History of English Language Essay

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1. Introduction 2.1. The aim of the paper The purpose of this seminar paper is to explain and present the negation in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Prologue as well as to make comparison between negation in Modern English with negation used in Old and Middle English. First of all, there will be given the historical background of the Middle ages and Medieval England. Furthermore, the paper will describe the major events during that period, the main language characteristics at that time as well as the nain features of Old English. In addition, differences between the English language of that period and transfer into the Modern English language will be mentioned. Also, some accounts of Chaucer’s life and great contribution of his work will be given, especially of his Canterbury Tales. Finaly, grammatical structure and negation will be presented as well as the negation in Chaucer’s Prologue. 2.2. The historical background The origin of Modern English comes from a large family of the Indo - European languages. The English language as we know it is the product of a number of historical changes. Beginning with the language used by native tribes more than two millennia ago, which had been shaped by Latin spoken among the roman conquerors and finally morphing into Old English under the rule of Germanic tribes. The Norman Conquest in 1066 not only changed Britain’s socio – political situation, but made significant influence on cultural events and language and its usage. (Encyclopedia Britannica Deluxe Edition 2005, a CD-ROM) The Norman Conquest marked one of the most important events in history of British Isles. They defined the beginning of the Middle Ages, the period of English history from the collapse of the Roman Empire in the fifth century AD to the Renaissance in 1485 (the year of the accession of Henry VIII). The Middle Ages were the period of
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