English Language Expansion Essay

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The complex and lengthy development of the English language presents a rich selection of examples of change in historical and political forms, in addition to patterns of invasion and expansion. These patterns and examples can be seen, in varying forms, all throughout the Old English, Middle English, Early Modern English and Modern English periods.

The foundation of the English language is interspersed with key instances of invasion and expansion. The English language originated from Germanic, a Proto-Indo-European language that emerged at approximately at 3,000 BC. The people who originally spoke this parent language travelled across Europe, seeking new land in the hope of expanding their territory. This original expansion foreshadowed a language
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The Norman invasion of AD 1066 created major political change in England and significantly altered the linguistic circumstances in the country. The invasion was led by Duke William II of Normandy, later referred to as William the Conquerer, in response to the death of King Edward lll, who left no heir to the English throne. The Norman invasion resulted in key changes to the political landscape of England. One key change was the replacement of the English aristocracy and legal and administrative hierarchy with French nobles. This resulted in the introduction of the Anglo-Norman dialect as the language of the upper class, replacing Old English. The lower classes of society continued to use Old English, however the influence of the French language being spoken by the ruling class was reflected in the adoption of many French words into the English language and the subsequent classing of these words as being more refined and formal than their English counterparts. This mentality exists today, and is exemplified in the use of French words in the place of English words, such as lingerie instead of underwear, when a more elegant term is desired. In addition, due to the displacement of the judicial hierarchy, the majority of those who presided over English courtrooms spoke French, leading to the introduction of many French legal terms, such as judge, justice and jury, terms that continue to be utilised in English today. Many government and economic terms were also adopted, such as money, treasury administration and state. 
These additions to the English language were heavily indicative of the political circumstances of the

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