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1 - Where It All Started: The Language Which Became English

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 May 2023

Peter Trudgill
Affiliation:
Université de Fribourg, Switzerland
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Summary

Where did English originally come from? We can say with some degree of certainty that the ancestor of modern English, Proto-Germanic, was originally a dialect of the Indo-European language which travelled from the borderlands of Asia and Europe to southern Scandinavia. It also seems rather likely that Proto-Germanic was significantly linguistically influenced at some stage by contact with another language or languages. And it is by no means impossible that much or some of that influence was exerted by Finno-Samic.

Type
Chapter
Information
The Long Journey of English
A Geographical History of the Language
, pp. 2 - 16
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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References

Further Reading

Anthony, David. 2007. The horse, the wheel, and language: how bronze-age riders from the Eurasian steppes shaped the modern world. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Bammesberger, Alfred, & Vennemann, Theo (eds.) 2003. Languages in prehistoric Europe. Heidelberg: Winter.Google Scholar
Fortson, Benjamin. 2010. Indo-European language and culture: an introduction. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
Hawkins, John. 1990. Germanic languages. In Comrie, B. (ed.) The major languages of Western Europe. London: Routledge, 5866.Google Scholar
Sanders, Ruth. 2010. German: biography of a language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Trudgill, Peter. 2020. Millennia of language change: sociolinguistic studies in deep historical linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

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