Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Middle English

Middle English refers to the dialects of the English language spoken in parts of the British Isles after the Norman Conquest until the late 15th century. Middle English developed out of Late Old English seeing many dramatic changes in its grammar, pronunciation and writing customs.

The Middle English period ended about 1470, when a London-based dialect became the main standard (Chancery Standard), aided by the invention of the printing press. Unlike Old English, which adopted similar writing customs, written Middle English displays a wide variety of scribal forms. The language of England, as used after 1470 and up to 1650, is known as Early Modern English.

During the Middle English period many Old English grammatical features were simplified or disappeared. This includes the reduction (and eventual elimination) of some grammatical cases, the simplification of noun and adjective inflection, and the simplification of verb conjugations. Middle English also saw a mass adoption of Norman-French vocabulary, especially words related to politics, law, and art sand religion. Much of this adoption was due to the emulation of the French-speaking Normans, who occupied England at the time. Everyday English vocabulary remained mostly Germanic. Pronunciation changed dramatically during the middle period, especially vowel sounds and diphthongs, with the beginning of the great vowel shift.

Little survives of early Middle English literature, most likely due to the occupation of French speaking Normans and the prestige that came with writing in French rather than English. During the 14th century a new style of literature emerged with the works of notable poets such as Chaucer and John Wycliffe. Poets wrote both in the vernacular and courtly English. Chaucer's Canterbury Tales remains the most studied and read work of the period.
03rd year students, who learn English as a subject for their BA Degree
Tharindra, Keshani, Pabasara, Saranga, Sandamali, Chathurika, Gaya,Hansika, Dhanuji 
Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities
Rajarata University of Sri Lanka
Lecturer-D.N. Aloysius


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