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НазваThe history of Old English and its development. (реферат)
РозділІноземна мова, реферати англійською, німецькою
ФорматWord Doc
Тип документуРеферат
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The history of Old English and its development.


In 409 AD the last Roman legion left British shores, and in fifty years

the Islands became a victim of invaders. Germanic tribes from Southern

Scandinavia and Northern Germany, pushed from their densely populated

homelands, looked for a new land to settle. At that time the British

Isles were inhabited by the Celts and remaining Roman colonists, who

failed to organize any resistance against Germanic intruders, and so had

to let them settle here. This is how the Old English language was born.


Celtic tribes crossed the Channel and starting to settle in Britain

already in the 7th century BC. The very word "Britain" seems to be the

name given by the pre-Celtic inhabitants of the island, accepted by

first Indo-Europeans. The Celts quickly spread over the island, and only

in the north still existed non-Indo-European peoples which are sometimes

called "Picts" (the name given by Romans). Picts lived in Scotland and

on Shetland Islands and represented the most ancient population of the

Isles, the origin of which is unknown. Picts do not seem to leave any

features of their language to Indo-European population of Britain - the

famous Irish and Welsh initial mutations of consonants can be the only

sign of the substratum left by unknown nations of Britain. At the time

the Celts reached Britain they spoke the common language, close to

Gaulish in France. But later, when Celtic tribes occupied Ireland,

Northern England, Wales, their tongues were divided according to tribal

divisions. These languages will later become Welsh, Irish Gaelic,

Cornish, but from that time no signs remained, because the Celts did not

invent writing yet. Not much is left from Celtic languages in English.

Though many place names and names for rivers are surely Celtic (like Usk

- from Celtic *usce "water", or Avon - from *awin "river"), the

morphology and phonetics are untouched by the Celtic influence. Some

linguists state that the word down comes from Celtic *dun "down"; other

examples of Celtic influence in place names are tne following:


cothair (a fortress) - Carnarvon


uisge (water) - Exe, Usk, Esk


dun, dum (a hill) - Dumbarton, Dumfries, Dunedin


llan (church) - Llandaff, Llandovery, Llandudno


coil (forest) - Kilbrook, Killiemore


kil (church) - Kilbride, Kilmacolm


ceann (cape) - Kebadre, Kingussie


inis (island) - Innisfail


inver (mountain) - Inverness, Inverurie


bail (house) - Ballantrae, Ballyshannon,


and, certainly, the word whiskey which means the same as Irish uisge

"water". But this borrowing took place much later.


In the 1st century AD first Roman colonists begin to penetrate in

Britain; Roman legions built roads, camps, founded towns and castles.

But still they did not manage to assimilate the Celts, maybe because

they lived apart from each other and did not mix. Tens of Latin words in

Britain together with many towns, places and hills named by Romans make

up the Roman heritage in the Old English. Such cities as Dorchester,

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