P2 English Essay

337 WordsMar 29, 20152 Pages
English is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England and is now a global lingua franca.[4][5] It is an official language of almost 60 sovereign states and the most commonly spoken language in sovereign states including the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and a number of Caribbean and African nations.[6] It is the third-most-common native language in the world, after Mandarin and Spanish.[7] It is widely learned as a second language and is an official language of the European Union and of the United Nations, as well as of many world organisations. English had several historical forms. The earliest form was Old English, a set of Anglo-Frisian dialects brought to Great Britain by Anglo-Saxon settlers in the 5th century. Middle English began in the late 11th century with the Norman conquest of England.[8] Early Modern English began in the late 15th century with the introduction of the printing press to London and the Great Vowel Shift. Through the worldwide influence of the British Empire, Modern English spread around the world from the 17th to mid-20th centuries. Through newspapers, books, the telegraph, the telephone, phonograph records, radio, satellite television, and the Internet, as well as the emergence of the United States as a global superpower, English has become the leading language of international discourse and the lingua franca in many regions and in professional contexts such as science. The English language is characterized by a complex phonology, with complex patterns of allophony and morphophonemics. There is little morphological inflection in Modern English, and the syntax is generally isolating. English relies on auxiliary verbs and word order for the expression of complex tenses, aspect and mode, as well as passive constructions, interrogatives and negation. There is

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