English Language


                      Ural Scientific Centre (LYCEUM).



                            Ural Gorky University



                               Scientific work



                                                               Performed by:
                                                 Pupil of 11e form of LYCEUM
                                                             Pokrovsky Pavel

                                                                   Director:
                                              Stolyarova Nelli Aleksandrovna
                                      Teacher of English language of LYCEUM.



                               Yekaterinburg.
                                    1998.
                             Table of contents.

   1.English
   Language..................................................................
   ..................................3
   2.Vocabulary..............................................................
   .................................................3
   3.Spelling................................................................
   ....................................................4
   4.Role                                                                 of
   Phonemes..................................................................
   .................................4
   5.Stress,                           Pitches                           and
   Juncture..................................................................
   ................5
   6.Inflection..............................................................
   ....................................................5
   7.Parts                                                                of
   speech....................................................................
   ...................................5
   8.Development                           of                            the
   language..................................................................
   ...............6
   8.1.Old                                                           English
   Period....................................................................
   ...........................6
   8.2.Middle                                                        English
   Period....................................................................
   ......................7
   8.3.The                            Great                            Vowel
   Shift.....................................................................
   .................... 8
   8.4.Modern                                                        English
   Period....................................................................
   ....................9
   8.5.20-th                                                         century
   English...................................................................
   .......................10
   8.6.American
   English...................................................................
   .............................10
   8.7.Basic
   English...................................................................
   ....................................11
   8.8.Pidgin
   English...................................................................
   ...................................11
   8.9.Future                           Of                           English
   Language..................................................................
   ..............12



                             1.English Language.



English Language, chief medium of communication of people in the United
Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa,
and numerous other countries. It is the official language of many nations
in the Commonwealth of Nations and is widely understood and used in all of
them. It is spoken in more parts of the world than any other language and
by more people than any other tongue except Chinese.

English belongs to the Anglo-Frisian group within the western branch of the
Germanic languages, a sub-family of the Indo-European languages. It is
related most closely to the Frisian language, to a lesser extent to
Netherlandic (Dutch-Flemish) and the Low German (Plattdeutsch) dialects,
and more distantly to Modern High German. Its parent, Proto-Indo-European,
was spoken around 5,000 years ago by nomads who are thought to have roamed
the south-east European plains.

                                2.Vocabulary
The English vocabulary has increased greatly in more than 1,500 years of
development. The most nearly complete dictionary of the language, the
Oxford English Dictionary (13 vols., 1933), a revised edition of A New
English Dictionary on Historical Principles (10 vols., 1884-1933;
supplements), contains 500,000 words. It has been estimated, however, that
the present English vocabulary consists of more than 1 million words,
including slang and dialect expressions and scientific and technical terms,
many of which only came into use after the middle of the 20th century. The
English vocabulary is more extensive than that of any other language in the
world, although some other languagesChinese, for examplehave a word-
building capacity equal to that of English. It is, approximately half
Germanic (Old English and Scandinavian) and half Italic or Romance (French
and Latin) and extensive, constant borrowing from every major language,
especially from Latin, Greek, French, and the Scandinavian languages, and
from numerous minor languages, accounts for the great number of words in
the English vocabulary. From Old English have come cardinal and ordinal
numbers, personal pronouns, and numerous nouns and adjectives: from French
have come intellectual and abstract terms, as well as terms of rank and
status, such as duke, marquis, and baron. In addition, certain processes
have led to the creation of many new words as well as to the establishment
of patterns for further expansion. Among these processes are onomatopoeia,
or the imitation of natural sounds, which has created such words as burp
and clink; affixation, or the addition of prefixes and suffixes, either
native, such as mis- and -ness, or borrowed, such as ex- and -ist; the
combination of parts of words, such as in brunch, composed of parts of
breakfast and lunch; the free formation of compounds, such as bonehead and
downpour; back formation, or the formation of words from previously
existing words, the forms of which suggest that the later words were
derived from the earlier onesfor example, to jell, formed from jelly; and
functional change, or the use of one part of speech as if it were another,
for example, the noun shower used as a verb, to shower. The processes that
have probably added the largest number of words are affixation and
especially functional change, which is facilitated by the peculiarities of
English syntactical structure.

