The position of English and its role in the world.



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The position of English and its role in the world.



English is a widely distributed language originating in England that is currently the primary language of a number of countries. It is extensively used as a second language and as an official language in many other countries. English is the most widely taught and understood language in the world, and sometimes is described as a lingua franca- language, which is used for communication between the different groups of people each speaking indifferent language. It can be: --an international l-ge of communication(English), --native language of 1 of the groups(USSR),-- pidgin(have no native speakers).

Pidgin- language, which develops as a contact l-ge, when groups of people each speaking a different l-ge communicate with one anotheron a regular basis. Usually has limited vocabulary and reduced gramm.

English is currently the 2nd most commonly spoken language in the world. It has over 500 million speakers. It is behind only Mandarin, which has over 1 billion speakers. English is today the third most widely distributed language as a first spoken language in the world, after Mandarin and Hindi. Something around 600 million people use the various dialects of English regularly. About 377 million people use one of the versions of English as their mother tongue, and a similar number of people use one of them as their second or foreign language as well.

English is the dominant international language in communications, science, business, aviation, entertainment, diplomacy and the Internet. It has been one of the official languages of the United Nations since its founding in 1945 and is considered by many to be the universal language. 157 coutries of the world speak E. It is the 1 language in GB, Australia, the Bahams, Canada, Eire, Guyana, Jamaica,New Zealand, the US. It is the 2 lan-ge in India, Sri Lanca, Pakistan, Nepal, Israel, Sudan, Philippines…

English is the language most often studied as a foreign language in the European Union (by 89% of schoolchildren), followed by French (32%), German (18%), and Spanish (8%). [5] It is also the most studied in the People's Republic of China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. English is also compulsory for most secondary school students in the PRC and Taiwan.

English is used for airlines, 10000 newspapers are written in E.It is dominated in news, movies, music,. 75% telegrams and postcards, 80% computers. It is the lang. of progress. Because English is so widely spoken, it has often been referred to as a "global language", the lingua franca of the modern era. It is also, by international treaty, the official language for aircraft/airport and maritime communication, as well as being one of the official languages of both the European Union and the United Nations, and of most international athletic organizations, including the Olympic Committee. Books, magazines, and newspapers written in English are available in many countries around the world. English is also the most commonly used language in the sciences. In 1997, the Science Citation Index reported that 95% of its articles were written in English, even though only half of them came from authors in English-speaking countries.

The OE vowel system. Major changes during the period.

Sound changes, particularly vowel changes, took place in English at every period of history. The changes could be paradigmatic (in the whole system) and sintagmatic(in certain classes of words or syllables). The development of vowels in Early OE consisted of the modification of separate vowels, and also of the modification of entire sets of vowels.

1)English long vowels have tended to become narrower or closer, while short vowels have shown the opposite tendency> became more open ( a: » o, a » a:). Short vowels have shown themselves more stable than long vowels.

2)Within the vowels the changes of stressed ones were basically different from that of unstressed vowels. Thus in OE practically all vowels, including long vowels, could occur in the unstressed position (mona, sunu)

The state of things changes in Early ME, when all unstressed vowels were leveled under neutral (э)

Later on in the Late ME(14-15c.)this final unstressed (ə) was weakened further and was reduced to zero. (ti:mэ – ti:m). This change brought a great number of monosyllabic words.

OE vowel system: 7- 11c. Wessex dialect or West Saxon possessed the following vowel system: i, i:, e, e:, æ, æ:, a, a:, o, o:, u, u:, y, y:, a·(short-ma·nn). In Early OE, mutations affected numerous vowels and brought about profound changes in the system and use of vowels. The most important series of vowel mutations, shared invarying degrees by all OE languages (except Gothic), is known as i-mutation or "palatal mutation".Mutation- is a change in vowel sound brought by the sound in the following syllable. I- mutation is the mutation of the route back or open vowel to a front one by a following iorj (fuljan » fyllan » fill,kopjan » cepan » keep). The labialized front vowels [y] and ly:] arose through palatal mutation from [u] and [u:l. respectively, and turned into new phonemes, when the conditions that caused them had disappeared.

Late West Saxon had 2 long diphthongs ea [æə] and eo [εə], where final [ə] was reduced and lost in 11 cent. This long diphthongs became monophthongs; in ME they became ī [i:] (beatan →beat).

In Early OE there were other diphthongs: ie, io, but they disappeared by the 7-11 c., were replaced by ie→ y, io→eo

Diphthongization of short vowels (a, e) before certain consonant clusters:

a → ea before clusters r + consonant, l + cons, h + cons, h (final)

e → eo before clusters r + consonant, h + cons, lc, lh, h(final)

In 9 c. vowels were lengthened before the clusters nd, ld, mb(cild→cīld→child)

In the clusters, followed by another consonant, lengthening didn’t take place(cildru-children).

