beginning with the conquest of England by William the Conqueror in 1066, but it developed further in the period from 1200 to 1450.

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Norse influence was strongest in the north-eastern varieties of Old English language spoken in the Danelaw area around York, which was the centre of Norse colonisation; today these features are still particularly present in Scots and Northern English language.

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However the centre of norsified English language seems to have been in the Midlands around Lindsey, and after 920 CE when Lindsey was reincorporated into the Anglo-Saxon polity, Norse features spread from there into English language varieties that had not been in direct contact with Norse speakers.

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Middle English language greatly simplified the inflectional system, probably in order to reconcile Old Norse and Old English language, which were inflectionally different but morphologically similar.

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Middle English language literature includes Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, and Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur.

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Early Modern English language was characterised by the Great Vowel Shift, inflectional simplification, and linguistic standardisation.

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The Great Vowel Shift explains many irregularities in spelling since English retains many spellings from Middle English, and it explains why English vowel letters have very different pronunciations from the same letters in other languages.

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Literature from the Early Modern period includes the works of William Shakespeare and the translation of the Bible commissioned by King James I Even after the vowel shift the language still sounded different from Modern English: for example, the consonant clusters in knight, gnat, and sword were still pronounced.

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English language was adopted in parts of North America, parts of Africa, Australasia, and many other regions.

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In 1828, Noah Webster published the American Dictionary of the English language to try to establish a norm for speaking and writing American English that was independent of the British standard.

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English language is spoken by communities on every continent and on islands in all the major oceans.

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Countries where English language is spoken can be grouped into different categories according to how English language is used in each country.

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Non-native varieties of English language are widely used for international communication, and speakers of one such variety often encounter features of other varieties.

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Pie chart showing the percentage of native English language speakers living in "inner circle" English language-speaking countries.

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The norms of standard written English language are maintained purely by the consensus of educated English language-speakers around the world, without any oversight by any government or international organisation.

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Settlement history of the English language-speaking inner circle countries outside Britain helped level dialect distinctions and produce koineised forms of English language in South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.

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Use of English language is growing country-by-country internally and for international communication.

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English is widely used in media and literature, and the number of English language books published annually in India is the third largest in the world after the US and UK.

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English language used to have parity with French and German in scientific research, but now it dominates that field.

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English language has become so important in scientific publishing that more than 80 percent of all scientific journal articles indexed by Chemical Abstracts in 1998 were written in English language, as were 90 percent of all articles in natural science publications by 1996 and 82 percent of articles in humanities publications by 1995.

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Thus English has grown in worldwide use much more than any constructed language proposed as an international auxiliary language, including Esperanto.

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Phonetics and phonology of the English language differ from one dialect to another, usually without interfering with mutual communication.

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An English language syllable includes a syllable nucleus consisting of a vowel sound.

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Stress in English language is phonemic, and some pairs of words are distinguished by stress.

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In terms of rhythm, English is generally described as a stress-timed language, meaning that the amount of time between stressed syllables tends to be equal.

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English language has undergone many historical sound changes, some of them affecting all varieties, and others affecting only a few.

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Some conservative varieties like Scottish English language have a voiceless sound in whine that contrasts with the voiced in wine, but most other dialects pronounce both words with voiced, a dialect feature called wine–whine merger.

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Accents like Cockney with "h-dropping" lack the glottal fricative, and dialects with th-stopping and th-fronting like African American Vernacular and Estuary English language do not have the dental fricatives, but replace them with dental or alveolar stops or labiodental fricatives.

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English language dialects are classified as rhotic or non-rhotic depending on whether they elide like RP or keep it like GA.

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Unlike other Indo-European languages though, English has largely abandoned the inflectional case system in favour of analytic constructions.

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English language has a rich set of auxiliary verbs, such as have and do, expressing the categories of mood and aspect.

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In English language, adjectives come before the nouns they modify and after determiners.

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English language verbs are inflected for tense and aspect and marked for agreement with present-tense third-person singular subject.

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English language makes frequent use of constructions traditionally called phrasal verbs, verb phrases that are made up of a verb root and a preposition or particle that follows the verb.

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English language syntax relies on auxiliary verbs for many functions including the expression of tense, aspect, and mood.

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One of the most productive processes in English language is conversion, using a word with a different grammatical role, for example using a noun as a verb or a verb as a noun.

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The words in English language learned first by children as they learn to speak, particularly the grammatical words that dominate the word count of both spoken and written texts, are mainly the Germanic words inherited from the earliest periods of the development of Old English language.

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English language has formal and informal speech registers; informal registers, including child-directed speech, tend to be made up predominantly of words of Anglo-Saxon origin, while the percentage of vocabulary that is of Latinate origin is higher in legal, scientific, and academic texts.

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That pervasive use of English leads to a conclusion in many places that English is an especially suitable language for expressing new ideas or describing new technologies.

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The great majority of literary works in Old English language that survive to today are written in the Roman alphabet.

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The standard orthography of English language is the most widely used writing system in the world.

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Standard English language spelling is based on a graphomorphemic segmentation of words into written clues of what meaningful units make up each word.

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Nonetheless, there is an advantage for learners of English language reading in learning the specific sound-symbol regularities that occur in the standard English language spellings of commonly used words.

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Since the English language first evolved in Britain and Ireland, the archipelago is home to the most diverse dialects, particularly in England.

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Scots is today considered a separate language from English, but it has its origins in early Northern Middle English and developed and changed during its history with influence from other sources, particularly Scots Gaelic and Old Norse.

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In Ireland, various forms of English language have been spoken since the Norman invasions of the 11th century.

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Today Irish English language is divided into Ulster English language, the Northern Ireland dialect with strong influence from Scots, and various dialects of the Republic of Ireland.

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Today spoken primarily by working- and middle-class African Americans, African-American Vernacular English language is largely non-rhotic and likely originated among enslaved Africans and African Americans influenced primarily by the non-rhotic, non-standard older Southern dialects.

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AAVE is commonly stigmatised in North America as a form of "broken" or "uneducated" English language, as are white Southern accents, but linguists today recognise both as fully developed varieties of English language with their own norms shared by a large speech community.

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Since 1788, English has been spoken in Oceania, and Australian English has developed as a first language of the vast majority of the inhabitants of the Australian continent, its standard accent being General Australian.

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Australian and New Zealand English language stand out for their innovative vowels: many short vowels are fronted or raised, whereas many long vowels have diphthongised.

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Australian English language has a contrast between long and short vowels, not found in most other varieties.

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New Zealand English language uses front vowels that are often even higher than in Australian English language.

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Today, the use of English language is ubiquitous in the Philippines, from street signs and marquees, government documents and forms, courtrooms, the media and entertainment industries, the business sector, and other aspects of daily life.

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In South Africa, English has been spoken since 1820, co-existing with Afrikaans and various African languages such as the Khoe and Bantu languages.

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Several varieties of English language are spoken in the Caribbean islands that were colonial possessions of Britain, including Jamaica, and the Leeward and Windward Islands and Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, the Cayman Islands, and Belize.

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In Central America, English language-based creoles are spoken in on the Caribbean coasts of Nicaragua and Panama.

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Indian English language accents are marked by the pronunciation of phonemes such as and and the replacement of and with dentals and.

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