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English Language
ENGLISH /ˈɪŋɡlɪʃ/ (_ listen ) is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England and is now a global lingua franca _. Named after the Angles , one of the Germanic tribes that migrated to England , it ultimately derives its name from the Anglia (Angeln) peninsula in the Baltic Sea . It is closely related to the Frisian languages , but its vocabulary has been significantly influenced by other Germanic languages particularly Norse (a North Germanic language ), as well as by Latin and Romance languages , particularly French . English has developed over the course of more than 1,400 years. The earliest forms of English, a set of Anglo-Frisian dialects brought to Great Britain by Anglo-Saxon settlers in the 5th century, are called Old English . Middle English began in the late 11th century with the Norman conquest of England , and was a period in which the language was influenced by French. Early Modern English began in the late 15th century with the introduction of the printing press to London and the King James Bible , and the start of the Great Vowel Shift . Through the worldwide influence of the British Empire , modern English spread around the world from the 17th to mid-20th centuries
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English (other)
ENGLISH usually refers to: * English people * English language ENGLISH may also refer to: CONTENTS * 1 Peoples, culture, and language * 2 Other places * 3 Other uses * 4 See also PEOPLES, CULTURE, AND LANGUAGE* English, an adjective for something of, from, or related to England * English national identity , an identity and common culture * English language in England
England
, a variant of the
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English-speaking World
Approximately 330 to 360 million people speak English as their first language . More than half of these (231 million) live in the United States , followed by some 55 million in England , the first place where Modern English was spoken. English is the third largest language by number of native speakers , after Mandarin and Spanish . Estimates that include second language speakers vary greatly, from 470 million to more than 1 billion. David Crystal calculates that non-native speakers as of 2003 outnumbered native speakers by a ratio of 3 to 1. When combining native and non-native speakers, English is the second most widely spoken language worldwide . Besides the major varieties of English , such as American English , British English , Indian English , Canadian English , Australian English , Irish English , New Zealand English and their sub-varieties, countries such as South Africa , the Philippines , Jamaica and Nigeria also have millions of native speakers of dialect continua ranging from English-based creole languages to Standard English
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Second Language
A person's SECOND LANGUAGE or L2, is a language that is not the native language of the speaker, but that is used in the locale of that person. In contrast, a foreign language is a language that is learned in an area where that language is not generally spoken. Some languages, often called auxiliary languages , are used primarily as second languages or lingua francas . More informally, a second language can be said to be any language learned in addition to one's native language, especially in the context of second language acquisition , (that is, learning a new foreign language). A person's first language is not necessarily their dominant language, the one they use most or are most comfortable with. For example, the Canadian census defines _first language_ for its purposes as "the first language learned in childhood and still spoken", recognizing that for some, the earliest language may be lost, a process known as language attrition . This can happen when young children move, with or without their family (because of immigration or international adoption ), to a new language environment
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Foreign Language
A FOREIGN LANGUAGE is a language indigenous to another country. It is also a language not spoken in the native country of the person referred to, i.e., an English speaker living in Spain
Spain
can say that Spanish is a foreign language to him or her. These two characterisations do not exhaust the possible definitions, however, and the label is occasionally applied in ways that are variously misleading or factually inaccurate. Some children learn more than one language from birth or from a very young age: they are bilingual or multilingual . These children can be said to have two, three or more mother tongues: neither language is foreign to that child, even if one language is a foreign language for the vast majority of people in the child's birth country. For example, a child learning English from his English father and Irish at school in Ireland
Ireland
can speak both English and Irish, but neither is a foreign language to him. This is common in countries such as India
India
, South Africa , or Canada
Canada
due to these countries having multiple official languages. In general, it is believed that children have advantage to learning a foreign language over adults. However, there are studies which have shown adult students are better at foreign language learning than child students
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Language Family