                                 3.Spelling

English is said to have one of the most difficult spelling systems in the
world. The written representation of English is not phonetically exact for
two main reasons. First, the spelling of words has changed to a lesser
extent than their sounds; for example, the k in knife and the gh in right
were formerly pronounced (see Middle English Period below). Second, certain
spelling conventions acquired from foreign sources have been perpetuated;
for example, during the 16th century the b was inserted in doubt (formerly
spelled doute) on the authority of dubitare, the Latin source of the word.
Outstanding examples of discrepancies between spelling and pronunciation
are the six different pronunciations of ough, as in bough, cough, thorough,
thought, through, and rough; the spellings are kept from a time when the gh
represented a back fricative consonant that was pronounced in these words.
Other obvious discrepancies are the 14 different spellings of the sh sound,
for example, as in anxious, fission, fuchsia, and ocean.

                             4.Role of Phonemes
Theoretically, the spelling of phonemes, the simplest sound elements used
to distinguish one word from another, should indicate precisely the sound
characteristics of the language. For example, in English, at contains two
phonemes, mat three, and mast four. Very frequently, however, the spelling
of English words does not conform to the number of phonemes. Enough, for
example, which has four phonemes (enuf), is spelled with six letters, as is
breath, which also has four phonemes (breu) and six letters. See Phonetics.

The main vowel phonemes in English include those represented by the
italicized letters in the following words: bit, beat, bet, bate, bat, but,
botany, bought, boat, boot, book, and burr. These phonemes are
distinguished from one another by the position of articulation in the
mouth. Four vowel sounds, or complex nuclei, of English are diphthongs
formed by gliding from a low position of articulation to a higher one.
These diphthongs are the i of bite (a glide from o of botany to ea of
beat), the ou of bout (from o of botany to oo of boot), the oy of boy (from
ou of bought to ea of beat), and the u of butte (from ea of beat to oo of
boot). The exact starting point and ending point of the glide varies within
the English-speaking world.


                       5.Stress, Pitches, and Juncture
Other means to phonemic differentiation in English, apart from the
pronunciation of distinct vowels and consonants, are stress, pitch, and
juncture. Stress is the sound difference achieved by pronouncing one
syllable more forcefully than another, for example, the difference between
' record (noun) and re' cord (verb). Pitch is, for example, the difference
between the pronunciation of John and John? Juncture or disjuncture of
words causes such differences in sound as that created by the pronunciation
of blackbird (one word) and black bird (two words). English employs four
degrees of stress and four kinds of juncture for differentiating words and
phrases.

                                6.Inflection
Modern English is a relatively uninflected language. Nouns have separate
endings only in the possessive case and the plural number. Verbs have both
a strong conjugationshown in older wordswith internal vowel change, for
example, sing, sang, sung, and a weak conjugation with dental suffixes
indicating past tense, as in play, played. The latter is the predominant
type. Only 66 verbs of the strong type are in use; newer verbs invariably
follow the weak pattern. The third person singular has an -s ending, as in
does. The structure of English verbs is thus fairly simple, compared with
that of verbs in similar languages, and includes only a few other endings,
such as -ing or -en; but verb structure does involve the use of numerous
auxiliaries such as have, can, may, or must. Monosyllabic and some
disyllabic adjectives are inflected for degree of comparison, such as
larger or happiest; other adjectives express the same distinction by
compounding with more and most. Pronouns, the most heavily inflected parts
of speech in English, have objective case forms, such as me or her, in
addition to the nominative (I, he, we) and possessive forms (my, his, hers,
our).



                              7.Parts of Speech
Although many grammarians still cling to the Graeco-Latin tradition of
dividing words into eight parts of speech, efforts have recently been made
to reclassify English words on a different basis. The American linguist
Charles Carpenter Fries, in his work The Structure of English (1952),
divided most English words into four great form classes that generally
correspond to the noun, verb, adjective, and adverb in the standard
classification. He classified 154 other words as function words, or words
that connect the main words of a sentence and show their relations to one
another. In the standard classification, many of these function words are
considered pronouns, prepositions, and conjunctions; others are considered
adverbs, adjectives, or verbs.



                        8.Development of the Language
Three main stages are usually recognized in the history of the development
of the English language. Old English, known formerly as Anglo-Saxon, dates
from AD 449 to 1066 or 1100. Middle English dates from 1066 or 1100 to 1450
or 1500. Modern English dates from about 1450 or 1500 and is subdivided
into Early Modern English, from about 1500 to 1660, and Late Modern
English, from about 1660 to the present time.

