Changes and specimens of the English language

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Министерство образования Республики Беларусь Учреждение образования "Гомельский государственный университет им. Ф. Скорины" Филологический факультет Курсовая работа CHANGES AND SPECIMENS OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE Исполнитель: Студентка группы К-53 Козлова Т.Е. Гомель 2006 Содержание Introduction 1 The orthography of English 2 ENGLISH OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY 3 ENGLISH OF THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY 4 ENGLISH OF THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY 5. ENGLISH OF THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY 6. ENGLISH OF THE FOURTEENTH CENTURY 7.ENGLISH OF THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY 8. ENGLISH, OR ANGLO-SAXON, OF THE

TWELFTH CENTURY 9. ANGLO-SAXON OF THE ELEVENTH CENTURY, COMPARED WITH ENGLISH 10. ANGLO-SAXON IN THE TIME OF KING ALFRED Conclusion Literature INTRODUCTION "Quot enim verba, et nonnunquam in deterius, hoc, quo vivimus, saeculo, partim aliqa, partim nulla necessitate cogente, mutata sunt?"--ROB. AINSWORTH: Lat. Dict., 4to; Praef., p. xi. In the use of language, every one chooses his words from that common stock which he has learned, and applies them in practice according to his own habits and notions. If the style of different writers of the same age is various, much greater is the variety which appears in the productions of different ages. Hence the date of a book may often be very plausibly conjectured from the peculiarities of its style. As to what is best in itself,

or best adapted to the subject in hand, every writer must endeavour to become his own judge. He who, in any sort of composition, would write with a master's hand, must first apply himself to books with a scholar's diligence. He must think it worth his while to inform himself, that he may be critical. Desiring to give the student all the advantage, entertainment, and satisfaction, that can be expected from a work of this kind, I shall subjoin a few brief specimens in illustration of what has been said in the foregoing chapter. The order of time will be followed inversely; and, as Saxon characters are not very easily obtained, or very apt to be read, the Roman letters will be employed for the few examples to which the others would be more appropriate. But there are some

peculiarities of ancient usage in English, which, for the information of the young reader, it is proper in the first place to explain. With respect to the letters, there are several changes to be mentioned. (1.) The pages of old books are often crowded with capitals: it was at one time the custom to distinguish all nouns, and frequently verbs, or any other important words, by heading them with a great letter. (2.) The letter Ess, of the lower case, had till lately two forms, the long and the short, as [tall-s] and s; the former very nearly resembling the small f, and the latter, its own capital. The short s was used at the end of words, and the long [tall-s], in other places; but the latter is now laid aside, in favour of the more distinctive form. (3.) The letters I and J were

formerly considered as one and the same. Hence we find hallelujah for halleluiah, Iohn for John, iudgement for judgement, &c. And in many dictionaries, the words beginning with J are still mixed with those which begin with I. (4.) The letters U and V were mixed in like manner, and for the same reason; the latter being a consonant power given to the former, and at length distinguished from it by a different form. Or rather, the figure of the capital seems to have been at last appropriated to the one, and that of the small letter to the other. But in old books the forms of these two letters are continually confounded or transposed. Hence it is, that our Double-u is composed of two Vees; which, as we see in old books, were sometimes printed separately: as, VV, for W; or vv, for