Middle E. changes: Short vowels: ĭ ě ă ŏ ŭ. Long vowels: i: e: ε: o: O: u: , since 14 cent. + a:

1)reduction and loss of final [ə]

2)lengthening. Only 3 short vowels [e, o, a] became long in opened stressed syllables of disyllabic words (měte → mε:tə → meat). These were syntagmatic positional changes or quantative.

3)I-mutation- the most important of all changes. OE stressed rout front vowels changed into back or more narrow vowels: u→y, o→ e, ă→e, ā →æ:

This process influenced the word change (mani-men, fōti – fēt – fε:t – feet, tooth-teeth, goose-geese) and word formation( full-fill, food-feed, strong- strength)

4) shortening. The long vowels became short before consonant clusters other than nd, ld, mb, st.(cēpte - keptə - kept)

5) unrounding: [u] → [^](ME come[kum]>NE[k^m])This change happened in 17c. But we still pronounce [u] in words: full, put, bull, because [f,p,b] are labialized. In Yorkshire this change didn’t occur at all.

6) the peculiarity of ME long vowel stem , as compared with OE and NE, is the presence of 2 long front mid-rise vowels;[e:]: ē→ō and ε→O: It came as a result of long term tendency of English long vowels for narrowing. In ME 4 out of 6 long vowels became narrower: ē→ē ō→ō æ→ε: ā→O:

This change didn’t affect [i:] and [y:].

Word order

The order of words in the OE sentence was relatively free.The position of words in the sentence was often determined by logical and stylistic factors rather than by grammatical constraints. The word order depends on the order of presentation and emphasis laid by the author on different parts of communication.

The order of words could depend on the communicative type of the sentence – question versus statement, on the type of clause, on the presence and place of some secondary parts of the sentence.

Inversion was used for grammatical purposes in questions; full inversion with simple predicates and partial – with compound predicates, containing link-verbs and modal verbs.

A peculiar type of word order is found in many subordinate and in some coordinate clauses: the clause begins with the subject following the connective, and ends with the predicate or its finite part, all the secondary parts being enclosed between them.

Those were the main tendencies in OE word order. In many respects OE syntax was characterized by a wide range of variation and by the co-existence of various, sometimes even opposing, tendencies.

SPOO- occurred in non-defendant clauses in simple sentences and main clauses unless they open with an adverb

SOP- occure when the object was a pronoun or was used in dependent clauses.

PSO- in questions

The Great Vowel Shift.(GVS)

During the period of 14-17 c. all 7 long vowels in existence at this time came into motion and were involved in highly systematic change, which brought the qualitative changes and the appearance of diphtongs. GVS didn’t bring any new phonems, as all of them existed before, but changed the quality.

ai ← ei ← i: u:→ au →əu ↑- narrowing

↑ ↑

e: o: → diphtongization

↑ ↑

ei← ε:←a: (front) O: → ou

ti:me (ME)→taim(NE), kepen[ke:pən]→keep, moon[mo:n]→moon

It is important to note that the Great Vowel Shift (unlike most of the earlier phonetic changes) was not followed by any regular spelling changes: as seen from the examples the modification in the pronunciation of words was not reflected in their written forms. (The few graphic replacements made in the 16th c. failed to reflect the changes: the digraphs ie, ee, and the single e were kept for the close [e:], while the digraph ea was introduced to show the more open [ε: ]

During the shift even the names of some English letters were changed, for they contained long vowels. Cf. the names of some English letters before and after the shift:

ME: A [a:]. E [e:], 0 [o:], I [i:], B [be:]. K [ka:]

NE: A [ei],E [i:] O [ou] I [ai] B [bi:]. K [kei].

The Great Vowel Shift has attracted the attention of many linguists (K. Luick. 0. Jespersen. F. Mosse. A. Martinet, V. Plotkin and others).

1) Many linguists agree that the intensification of changes in Late ME not only to phonological but also to morphological factors (V. Plotkin). The shift may have been stimulated by the loss of the final [e] in the 15th c., which transformed disyllabic words into monosyllables.

2) The changes have been interpreted as starting at one end of each set of vowels—front and back—the initial change stimulating the movement of the other sounds. If the changes started at the more open vowels, [a:] and [o:]. every step "pushed" the adjoining vowel away to avoid coincidence, so that finally the closest vowels, which could not possibly become narrower were "pushed" out of the set of monophthongs into diphthongs: [i:] > [ai] and [u:l > [au]. This interpretation of the shift is known as the "push-chain" (K. Luick).

The opposite view is held by the exponents of the theory of "drag-chain" (0. Jespersen); according to this theory the changes started at the two closest vowels, [i:] and [u:]; these close vowels became diphthongs, "dragging” after themselves their neighbours, [e:] and [o:]. which occupied the vacant positions; every vowel made one step in this direction, except [ε:] which made two: [ε:] became (e:] and then [i:].

 

 



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