By Jan Svartvik, Geoffrey Leech, David Crystal
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'If you learn just one e-book at the English language-read this one. English - One Tongue, Many Voices covers all facets of the English language: its worldwide unfold, overseas and native forms, historical past from obscurity to primacy, utilization and makes use of, criteria and creoles, sort and alter in development, politics and controversy.
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Additional info for English: One Tongue, Many Voices
But this is reconstruction, a convenient but vague label, used in contradistinction to Old Saxons who remained on the continent. The settlers called the native population wealas ‘foreigners’ (from which the name Welsh is derived), while the Celts called the newcomers Saxons, regardless of their tribe. This term today appears in the modern Welsh words Saeson ‘the English (people)’, and Saesneg ‘the English language’. Very few old Celtic words survived the invasions to leave their imprint on modern English.
In our survey of the history of the English language, we have now come to perhaps the most famous landmark of all. In the popular view, history is often highly personalized: it is men and women that make history. In this case it was Duke William of Normandy – known to the English as William the Conqueror – who defeated the English king Harold in the fateful year 1066. This classic date is usually remembered, though not celebrated, by the English as the beginning of 300 years of strong French influence, changing the whole course of English history.
But, even though Britannia was under Roman rule for nearly 400 years, the Roman occupation left hardly any lasting linguistic legacy. This is because the English language has its roots in the next invasion, beginning in the fifth century, when Germanic tribes settled in the country. Unlike the Romans they stayed for good and, in due course, they were to call their language English. Ships are sighted with English in embryo on board Like other parts of the Empire, Roman Britain had long been subject to attacks from external enemies or ‘barbarians’ and, by the early fifth century, Roman legions were withdrawn and Britannia was left to defend herself.