Changes In English language in Historical Events 1

Changes that occurred in English Language after Norman Conquest

The Norman Conquest changed the whole course of English language. French became the language of social prestige and status. French words entered the English lexicon. More than 10000 French words found their way into English words associated with government, law, art, literature, food, and many other aspects of life.

English language gradually disappeared as a written language, which resulted in the removal of borders on development of language; grammar became simplified as people started finding the simplest way to talk with people, who did not speak English as their first language.

 The pronunciation of English changed to some extent under the influence of French, as did the spelling. E.g. the old English ‘cw’, ‘sc’ and ‘c’ became ‘qu’, ‘sh’ and ‘ch’. The spelling of cwen changed into queen, scip to ship and scolde to should, English grammar took on  a few French structures , such as putting in adjectives after nouns in some expressions – attorney general, secretary general, surgeon general, . Since, Englishmen became desirous of learning the language of the ruling class, a large number of them learned French or Latin.

However, the Normans conquers on the other hand, had to learn English and translate it into Latin, since there was the need to understand English law , as a result , this period  saw an upsurge in the translations of English Material n to Latin.

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