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Lecture Summary (11/09/2006)

The topic of this week's session was named "History of English: From Old English to Modern English".

First of all we talked again about the Celts and their influence on the English language and Mr Gibbon presented us some Celtic vocabulary (e.g. many place names (toponyms) like London).

Concerning the ancient East Germanic languages there is one major document: the Gothic Bible, a translation of the Holy Bible into Gothic made by Bishop Wulfila about 500 AD. This document has an immense scientific value because it allows us to reconstruct the Gothic language by comparing the Gothic Bible to the Greec original used by Wulfila.

The most important relic of the North Germanic languages are the famous Horns of Gallehus. Unfortunately the real horns do not exist anymore but they were reconstructed on the base of paintings.

After that we concentrated on the English language, starting with Old English. It was spoken about 600-1000 AD and strongly influenced by Old Norse. Then we went on to Middle English. As an example Mr Gibbon used "The Canterbury Tales" written by Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century. In the following we tried to translate a little bit of Middle English into Modern English. Mr Gibbon presented a glossary with words of Middle English and their Modern English equals. Further he showed us some pictures displaying the different kinds of dialects in Old English, Middle English and Modern English. We also looked at the colonal language spread of some nations and the spread of English.

30.1.07 14:32
 


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