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Outlines of the history of the English language
     

Outlines of the history of the English language

by Ernest Classen
 

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This is an OCR edition with typos.
Excerpt from book:
CHAPTER II SYNTAX § 7. Bede tells us that three Germanic tribes settled in Britain, the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes, and that the earliest settlement was in 449.

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free.
This is an OCR edition with typos.
Excerpt from book:
CHAPTER II SYNTAX § 7. Bede tells us that three Germanic tribes settled in Britain, the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes, and that the earliest settlement was in 449. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle repeats this statement. Nevertheless there is good reason for supposing that there were settlements earlier than this date. But however this may be, it is of interest to note that from the beginning of the settlement the invaders were not of one tribe, and an examination of the Old English texts reveals the fact that the language of the invaders was not uniform. We know, too, that these three different tribes had in their continental homes different political institutions. We may therefore presume that already in the Old English period (449 ?-1050) there existed in English the beginnings of the development of dialects. The Jutes settled in Kent, the Isle of Wight and the shores of Hampshire; the Saxons settled on the banks of the Thames and occupied the territory south of that river, with the exception of the parts occupied by the Jutes; the Angles occupied the rest of the country. Of these tribes it was the Angles who gave their name to the language of the whole country, for the name always found in Englishtexts is Englisc, and only in Latin sources do we find the names saxonicus or lingua saxonum. § 8. If we turn now to a brief examination of the syntax of the Old English period we shall find that it is in many respects clumsy and lacking in precision. Nor is this in any way surprising. Adeveloped syntax necessarily presupposes either a developed literature or a developed art of discussion and conversation. We have no evidence of the existence of the latter in the daily life of our Germanic ancestors, and, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, we may assume that the subject...

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BN ID:
2940017263648
Publisher:
London, Macmillan and co., limited
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CHAPTER II SYNTAX § 7. Bede tells us that three Germanic tribes settled in Britain, the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes, and that the earliest settlement was in 449. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle repeats this statement. Nevertheless there is good reason for supposing that there were settlements earlier than this date. But however this may be, it is of interest to note that from the beginning of the settlement the invaders were not of one tribe, and an examination of the Old English texts reveals the fact that the language of the invaders was not uniform. We know, too, that these three different tribes had in their continental homes different political institutions. We may therefore presume that already in the Old English period (449 ?-1050) there existed in English the beginnings of the development of dialects. The Jutes settled in Kent, the Isle of Wight and the shores of Hampshire; the Saxons settled on the banks of the Thames and occupied the territory south of that river, with the exception of the parts occupied by the Jutes; the Angles occupied the rest of the country. Of these tribes it was the Angles who gave their name to the language of the whole country, for the name always found in Englishtexts is Englisc, and only in Latin sources do we find the names saxonicus or lingua saxonum. § 8. If we turn now to a brief examination of the syntax of the Old English period we shall find that it is in many respects clumsy and lacking in precision. Nor is this in any way surprising. A developed syntax necessarily presupposes either a developed literature or a developed art of discussion and conversation. We have no evidence of the existence of the latter in the daily life ofour Germanic ancestors, and, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, we may assume that the subject...

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