[CHAPTER FIVE]

Chapter 5: From Old to Middle English

The most dramatic change in the English language—the transition from Old to Middle English—involves external and internal changes: a substantial portion of the (Germanic) Old English vocabulary is replaced by French and Latin words and the endings on nouns, verbs, and adjectives disappear. The latter is possibly the result of contact with Scandinavian and Celtic languages during the Old English period. This chapter investigates the changes between Old and Middle English caused by direct external influence.


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