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A Stupid question.

 
 
Andre Wisniewski
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      05-12-2004
On Tue, 11 May 2004 23:30:02 +0200, Tassilo v. Parseval
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> One field in which English is arguably harder than German is phonetics.
> Seeing a German word written will usually allow you to say it properly
> (some exceptions exist but those can be reduced to a few general rules
> of exception).


That's the greatest problem all germans have: The pronounciation of 'th'.
So all but some scots aren't able to speak the german 'ch'.



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Matt Garrish
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      05-12-2004

"Chris Mattern" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Ian Wilson wrote:
>
> > Ala Qumsieh wrote:
> >
> >> English was more influenced by other languages like French and Spanish
> >> due to the larger role of the British empire in history.

> >
> > AFAIK English was influenced by French largely because England was
> > invaded by Normans from France in 1066. After the usual round of
> > genocide and subjugation, the provincial Norman variety of French
> > remained the official language of English government for hundreds of
> > years. This was long before the British Empire came into existence.
> >
> > Just my two farthings worth.

>
> Yep. English before the Norman Invasion is now literally a foreign
> language to us; we can't read things like Beowulf unless they are
> translated. But English after the Normans were integrated is readable,
> if difficult. The Canterbury Tales can be read if they are just
> annotated for the modern reader.
> --


And the Norman nobility would have spoken Latin, not French (and English is
much closer phonetically to German than French, etc., etc., etc.). Let's not
get too carried away in our attempts to simplify the evolution of the
language.

Matt


 
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Chris Mattern
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      05-13-2004
Matt Garrish wrote:

>
> "Chris Mattern" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>> Ian Wilson wrote:
>>
>> > Ala Qumsieh wrote:
>> >
>> >> English was more influenced by other languages like French and Spanish
>> >> due to the larger role of the British empire in history.
>> >
>> > AFAIK English was influenced by French largely because England was
>> > invaded by Normans from France in 1066. After the usual round of
>> > genocide and subjugation, the provincial Norman variety of French
>> > remained the official language of English government for hundreds of
>> > years. This was long before the British Empire came into existence.
>> >
>> > Just my two farthings worth.

>>
>> Yep. English before the Norman Invasion is now literally a foreign
>> language to us; we can't read things like Beowulf unless they are
>> translated. But English after the Normans were integrated is readable,
>> if difficult. The Canterbury Tales can be read if they are just
>> annotated for the modern reader.
>> --

>
> And the Norman nobility would have spoken Latin, not French


Not really; some of the more educated nobles might speak Latin, and
certainly most writing would be done in Latin--but it would be far
from a foregone conclusion that a given noble could write. They
would've used Norman French in everyday conversation. And certainly
the Norman soldiery, far more present than the relative handful of
nobles, would've spoken nothing else.

> (and English
> is much closer phonetically to German than French, etc., etc., etc.).


Well, of course; English still remains at its base a Germanic language.
But the absorption of Norman French into the language changed it
dramatically, turning it into something fairly close to what we call
"English" today.

> Let's not get too carried away in our attempts to simplify the evolution
> of the language.
>

Don't mean to--certainly the influence of Norman French wasn't the
only big change to the English language. Shall we talk about the
Great Vowel Shift?
--
Christopher Mattern

"Which one you figure tracked us?"
"The ugly one, sir."
"...Could you be more specific?"
 
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Ben Morrow
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      05-13-2004

Quoth Chris Mattern <(E-Mail Removed)>:
> >
> > (and English
> > is much closer phonetically to German than French, etc., etc., etc.).

>
> Well, of course; English still remains at its base a Germanic language.
> But the absorption of Norman French into the language changed it
> dramatically, turning it into something fairly close to what we call
> "English" today.


Far more than simply the absorbtion of Norman French: when a number of
peoples are thrown together with no common language they will develop a
very simplified form of communication called a 'pidgin', with no real
grammar. When the next generation of children are born, and grow up
hearing this, however, something rather remarkable happens: they
spontaneously invent a language with the same vocabulary but a complete,
if simple, grammar, called a 'creole'. This is the main reason for
English having lost the complications of its Germanic roots.

Ben

--
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A Clothing for the Soul divine William Blake
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Matt Garrish
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      05-13-2004

"Chris Mattern" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Matt Garrish wrote:
>
> >
> > And the Norman nobility would have spoken Latin, not French

>
> Not really; some of the more educated nobles might speak Latin, and
> certainly most writing would be done in Latin--but it would be far
> from a foregone conclusion that a given noble could write. They
> would've used Norman French in everyday conversation. And certainly
> the Norman soldiery, far more present than the relative handful of
> nobles, would've spoken nothing else.
>


Oops, that was a lost train of thought. Obviously very few people would have
spoken Latin, but it was the written language of the elite. Regardless, it's
still too simple to say that Normand "French" is the base for Middle English
(and subsequently Modern English), which is what I was responding to. Yes it
had an influence, but that does not mean that English is derived from it.

Rather than keep this totally off-topic conversation going, though, I'd
simply point anyone interested to this site:
http://www.anglo-norman.net/an-intro.html

Matt


 
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Thomas Russler
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      05-13-2004
In article <tKBoc.56821$(E-Mail Removed)>,
"Matt Garrish" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> "Chris Mattern" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> > Matt Garrish wrote:
> >
> > >
> > > And the Norman nobility would have spoken Latin, not French

> >
> > Not really; some of the more educated nobles might speak Latin, and
> > certainly most writing would be done in Latin--but it would be far
> > from a foregone conclusion that a given noble could write. They
> > would've used Norman French in everyday conversation. And certainly
> > the Norman soldiery, far more present than the relative handful of
> > nobles, would've spoken nothing else.
> >

>
> Oops, that was a lost train of thought. Obviously very few people would have
> spoken Latin, but it was the written language of the elite. Regardless, it's
> still too simple to say that Normand "French" is the base for Middle English
> (and subsequently Modern English), which is what I was responding to. Yes it
> had an influence, but that does not mean that English is derived from it.
>
> Rather than keep this totally off-topic conversation going, though, I'd
> simply point anyone interested to this site:
> http://www.anglo-norman.net/an-intro.html
>
> Matt


This is useful too:

http://www.danshort.com/ie/timeline.htm

--
Tom Russler
(E-Mail Removed)
 
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