Full Text

15. Late Old English (899–1066)

Mechthild Gretsch


Subject History, Literature

Period 1 - 999 CE » 500 - 999 CE
1000 - 1999 » 1000-1099

Key-Topics language

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405129923.2008.00024.x


Extract

The outer limits of the period we are concerned with in this chapter are determined by two historical events: the death of King Alfred the Great and the Norman Conquest. It is not unusual to define periods in the history of a language by historical events, but it is less often the case that linguistic history, historical events, and the intellectual climate in which they unfolded are considered in their interactions. It is an approach which will be adopted here. The history of a language cannot be adequately written by describing exclusively its sound shifts, the development of its morphological and syntactical subsystems, and the changes which occurred in its lexicon – important as these aspects no doubt are when reviewing the history of English or of any other language. But we will have to bear in mind that language in its spoken and written form at a given time plays a crucial part in the culture of its speakers at that time, that feelings of group identity or national identity were often forged in a decisive way by the bond of a common language, and that, especially in the early periods, linguistic phenomena may relate to political situations, or to a scholarly and/or political interest taken in the state of a language, to a degree that these phenomena cannot be sufficiently understood in terms of purely linguistic criteria. We also have to bear in mind that English was not ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:

 

     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.


[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top