A LANGUAGE FAMILY is a group of languages related through descent from a common _ancestral language_ or _parental language_, called the proto-language of that family. The term "family" reflects the tree model of language origination in historical linguistics , which makes use of a metaphor comparing languages to people in a biological family tree , or in a subsequent modification, to species in a phylogenetic tree of evolutionary taxonomy . Linguists therefore describe the _daughter languages_ within a language family as being _genetically related_. Estimates of the number of living languages vary from 5,000 to 8,000, depending on the precision of one's definition of "language", and in particular on how one classifies dialects . The 2013 edition of Ethnologue catalogs just over 7,000 living human languages. A "living language" is simply one that is used as the primary form of communication of a group of people. There are also many dead and extinct languages, as well as some that are still insufficiently studied to be classified, or are even unknown outside their respective speech communities. Membership of languages in a language family is established by comparative linguistics . Sister languages are said to have a "genetic" or "genealogical" relationship. The latter term is older
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Indo-European Languages
_Pontic Steppe_ * Domestication of the horse * Kurgan * Kurgan culture * Steppe cultures * Bug-Dniester * Sredny Stog * Dnieper-Donets * Samara * Khvalynsk * Yamna * Mikhaylovka culture _Caucasus_ * Maykop East-Asia * Afanasevo _Eastern Europe_ * Usatovo * Cernavodă * Cucuteni _Northern Europe_* Corded ware * Baden * Middle Dnieper ------------------------- Bronze Age _Pontic Steppe_ * Chariot * Yamna * Catacomb * Multi-cordoned ware * Poltavka * Srubna _Northern/Eastern Steppe_ *
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Germanic Languages
_Pontic Steppe_ * Domestication of the horse * Kurgan * Kurgan culture * Steppe cultures * Bug-Dniester * Sredny Stog * Dnieper-Donets * Samara * Khvalynsk * Yamna * Mikhaylovka culture _Caucasus_ * Maykop East-Asia * Afanasevo _Eastern Europe_ * Usatovo * Cernavodă * Cucuteni _Northern Europe_* Corded ware * Baden * Middle Dnieper ------------------------- Bronze Age _Pontic Steppe_ * Chariot * Yamna * Catacomb * Multi-cordoned ware * Poltavka * Srubna _Northern/Eastern Steppe_ *
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West Germanic Languages
The WEST GERMANIC LANGUAGES constitute the largest of the three branches of the Germanic family of languages (the others being the North Germanic and the extinct East Germanic languages). The three most prevalent West Germanic languages are English , German , and Dutch . The family also includes other High and Low German languages and dialects including Luxembourgish
Luxembourgish
and Yiddish , in addition to other Franconian and Ingvaeonic languages such as the Frisian languages , Scots and Afrikaans (which are closely related to but separate from English and Dutch, respectively). Additionally, several creoles , patois , and pidgins are based on Dutch and English as they were languages of colonial empires. CONTENTS* 1 History * 1.1 Origins * 1.2 Existence of a West Germanic proto-language * 1.3 The reconstruction of Proto-West-Germanic * 1.4 Dating Early West Germanic * 1.5 Middle Ages * 2 Family tree * 3 Comparison of phonological and morphological features * 4 Phonology * 5 West Germanic vocabulary * 6 Notes * 7 References * 8 Sources * 9 External links HISTORY The Germanic languages in Europe: NORTH GERMANIC LANGUAGES Icelandic Faroese Norwegian Swedish Danish WEST GERMANIC LANGUAGES Scots English Frisian Dutch Low German German Dots indicate areas where multilingualism is common
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Anglo-Frisian Languages
ANGLIC English Scots FRISIAN West Frisian North Frisian Saterland Frisian Hatched areas indicate where multilingualism is common. The ANGLO-FRISIAN LANGUAGES is the group of West Germanic languages that includes Anglic and Frisian . The Anglo- Frisian languages
Frisian languages
are distinguished from other West Germanic languages
Germanic languages
by several sound changes : the Ingvaeonic nasal spirant law , Anglo-Frisian brightening , and palatalization of /k/: * English _cheese_ and West Frisian _tsiis_, but Dutch _kaas_, Low German _Kees_, and German _Käse_ * English _church_ and West Frisian _tsjerke_, but Dutch _kerk_, Low German _Kerk_, _Kark_, and German _Kirche_The early Anglo-Frisian and Old Saxon
Old Saxon
speech communities lived close enough together to form a linguistic crossroads which is why they share some of the traits otherwise only typical of Anglo-Frisian languages. However, despite their common origins, English and Frisian have become very divergent, largely due to the heavy Old Norse and Norman French influences on Modern English and similarly heavy Dutch and Low German influences on Modern Frisian
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Anglic Languages
ANGLIC English Scots FRISIAN West Frisian North Frisian Saterland Frisian Hatched areas indicate where multilingualism is common. The ANGLO-FRISIAN LANGUAGES is the group of West Germanic languages that includes Anglic and Frisian . The Anglo- Frisian languages
Frisian languages
are distinguished from other West Germanic languages
Germanic languages
by several sound changes : the Ingvaeonic nasal spirant law , Anglo-Frisian brightening , and palatalization of /k/: * English cheese and West Frisian tsiis, but Dutch kaas, Low German Kees, and German Käse * English church and West Frisian tsjerke, but Dutch kerk, Low German Kerk, Kark, and German KircheThe early Anglo-Frisian and Old Saxon
