BEOWULF SHAKESPEARE AMERICAN ENGLISH PLAIN ENGLISH BEST ESSAYS

AND ALL THAT

1066 HOME OLD ENGLISH MIDDLE ENGLISH MODERN ENGLISH CONTEMPORARY ENGLISH
 
   

Khadija Paruk. English Reasserts Its Status

 

 The Rise of English

 

English began seeping through the formal domains. The rise of English caused a decline in French. In the last part of the thirteenth century the Benedictine monasteries in Westminster and Canterbury banned the use of English while universities such as Oxford required the students to translate texts into both English and French for fear that “the French language be entirely disused” (Baugh Cable 1993:139). The limit placed on the use of English indicates that the language is “thriving” as it had popularity and so it had risen in status (Fennel 2001: 120). Moreover after 1349 English began to be used in schools and in 1385 English was generally used in schools (Baugh Cable 1993:151). The use of English in schools helps English to rise as a national language because it sets a precedent for other institutions (Baugh Cable 1993). 

Similarly the rise of the middle classes as seen above caused English to be used to keep records in Guilds and Towns in the fifteenth century (Baugh Cable 1993). Likewise petitions in Parliament began appearing in English after 1423 and statutes appeared in English after 1485 (Baugh Cable 1993: 154). French was no longer used in statutes after 1489 (Baugh Cable 1993: 154). This recognition of English by official institutions particularly Parliament encouraged the use of English and also indicates the high status of English as it was no longer confined to informal domains. It also contributes to the decline of French because it was no longer used in formal domains such as that of Parliament (Baugh Cable 1993). There was little chance of its preservation since it was not used by the general population either. However English was used by the general population therefore it began to spread into formal domains.  

Finally in the middle of the fourteenth century English became the choice for the written domain (Baugh Cable 1993: 156). Authors such as Chaucer and the Pearl poet chose to write literature in English over French and Latin (Baugh Cable 1993). Previously in the old English period very little text in English was available but the amount in English available by the end of the fourteenth century increased dramatically (Baugh Cable 1993). An Anglo-Norman text dating back to 1275 was translated into English (Baugh Cable 1993:148). French and Latin were no longer being translated but were chosen to be used for creative purposes. This increased the status of English as well as portraying the high status of English. It also set a precedent to write in English. 

To conclude a variety of influences contributed to the rise and dominance of English. English represented national identity as in times of war it united people against the French and the nobility (Bragg 2003). Also events such as the Bubonic plague contributed to the loss of those who knew French and/or Latin therefore the English language became more widespread (Fennel 2001). But this process was gradual. The relationship between English, Latin and French changed in this period (Crystal 2004). Latin remained the official language but French declined and then rose but its new status was artificial therefore English prevailed (Crystal 2004). However many French words entered English in particular domains such as law and politics during the Middle English period (Crystal 2004: 148). The end of the Middle English period marked the commencement of the rise of a standard form of English as the Chancery arrived in the late part of the fourteenth century (Crystal 2004: 233).

References

  • Baugh, C.A., Cable, T. (1993). A History of the English Language. Oxon: Routledge. 

  • Bragg, M. (2003). The Adventure of English. London: Hodder and Stoughton.

  • Chaucer, G. (2002). The Canterbury Tales: Herefordshire: Wordsworth editions ltd.

  • Crystal, D. (2004). The Stories of English. London: Penguin books ltd.

  • Fennel, A.B. (2001).  A History of English: A Sociolinguistic Approach. Oxford: Blackwell publishing ltd.

Copyrighted material

 
 
WE ARE PARTNERS
 


 

ENGLISH REASSERTS ITS STATUS

  Political Background

  Social Background

  Decline in the Use of French

  Rise of English

  References

BEST ESSAYS

  The Language of the Internet

  English Reasserts Its Status

  More   

 

 
 
 
 

Site Map || Feedback || About || Links

Copyright Alex Chubarov 1066-2066

All Rights Reserved

 

COUNTDOWN TO 2066