Chapter 1: The English Language

The focus of this book is the English language. The word 'English' has a number of widely different meanings. For instance, it describes the people from a particular part of Great Britain. It also refers to a particular language, the English language, and is used very broadly in this sense. English is Germanic in origin but roughly half of its words derive from contacts with French and Latin. English has expanded from having a few speakers in one area to having many speakers in many geographic areas. Chapter 1 introduces where the term English comes from, the different sources of its vocabulary, how English differes from other languages, and what some of the internal and external changes have been.

Useful Links

Maps on Roll Geneaology

A BBC time line and one from Brittania

Norman Conquest

Weird Words and Doublespeak

Thought Experiments

Other helpful Websites


Background for title image provided courtesy of Tom Murphy VII and used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike license. All other images are believed to be public domain.

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