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The Story of English: How an Obscure Dialect Became the World's Most-Spoken Language Format Kindle
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In fact, the book starts by looking at Celtic languages that were spoken in what is now England prior to the invasions by Angles, Saxons and Jutes, noting that the Romans had their own language that never replaced those Celtic languages, but that the Germanic tribes brought their languages with them and almost made the Celtic languages extinct.
As the centuries progressed, first the Vikings. and then the Normans came, but the Germanic languages that evolved into Anglo-Saxon continued to evolve, absorbing Viking words and Norman French words along the way. Further developments in technology, imperialism, industry and technology caused further changes. There were times when the English language might have become extinct, but it proved to be remarkably resilient before emerging eventually as one of the dominant world languages.
Along the way, the role of royalty, the Church, various editions of the bible, some writers (especially Chaucer and Shakespeare) and other influences are all discussed. For about a thousand years, the English language was largely limited to England, but its expansion globally in the last few hundred years has been extraordinary. While the author discusses that expansion, including the development of American English and other variants, there is no mention of how or when English spread to England's nearest neighbors, Scotland and Wales. (It is the dominant language in both countries now, though the Welsh language almost became extinct in the 20th century before staging a major revival.)
Yes, there is a lot more to the story of the English language than this book tells us, but it provides a good introduction. You may find that this is as much as you want to know, or it may spark your interest in finding out more.
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