Growth and Structure of the English Language

May 13th, 2015
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The Old English language, was essentially self-sufficing, its foreign elements were few and did not modify the character of the language as a whole. It was almost a purely Teutonic tongue, but practically from the close of the Old English period the foreign elements that began to enter into the language gradually modified its character to a great extent.

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Growth and Structure of the English LanguageA:-To the element of his language, an Englishman might apply what Wordsworth says of the daisy: Thou unassuming common-placeOf Nature, with that homely-faceAnd yet with something of a graceWhich Love makes for thee!------------------------The Old English language, was essentially self-sufficing, its foreign elements were few and did not modify the character of the language as a whole. It was almost a purely Teutonic tongue, but practically from the close of the Old English period the foreign elements that began to enter into the language gradually modified its character to a great extent. The Scandinavian element is one of the three that have really changed the character of the Old English language as no other element has done. The other two are French and Latin. These were, according to Jespersen, Three super structures, as it were, that came to be erected on the Anglo-Saxon foundation, each of them modifying the character of the language, and each preparing the ground for its successor. The Danish influence is of considerable importance from the point of view of the development of the language. The contribution of the Danish settlers in the growth of British civilization and the permanent effects on English language have been very wide and deep and intimate, as is seen from the permanent place in English of purely Scandinavian words that are primarily grammatical elements in the language, such as the pronouns

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