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7 - Atlantic Crossing: On to the Americas, 1600–1800

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 May 2023

Peter Trudgill
Affiliation:
Université de Fribourg, Switzerland
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Summary

During the 1600s, the southwards and westwards expansion of Germanic, which had begun 2,000 years earlier in northern Europe, regained a new impetus. There was an explosive expansion of the English language into and across the Atlantic Ocean, which was to lead to the eventual death of a very large number of the indigenous languages of the Western Hemisphere. During the 1600s, 350,000 people left the British Isles for the Americas. Some of this expansion of English was the outcome of large-scale, planned, quasi-official attempts at colonisation. Others were haphazard settlements by refugees, pirates, runaway slaves, sailors, shipwrecked mariners and passengers and military deserters such those from the English army of Oliver Cromwell which had captured Jamaica from the Spanish in the 1650s.

Type
Chapter
Information
The Long Journey of English
A Geographical History of the Language
, pp. 76 - 98
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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References

Further Reading

Bailey, Richard. 2012. Speaking American: a history of English in the United States. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Higman, Barry. 2011. A concise history of the Caribbean. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Schneider, Edgar (ed.). 2008. Varieties of English, vol. 2: the Americas and the Caribbean. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar
Whittock, Martyn. 2019. Mayflower lives. London: Pegasus.Google Scholar

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