Standard English

NICE-LADY

Member
ARABIC
Hello Everybody! I need SOME help!
I am looking for some information regarding the beginning of writing the English vernaculars; i.e. how did it start to be written (early written usages of English). Besides I have the following questions:
- How did the standard English develop ( I suppose after the 16th century?!)
-How did the printing press affect the turning of English from a collection of dialects into a languge.
Any help would be appreciated. Thanks very much!
 
  • DAH

    Senior Member
    USA/California--English
    NICE-LADY said:
    Hello Everybody! I need SOME help!
    I am looking for some information regarding the beginning of writing the English vernaculars; i.e. how did it start to be written (early written usages of English). Besides I have the following questions:
    - How did the standard English develop ( I suppose after the 16th century?!)
    -How did the printing press affect the turning of English from a collection of dialects into a languge.
    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks very much!

    Do some Google searches: Chaucer (for early written English) and Gutenberg press(for printing press)
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    There is a great deal written about the history of English - and google will help.

    Much of what is considered "Standard" or prescriptive grammar dates from deliberate efforts to lay down rules in the 18th century, look for names like Swift, Murray and Lowth.

    Lowth's written grammar was very influential and he is repsonsible for many rather pointless rules which still haunt us.

    I often get my students to look for examples of "rules" which Shakespeare "broke", since the rules were written AFTER the plays. This serves to show that there always has been a phoney element to the rules. When they were written they did not reflect the way language was actually used at the time, but an intellectualised "ideal".

    The Caxton's eggs story is funny if you can locate it ... about the time when printing was starting and reflecting on how diverse the dialects of English used to be.
    here - http://www.bl.uk/treasures/caxton/english.html
    I foudn it for you - this website, part of the British Library, is a brilliant source of old texts and scholarship
     
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