Who invented the English language, and what were we speaking before it was invented?
We were not speaking anything for I don't believe any of us is older than 130 years old. I think that was world record for an oldest person and she did not speak any English. When WE came into this world, English was already in place. Language is a living organism, it changes with time. Language is a science and very complicated at that.
Languages do not get invented. It's not a wheel to be invented or electricity to be discovered.
To answer this question - I need to write a book. But it does not really matter - I read about linguistics and the theory goes - all world languages have the same ONE root.
Just listen to a child, that is how it all started: "mmmm", "maaa", "baaa", mab, bam, bom, mob, people needed labels to name things and communicate, so they used their voices and memory. I can only imagine how long it took.
You might just scratch the surface and trace the major stages of the development of English language or go really deep, it depends how much you are REALLY interested.
It is amazing how much Latin and French is still present in English.
I find linguistics to be absolutely and totally fascinating.
Speaking and writing well is not easily achieved.
Before Modern English came Old English and Middle English. English evolved out of the German language. Some of the "quirky" spellings of English words come from German words, like "knife", which evolved into a word with a silent "k". (In German and Old English, the k would have been pronounced as a hard "k"). Linguists can explain the origins of a language with more precision, but that is the basic explanation - German is the root language for Modern English.
Pretty much all of the European languages are offspring of Latin. In the ancient times, Latin was considered "the language of God or the gods." Those crazy Romans spread it out.
In response to the first post, language in fact CAN be invented. Sci Fi and Fantasy authors do it all the time. I knew people that knew words from Elven and Klingon by heart. I agree that language is an organism that lives, but it has to be BORN first.
No single person invents a language, it is spoken by thousands, sometimes millions of people. In primitive times people learned the sounds their parents customarily associated with words and ideas, they didn't give much thought to it, and wouldn't really notice the small changes each generation gave to speech. People would wander around and be separated from each other, divided by uncrossable rivers or mountain chains, and would start to speak differently.
Sometimes people would come together, in peace or in war, and new words would be exchanged.
The surviving language closest to English, I heard, was Frisian, spoken around the borderlands between Germany and Denmark. From that area, 1,500 years ago, the Angles and Saxon tribes invaded England and displaced the Celts, who themselves were somewhat Romanized and adopted some Latin words.
There were many more languages in the Medieval times when travel was difficult and people separated by 50 miles could end up speaking differently. Shifts in pronunciation occurred, and shifts in the uses we put to words.
For example, Nicole Breit mentioned that "knife" is now pronounced with a silent k but in the old Anglo-Saxon language it WAS pronounced. The word even got borrowed into French. The USUAL word for knife in French is "couteau" and that's the basis of the English word "to cut" -- but in French a pen-knife or pocket-knife is a "canif" (pronounced kaa-nif,) which was a borrowing from the way the Germanic tribes pronounced their word for "knife" at the time, and preserves the original K sound, unlike what happened in English!
Of course, even in English, people from different parts of the world pronounce "knife" differently and have different ideas of what a knife should be:
No one really "invented" English, it evolved from other languages - mostly German and Latin although a few other basic language types were mixed in. As to what we were speaking before English - that depends on who we are decedents of.
No one 'invented' the English language. Celtic ( pronounced kel-tik) was the language of the people of England before the arrival of the Romans in 43 AD.
The common people continued to speak Celtic while the Romans and the English nobility spoke Latin.
In the four hundreds, the Romans left England. The land was taken over by Vikings from Denmark. They spoke a Germanic language. This soon mixed with the Latin.
In 1066 England was conquered by French speaking people from Normandy. Now French started to become mixed with the other languages.
Because French has its beginning in Latin ( lingua latina ) there was another dose of Latin injected into the Language.
So, you see, English was not invented at one time, but evolved over many years. The one problem that this caused was pronouncion. People took the easiest pronouncion no matter the spelling. So now we have many words that seem to have no connection to their pronouncion.
An example, the word knife, in German ( a phonetic language ) would be spelled NEIF . The original pronouncion was Kah-nee-feh.
It has been postulated that most European languages, including English, stem from an early Proto-Indo-European language.
The PIE language is thought to be the forerunner to Ancient Greek and Latin.
Today, the PIE language also forms the root of the many modern Indian dialects.
Nobody knows exactly what constituted PIE, it can only be guessed at by tracing the similarities between modern languages and trying to uncover their common root.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c … anTree.svg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Indo … n_language
The Aliens that put humans on Earth invented it.
It's that simple.
You can look this up in any Caveman library. Well as long as you can read Caveman.
PS: I believe the Wheel was invented by a guy named THOR. He was also credited with inventing the first Club and Satellite Television.
The English language is the bastard child of German, (an incredibly old relative of it at least), French, and languages already present in the British Isles by the time the Normans invaded in the mid-1000's A.D. With how many times Britain was conquered though theres bound to be a myriad of influences on modern day english. Thank the vikings too they also put their two cents in.
Languages are NEVER invented, at least human languages actually used aren't. ALL languages are a product of evolution.
Languages evolve over time, with inflection and different dialects. English is a melting pot sort of language because of all the nationalities that have lent to it. The simple answer I suppose would be "We did". I would have to say that Latin would be the root of it with a thousand different helpers all throughout the ages...W
obviously, we were speaking french with a German accent.
Much of the English language came from Latin which is why I think kids should spend a year or two studying it. It's so helpful in the long run.
English is a combination of every language ever spoken, written or thought of. In fact it is one of the most difficult learn, read, write or speak. Rules are made to be broke and some make no sense. Why?
ie.... read more
Really, who did that? And what were they thinking?
Now so many people have to spend so much time trying to learn how to speak and write it and they are still unsuccessful after so many years of trying.
If those who invented it were considerate and more close to the general public they could've invented something easier for people to learn. They could create a much simpler system for all to use to communicate.
At least we have computers now to deal with this and all these free and friendly spellcheckers. (*=*)
Language is a social evolution of the sign system to communicate with others. Language is in the mind of man when he is born. It assumes signs in the shape of words and languages like English
Many years ago many countries had ruled over Britain. Many different countries had ruled over Britain like Germany, Greece etc. They came to Britain and gave their words to Britain. Lastly Angla people came to Britain their language was Engla language People of Britain accepted their language with many other language's words and day by day Engla language became English. So actually english is not a pure language it is a mixture of many other languages.
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