Pure English Essay

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English purists study and theorize how English would sound without any foreign influence. English was and is a Germanic based language, but has over its lifetime bred with non-Germanic languages to create Modern English. “Pure” English is what English would sound like without the foreign influence, which includes any non-Germanic tongue, and purists pursue this for a variety of reasons. Regardless of why purists study “pure” English, the influence and change of English is best studied by looking into its changes over time and identifying which languages influenced it most. A major change in the English language was the influence made on Middle English following the year 1066, the year of the Norman Conquest of England. Purists often concern …show more content…
Edward received assistance from the Normans, and throughout his rule there was an increasing Norman political influence. When Edward died, Duke William of Normandy quickly invaded England and seized the empty throne (Brown 5-6). The Battle of Hastings was quick and the momentary; the majority of the “invasion” was done politically and without bloodshed. The majority of Norman immigrants were rulers and nobility and not commoners (Brown 3). The Norman rulers primarily spoke Anglo-French, and few could speak English well, if at all. Thus the administration spoke Anglo-French, and Anglo-French became the language associated with the nobility and ruling class. Prior to the Norman Conquest, Latin was the language of the learned, and Loyn details that the priests that spoke mostly English were described as “rustic” while those that understood Latin were “uplandish” (Loyn 3). However after the conquest, educated men pursuing recognition would speak in Anglo-French. When Anglo-French gained popularity as the sophisticated language it started being used in trade (Loyn 4). Immediately following the Conquest, English was the language of literature, Latin was the language of law, but in the next two hundred years Anglo-French replaced English and Latin as the language of literature and …show more content…
One of the largest contributions of French into English is the affixes. Affixes are “mini-words” that are tacked on the beginning, prefixes, or end, suffixes, to give a word a slightly different meaning, such as the suffix -ing changing the verb drive into the action of driving. An example is the Anglo-French suffix –ure¬, which is similar to the already present –ing because it changes a verb into an action. An example of this suffix is the Anglo-French word departure, the act of departing (Rothwell 146). More examples of affixes include ¬–ment, -able, -ance (Roth 257). These affixes are not only used on loanwords from French, but also by compounding them with borrowed words. Two examples are the French word cover combined with the Old-French –age¬ to make coverage, and the Latin involve with the French –ment added to make involvement (Roth 257-258). The use of affixing and compounding add words to the English vocabulary, but words are also added through adoption or

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