                           8.1.Old English Period
Old English, a variant of West Germanic, was spoken by certain Germanic
peoples (Angles, Saxons, and Jutes) of the regions comprising present-day
southern Denmark and northern Germany who invaded Britain in the 5th
century AD; the Jutes were the first to arrive, in 449, according to
tradition. Settling in Britain (the Jutes in Kent, southern Hampshire, and
the Isle of Wight; the Saxons in the part of England south of the Thames;
and the Angles in the rest of England as far north as the Firth of Forth),
the invaders drove the indigenous Celtic-speaking peoples, notably the
Britons, to the north and west. As time went on, Old English evolved
further from the original Continental form, and regional dialects
developed. The four major dialects recognized in Old English are Kentish,
originally the dialect spoken by the Jutes; West Saxon, a branch of the
dialect spoken by the Saxons; and Northumbrian and Mercian, subdivisions of
the dialects spoken by the Angles. By the 9th century, partly through the
influence of Alfred, king of the West Saxons and the first ruler of all
England, West Saxon became prevalent in prose literature. The Latin works
of St Augustine, St Gregory, and the Venerable Bede were translated, and
the native poetry of Northumbria and Mercia were transcribed in the West
Saxon dialect. A Mercian mixed dialect, however, was preserved for the
greatest poetry, such as the anonymous 8th-century epic poem Beowulf and
the contemporary elegiac poems.

Old English was an inflected language characterized by strong and weak
verbs; a dual number for pronouns (for example, a form for we two as well
as we), two different declensions of adjectives, four declensions of
nouns, and grammatical distinctions of gender. These inflections meant that
word order was much freer than in the language today. There were two
tenses: present-future and past. Although rich in word-building
possibilities, Old English was sparse in vocabulary. It borrowed few proper
nouns from the language of the conquered Celts, primarily those such as
Aberdeen (mouth of the Dee) and Inchcape (island cape) that describe
geographical features. Scholars believe that ten common nouns in Old
English are of Celtic origin; among these are bannock, cart, down, and
mattock. Although other Celtic words not preserved in literature may have
been in use during the Old English period, most Modern English words of
Celtic origin, that is, those derived from Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, or
Irish, are comparatively recent borrowings.

The number of Latin words, many of them derived from the Greek, that were
introduced during the Old English period has been estimated at 140. Typical
of these words are altar, mass, priest, psalm, temple, kitchen, palm, and
pear. A few were probably introduced through the Celtic; others were
brought to Britain by the Germanic invaders, who previously had come into
contact with Roman culture. By far the largest number of Latin words was
introduced as a result of the spread of Christianity. Such words included
not only ecclesiastical terms but many others of less specialized
significance.

About 40 Scandinavian (Old Norse) words were introduced into Old English by
the Norsemen, or Vikings, who invaded Britain periodically from the late
8th century on. Introduced first were words pertaining to the sea and
battle, but shortly after the initial invasions other words used in the
Scandinavian social and administrative systemfor example, the word
lawentered the language, as well as the verb form are and such widely used
words as take, cut, both, ill, and ugly.

                          8.2.Middle English Period
At the beginning of the Middle English period, which dates from the Norman
Conquest of 1066, the language was still inflectional; at the end of the
period the relationship between the elements of the sentence depended
basically on word order. As early as 1200 the three or four grammatical
case forms of nouns in the singular had been reduced to two, and to denote
the plural the noun ending -es had been adopted.

The declension of the noun was simplified further by dropping the final n
from five cases of the fourth, or weak, declension; by neutralizing all
vowel endings to e (sounded like the a in Modern English sofa), and by
extending the masculine, nominative, and accusative plural ending -as,
later neutralized also to -es, to other declensions and other cases. Only
one example of a weak plural ending, oxen, survives in Modern English; kine
and brethren are later formations. Several representatives of the Old
English modification of the root vowel in the plural, such as man, men, and
foot, feet, also survive.

With the levelling of inflections, the distinctions of grammatical gender
in English were replaced by those of natural gender. During this period the
dual number fell into disuse, and the dative and accusative of pronouns
were reduced to a common form. Furthermore, the Scandinavian they, them
were substituted for the original hie, hem of the third person plural, and
who, which, and that acquired their present relative functions. The
conjugation of verbs was simplified by the omission of endings and by the
use of a common form for the singular and plural of the past tense of
strong verbs.

In the early period of Middle English, a number of utilitarian words, such
as egg, sky, sister, window, and get, came into the language from Old
Norse. The Normans brought other additions to the vocabulary. Before 1250
about 900 new words had appeared in English, mainly words, such as baron,
noble, and feast, that the Anglo-Saxon lower classes required in their
dealings with the Norman-French nobility. Eventually the Norman nobility
and clergy, although they had learned English, introduced from the French
words pertaining to the government, the church, the army, and the fashions
of the court, in addition to others proper to the arts, scholarship, and
medicine. Another effect of the Norman Conquest was the use of Carolingian
script and a change in spelling. Norman scribes write Old English y as u
and u as ou. Cw was changed to qu, hw to wh, and ht to ght.

