The Reyes Tribune

The evolution of English


For my written task I have decided to write mine in the form of a flyer on the website smore. I felt that it is a good way to display my information and get my point across. My flyer basically focuses on what we have been learning for the past few weeks about The English language. I goes from what makes a global language follows the causes and effects of the languages rise to power and what could happen in the future. I have used the writings of Michael Erard, David Crystal and others who have been dedicated to linguistics to support my task. Along with this evidence i plan to go further not to just give a bland history of English or state it’s future but to go deeper to explain what caused it to evolve to it’s current form and what the possible paths are for the future of our language. The audience that this would be mainly for is people who are truly interested in linguistics and the English language. Because in today's world many don't realize the rich history english possess we shorten words like lol and yolo so this task is to spread knowledge of a great language that has been around for 1500 years and withstood the test of time. 217 words

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Extra. Extra. Read all about it English is the Lingua Franca!!

What makes a global language

Throughout history there have been many empire great and some not but they have brought with them language that have been able to spread and influence the world. But what makes a lingua franca or global language what makes people want to learn it and how does it get such power. If we look at great Languages from the past they have all had something for the people to gain. Looking at Latin it was spread all over by the military power of the Roman empire and stayed popular long after the fall of the empire due to the power of the Roman Catholic church. And another major language is English with the spread of the British Empire there was lots of trade and commerce which gives a economic standpoint to learn the language to get ahead. Throughout the ages we have also made many discoveries and we have formed institutions to spread the ideas they are formal and use a base language this also helps spread the power of a language. There are many things that influence people and forms a global language military power, economic gain, religion and scientific discovery all play a roll in this. Altogether it is the idea that learning a language gives you an upper hand and helps you get ahead in life.

History Of English

  • The original language was Celtic from original tribes of Britain before colonization

  • Migration and the invasion of Romans, Anglo Saxon Germanic tribes and Scandinavian vikings dialects form early English however it is nowhere near what it is today, books start to be translated into English towards the end of the this period when English starts to gain power ending around 1100 AD

  • Middle English starts to borrow from Normans (french) during their conquest of England great jumping off point for English literature when many novels and great works start to be written this period ends around 1450

  • Early modern and Modern English This includes the Renaissance and the formation of the Royal society English starts to leaves the isles and the British empire starts to colonize the world, America, Canada, etc. Also with the end of WW2 America rises as a world power growing the English language this period ends around 1950

  • Late modern English is the present with America as a major power we have spread English around the world and it is now the lingua franca as well as the technology age changing the way we speak

Evolution of English

English has widely changed over the years English in it's early forms looked unintelligible and we as modern English speakers would not be able to understand it "Gefeng pa be feaxe" this is from an English epic composed in 750. However over the years it slowly becomes what we know today by the 15th century it is close to our English "And preie God save the king"(Geoffrey Chaucer) . And by 1750 we have the formal English that resembles what we speak today now forming in later years to the informal version we know today "My mama always used to tell me: 'If you can't find somethin' to live for, you best find somethin' to die for"(Tupac Shakur). However the digital age has changed it one step further to the abbreviations like "lol" and "ttyl". In retrospect English has grown a lot form being a small language on an even smaller island to being one of the most powerful languages spoken today on all the continents in a way it's story is a story of great ambition.

Globalization of English

There are 4 key areas where the globalization of English can be tied to the aftermath of world war two

  1. Rise of the U.S. with the rise of the states after world war 2 america became a economic powerhouse and a global power "Language exists only in the brains and mouths and ears and hands and eyes of it’s users. When they succeed on the international stage, their language succeeds. When they fail, their language fails” (crystal page 7). Since English is the language of america when they rose to power in the 50's, English went with them.
  2. World institutes after the war the world realized they needed someone a type of organization to keep the peace a global government. Such as the U.N. which consists of most countries in the world or NATO which is north america and Europe and another is the bricks consisting of Russia and 4 others. A majority of these organizations use English as a language to communicate roughly 85% raising the use of English throughout the world.
  3. Financial institutes since the war like the IMF bank and america had become deeply involved in economic reconstruction of Europe japan and Asia giving them a lot of influence this laid the basis for many countries dependency on america spreading English influence.
  4. Scientific publishing previous to the first world war everything was published in German however the growing america ensured English's power. And after WW2 many countries they have stopped publishing in their own languages and often print in English. All this made English the language of intellectuals and made it a important language in the world of science.
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The Future of English

According to Michael Erard and Nicholas Ostler the future of English can go two very different ways Erard says it will evolve and Ostler believes that it will decrease. In ostler's opinion the number of mother tongue speakers will not decrease however bilingual speakers will because he states history has shown that foreign countries will soon decrease there use of English he even goes to state that Chinese might rise. While Erard says that English will further develop and spread and many countries will increase their use and form new dialects. 987 words

Works Cited

  • Crystal, David. Crystal, David. English as a Global Language. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1997. Print..
  • Erard, Michael. "How English Is Evolving Into a Language We May Not Even Understand." Conde Nast Digital, 23 June 2008. Web. 12 Oct. 2016.
  • Graddol, David. The Future of English. United Kingdom: British Council, 1997. Print.
  • Ostler, Nicholas. "English's Bleak Future." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 21 Feb. 2008. Web. 12 Oct. 2016.