International English

related topics
{language, word, form}
{theory, work, human}
{country, population, people}
{company, market, business}
{government, party, election}
{land, century, early}
{school, student, university}
{work, book, publish}
{black, white, people}

International English is the concept of the English language as a global means of communication in numerous dialects, and also the movement towards an international standard for the language. It is also referred to as Global English,[1] World English, Common English, Continental English or General English. Sometimes these terms refer simply to the array of varieties of English spoken throughout the world.

Sometimes "international English" and the related terms above refer to a desired standardisation, i.e. Standard English; however, there is no consensus on the path to this goal.

Contents

Historical context

The modern concept of International English does not exist in isolation, but is the product of centuries of development of the English language.

The English language evolved from a set of West Germanic dialects spoken by the Angles and Saxons, who arrived from the Continent in the 5th Century. Those dialects came to be known as Englisc (literally "Anglish"), the language today referred to as Anglo-Saxon or Old English (the language of the poem Beowulf). English is thus more closely related to West Frisian than to any other modern language, although less than a quarter of the vocabulary of Modern English is shared with West Frisian or other West Germanic languages because of extensive borrowings from Norse, Norman, Latin, and other languages. It was during the Viking invasions of the Anglo-Saxon period that Old English was influenced by contact with Norse, a group of North Germanic dialects spoken by the Vikings, who came to control a large region in the North of England known as the Danelaw. Vocabulary items entering English from Norse (including the pronouns she, they, and them) are thus attributable to the on-again-off-again Viking occupation of Northern England during the centuries prior to the Norman Conquest (see, e.g., Canute the Great). Soon after the Norman Conquest of 1066, the Englisc language ceased being a literary language (see, e.g., Ormulum) and was replaced by Anglo-Norman as the written language of England. During the Norman Period, English absorbed a significant component of French vocabulary (approximately one-third of the vocabulary of Modern English) With this new vocabulary, additional vocabulary borrowed from Latin (with Greek, another approximately one-third of Modern English vocabulary, though some borrowings from Latin and Greek date from later periods), a simplified grammar, and use of the orthographic conventions of French instead of Old English orthography, the language became Middle English (the language of Chaucer). The "difficulty" of English as a written language thus began in the High Middle Ages, when French orthographic conventions were used to spell a language whose original, more suitable orthography had been forgotten after centuries of nonuse. During the late medieval period, King Henry V of England (lived 1387-1422) ordered the use of the English of his day in proceedings before him and before the government bureaucracies. That led to the development of Chancery English, a standardised form used in the government bureaucracy. (The use of so-called Law French in English courts continued through the Renaissance, however.)

Full article ▸

related documents
Creole language
Phonics
Hindustani language
Daoism-Taoism romanization issue
Tetum
Dari (Eastern Persian)
Malayalam language
Grammatical conjugation
Khmer language
Logogram
Hiberno-English
Genitive case
Sindarin
Attic Greek
Latin alphabet
Sign language
Germanic peoples
Hyphen
Phoneme
Egyptian hieroglyphs
Dative case
Apostrophe
Written Chinese
Loanword
Middle English
Slovak language
Breton language
NATO phonetic alphabet
Goidelic languages
Catalan language