Midland, the dialect of Middle English derived from the Mercian dialect of
Old English, became important during the 14th century, when the counties in
which it was spoken developed into centres of university, economic, and
courtly life. East Midland, one of the subdivisions of Midland, had by that
time become the speech of the entire metropolitan area of the capital,
London, and probably had spread south of the Thames River into Kent and
Surrey. The influence of East Midland was strengthened by its use in the
government offices of London, by its literary dissemination in the works of
the 14th-century poets Geoffrey Chaucer, John Gower, and John Lydgate, and
ultimately by its adoption for printed works by William Caxton. These and
other circumstances gradually contributed to the direct development of the
East Midland dialect into the Modern English language.

During the period of this linguistic transformation the other Middle
English dialects continued to exist, and dialects descending from them are
still spoken in the 20th century. Lowland Scottish, for example, is a
development of the Northern dialect.


                          8.3The Great Vowel Shift

The transition from Middle English to Modern English was marked by a major
change in the pronunciation of vowels during the 15th and 16th centuries.
This change, termed the Great Vowel Shift by the Danish linguist Otto
Jespersen, consisted of a shift in the articulation of vowels with respect
to the positions assumed by the tongue and the lips. The Great Vowel Shift
changed the pronunciation of 18 of the 20 distinctive vowels and diphthongs
of Middle English. Spelling, however, remained unchanged and was preserved
from then on as a result of the advent of printing in England in about
1475, during the shift. (In general, Middle English orthography was much
more phonetic than Modern English; all consonants, for example, were
pronounced, whereas now letters such as the l preserved in walking are
silent).

All long vowels, with the exception of /i:/ (pronounced in Middle English
somewhat like ee in need) and /u:/ (pronounced in Middle English like oo in
food), came to be pronounced with the jaw position one degree higher.
Pronounced previously in the highest possible position, the/i:/ became
diphthongized to ah-ee, and the/u:/ to ee-oo. The Great Vowel Shift,
which is still in progress, caused the pronunciation in English of the
letters a, e, i, o, and u to differ from that used in most other languages
of Western Europe. The approximate date when words were borrowed from other
languages can be ascertained by means of these and other sound changes.
Thus it is known that the old French word dame was borrowed before the
shift, since its vowel shifted with the Middle English /e:/ from a
pronunciation like that of the vowel in calm to that of the vowel in name.

                          8.4.Modern English Period
In the early part of the Modern English period the vocabulary was enlarged
by the widespread use of one part of speech for another and by increased
borrowings from other languages. The revival of interest in Latin and Greek
during the Renaissance brought new words into English from those languages.
Other words were introduced by English travellers and merchants after their
return from journeys on the Continent. From Italian came cameo, stanza, and
violin; from Spanish and Portuguese, alligator, peccadillo, and sombrero.
During its development, Modern English borrowed words from more than 50
different languages.

In the late 17th century and during the 18th century, certain important
grammatical changes occurred. The formal rules of English grammar were
established during that period. The pronoun its came into use, replacing
the genitive form his, which was the only form used by the translators of
the King James Bible (1611). The progressive tenses developed from the use
of the participle as a noun preceded by the preposition on; the preposition
gradually weakened to a and finally disappeared. Thereafter only the simple
ing form of the verb remained in use. After the 18th century this process
of development culminated in the creation of the progressive passive form,
for example, The job is being done.

The most important development begun during this period and continued
without interruption throughout the 19th and 20th centuries concerned
vocabulary. As a result of colonial expansion, notably in North America but
also in other areas of the world, many new words entered the English
language. From the indigenous peoples of North America, the words raccoon
and wigwam were borrowed; from Peru, llama and quinine; from the West
Indies, barbecue and cannibal; from Africa, chimpanzee and zebra; from
India, bandanna, curry, and punch; and from Australia, kangaroo and
boomerang. In addition, thousands of scientific terms were developed to
denote new concepts, discoveries, and inventions. Many of these terms, such
as neutron, penicillin, and supersonic, were formed from Greek and Latin
roots; others were borrowed from modern languages, as with blitzkrieg from
German and sputnik from Russian.

