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Historical background and linguistic features.

Historical background and linguistic features. - раздел Лингвистика, ВВЕДЕНИЕ В СПЕЦФИЛОЛОГИЮ   When The First People Arrived To Britain 50000 Bc It Was Stil...


When the first people arrived to Britain 50000 BC it was still part of the continent. Later 5000 BC at the end of the ice age Britain became an island separated from the rest of Europe by English Channel. The first distinctive inhabitants of the British Isles were the Iberians who came from the territory of present day Spain around 3000 BC. They were known for their stonework and battle axes. The Beaker Falk who came from Eastern Europe around 2000 b.c. known for their pottery. The Picts came to British isles around 1000 BC. They were considered to be the mixture of the Celts and Iberians and were called so because they were covered all over with paintings and tattoos. Their language is still a mystery for scholars. It can be easily read, but the scholars can not decode it.

The next to come were the Celts. They arrived in 7000BC from the territory of central and Northern Europe. There were two main Celtic tribes that settled in the British Isles: Scotts lived in Ireland and Scotland, Britons settled in south east of England. Celts also had their own ancient alphabet (Ogham).

Romans. In 55 century BC Gulius Caesar attacked Britain. Reason was economic (tin ore, corn, slaves) and political. Soon after his arrival Gulius Caesar left Britain with many slaves and riches.

In 43 century AD emperor Claudius conquered Britain and it became a province of the Roman Empire.

Contributions: paved roads, cities, trading centers, walls, Latin language, literacy.

410 AD. The Roman Empire began to collapse. Roman troops were withdrawn from Britain and sent home to help and preserve the Empire.

5th century the three waves of the Germanic tribes arrived to Britain. Frisians, Saxons and Angles.


Lecture # X

Linguistic features of Germanic languages.

Phonetic features.


1- word stress

2- vowels

3- consonants


All Germanic languages of the past and present have common linguistic features. That are not shared by other groups of languages in the indo-european family.

1. Word stress (accent).

Indo-European – free stress (movable), can appear in any part of a word (root, prefix, suffix), pitch stress (musical)

Proto-Germanic – fixed stress (unmovable), usually placed on root or prefix, dynamic stress (force, breath stress)

2. Vowels.

Vowels underwent different types of changes:

PG group.

1- qualitative change. Affects the quality of a sound. (nox -> nacht : latin “o” -> Germanic “a”)

2- quantitative change. Affects the length of a sound. ([I] -> [I:])

3- dependent change. Change that occurs in certain position or in certain phonetic conditions. (bit - bite)

4- independent change. Affects a certain sound in all positions irrespective of phonetic conditions and serves to distinguish grammatical phenomenon (ablout)

After all these changes the vowel system contained the following sounds:

Short vowels: i,e,a,o,u

Long vowels: i:, e:, a:, o:, u:

There was an exact parallelism of long and short vowels.

3. Consonants.

The consonants in Germanic languages look shifted. And these changes were first formulated by Jacob Grimm in the early 19th century. That’s why these alterations are called “grimm’s law” (first consonant shift).

1. Voiceless stops (глухие смычные), developed into voiceless fricatives (глухие щелевые). P,t,k – f,th,h (pater – father) (tres – three)

2. IE. Voiced stops changed into Germanic voiceless stops. (IE) B,d,g – p,t,k (ger) (болото – pool)

3. IE voiced aspirated stops changed into Germanic voiced non-aspirated stops. (IE bh, dh, gh – b, d, g Ger)

Verner’s law. Carl Verner a Dansih scholar in 19th century explained the consonant correspondences as gradual historical process. p, t, k -> f, θ, h-> v, th/d,g

Septen – seofen - seven

This process usually happens on condition that the consonant were situated between vowels and if preceded by unstressed vowel.

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год... Группа А... ВВЕДЕНИЕ В СПЕЦФИЛОЛОГИЮ Lecture Theoretical aspects of the history of the English language Plan Subject and...

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