Old Saxon
speech communities lived close enough together to form a linguistic crossroads which is why they share some of the traits otherwise only typical of Anglo-Frisian languages. However, despite their common origins, English and Frisian have become very divergent, largely due to the heavy Old Norse
Old Norse
and Norman French
Norman French
influences on Modern English and similarly heavy Dutch and Low German
Low German
influences on Modern Frisian
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Old English
OLD ENGLISH (_Ænglisc, Anglisc, Englisc_) or ANGLO-SAXON is the earliest historical form of the English language , spoken in England and southern and eastern Scotland
Scotland
in the early Middle Ages
Middle Ages
. It was brought to Great Britain
Great Britain
by Anglo-Saxon settlers probably in the mid 5th century, and the first Old English
Old English
literary works date from the mid-7th century. After the Norman Conquest of 1066, English was replaced, for a time, as the language of the upper classes by Anglo-Norman , a relative of French . This is regarded as marking the end of the Old English
Old English
era, as during this period the English language was heavily influenced by Anglo-Norman, developing into a phase known now as Middle English . Old English
Old English
developed from a set of Anglo-Frisian or North Sea Germanic dialects originally spoken by Germanic tribes traditionally known as the Angles
Angles
, Saxons , and Jutes
Jutes
. As the Anglo- Saxons became dominant in England, their language replaced the languages of Roman Britain : Common Brittonic , a Celtic language , and Latin
Latin
, brought to Britain by Roman invasion
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Middle English
MIDDLE ENGLISH (ME) is collectively the varieties of the English language spoken after the Norman Conquest (1066) until the late 15th century; scholarly opinion varies but the Oxford English Dictionary specifies the period of 1150 to 1500. This stage of the development of the English language roughly followed the High to the Late Middle Ages . Middle English developed out of Late Old English , seeing many dramatic changes in its grammar, pronunciation and orthography . Writing customs during Middle English times varied widely, but by the end of the period, about 1470, aided by the invention of the printing press , a standard based on the London dialect (Chancery Standard) had become established. This largely forms the basis for Modern English spelling, although pronunciation has changed considerably since that time. Middle English was succeeded in England by the era of Early Modern English , which lasted until about 1650. Also, by that time the Scots language was developing from a variant of the Northumbrian dialect (prevalent in northern England and spoken in southeast Scotland ). During the Middle English period many Old English grammatical features were simplified or disappeared
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Early Modern English
EARLY MODERN ENGLISH, EARLY NEW ENGLISH (sometimes abbreviated to EMODE, EMNE or EME) is the stage of the English language
English language
used from the beginning of the Tudor period
Tudor period
until the English Interregnum and Restoration , or from the transition from Middle English
Middle English
in the late 15th century to the transition to Modern English during the mid- to late 17th century. Prior to and following the accession of James I to the English throne in 1603, the emerging English standard began to influence the spoken and written Middle Scots of Scotland
Scotland
. The grammatical and orthographical conventions of the literary English language
English language
of the late 16th to 17th centuries have been very influential on Modern Standard English , notably via the language of the King James Bible
King James Bible
and William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
, so that modern readers of English are generally able to understand texts written in the late phase of the Early Modern English period
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Writing System
A WRITING SYSTEM is any conventional method of visually representing verbal communication . While both writing and speech are useful in conveying messages , writing differs in also being a reliable form of information storage and transfer . The processes of encoding and decoding writing systems involve shared understanding between writers and readers of the meaning behind the sets of characters that make up a script. Writing
Writing
is usually recorded onto a durable medium , such as paper or electronic storage , although non-durable methods may also be used, such as writing on a computer display , in sand, or by skywriting . The general attributes of writing systems can be placed into broad categories such as alphabets , syllabaries , or logographies . Any particular system can have attributes of more than one category. In the alphabetic category, there is a standard set of letters (basic written symbols or graphemes ) of consonants and vowels that encode based on the general principle that the letters (or letter pair/groups) represent speech sounds . In a syllabary, each symbol correlates to a syllable or mora . In a logography, each character represents a word, morpheme , or other semantic units. Other categories include abjads , which differ from alphabets in that vowels are not indicated, and abugidas or alphasyllabaries, with each character representing a consonant–vowel pairing
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