                          8.5.20th-Century English
In Great Britain at present the speech of educated persons is known as
Received Pronunciation. A class dialect rather than a regional dialect, it
is based on the type of speech cultivated at public schools and at such of
the older universities as Oxford and Cambridge. Many English people who
speak regional dialects in their childhood acquire Received Pronunciation
while attending school and university. Its influence has become even
stronger in recent years because of its use by such public media as the
British Broadcasting Corporation.

RP is not intrinsically superior to other varieties of English, and is,
itself, only one particular dialect. It has just achieved more extensive
use than others.

Widely differing regional and local dialects are still employed in the
various counties of Great Britain. Other important regional dialects have
also developed; for example, the English language in Ireland has retained
certain individual peculiarities of pronunciation, such as the
pronunciation of lave for leave and fluther for flutter; certain
syntactical peculiarities, such as the use of after following forms of the
verb be; and certain differences in vocabulary, including the use of
archaic words such as adown (for down) and Celtic borrowings such as
banshee. The Lowland Scottish dialect, sometimes called Lallans, first made
known throughout the English-speaking world by the songs of the 18th-
century Scottish poet Robert Burns, contains differences in pronunciation
also, such as neebour (neighbour) and guid (good), and words of
Scandinavian origin peculiar to the dialect, such as braw and bairn. The
English spoken in Australia, with its marked diphthongization of vowels,
also makes use of special words, retained from English regional dialect
usages, or taken over from indigenous Australian terms.

                            8.6.American English
An important development of English outside Great Britain occurred with the
colonization of North America. American English may be considered to
include the English spoken in Canada, although the Canadian variety retains
some features of British pronunciation, spelling, and vocabulary. The most
distinguishing differences between American English and British English are
in pronunciation and vocabulary. There are slighter differences in
spelling, pitch, and stress as well. Written American English also has a
tendency to be more rigid in matters of grammar and syntax, but at the same
time appears to be more tolerant of the use of neologisms. Despite these
differences, it is often difficult to determineapart from contextwhether
serious literary works have been written in Great Britain or the United
States/Canadaor, for that matter, in Australia, New Zealand, or South
Africa.

                              8.7.Basic English
A simplified form of the English language based on 850 key words was
developed in the late 1920s by the English psychologist Charles Kay Ogden
and publicized by the English educator I. A. Richards. Known as Basic
English, it was used mainly to teach English to non-English-speaking
persons and promoted as an international language. The complexities of
English spelling and grammar, however, were major hindrances to the
adoption of Basic English as a second language.

The fundamental principle of Basic English was that any idea, however
complex, may be reduced to simple units of thought and expressed clearly by
a limited number of everyday words. The 850-word primary vocabulary was
composed of 600 nouns (representing things or events), 150 adjectives (for
qualities and properties), and 100 general operational words, mainly
verbs and prepositions. Almost all the words were in common use in English-
speaking countries; more than 60 per cent were one-syllable words. The
abbreviated vocabulary was created in part by eliminating numerous synonyms
and by extending the use of 18 basic verbs, such as make, get, do, have,
and be. These verbs were generally combined with prepositions, such as up,
among, under, in, and forward. For example, a Basic English student would
use the expression go up instead of ascend.

                             8.8.Pidgin English
English also enters into a number of simplified languages that arose among
non-English-speaking peoples. Pidgin English, spoken in the Melanesian
islands, New Guinea, Australia, the Philippines, and Hawaii and on the
Asian shores of the Pacific Ocean, developed as a means of communication
between Chinese and English traders. The Chinese adopted many English words
and a few indispensable non-English words and created a means of discourse,
using a simple grammatical apparatus. Bche-de-Mer, a pidgin spoken in the
southern and western Pacific islands, is predominantly English in
structure, although it includes many Polynesian words. Chinook Jargon, used
as a lingua franca by the Native Americans, French, and English on the
North American Pacific coast, contains English, French, and Native American
words; its grammatical structure is based on that of the Chinook language.
The use of pidgin is growing in Africa, notably in Cameroon, Sierra Leone,
and East Africa.



                      9.Future of the English Language
The influence of the mass media appears likely to result in a more
standardized pronunciation, more uniform spelling, and eventually a
spelling closer to actual pronunciation. Despite the likelihood of such
standardization, a unique feature of the English language remains its
tendency to grow and change. Despite the warnings of linguistic purists,
new words are constantly being coined and usages modified to express new
concepts. Its vocabulary is constantly enriched by linguistic borrowings,
particularly by cross-fertilizations from American English. Because it is
capable of infinite possibilities of communication, the English language
has become the chief international language.[i]


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