The purpose of this essay is to provide an overview of the history of English, from its birth in the 5th century to the present day and how thedictionary of Samuel Johnson had a remarkable influence in this Language and the globalization of English.
“Britain’s’ colonial expansion established the pre-conditions for the global use of English,taking the language from its island birthplace to places around the world. The English language has grown in contact with many others, making it a hybrid language which can rapidly evolve to meet newcultural communicative needs.”
Pre-English period. (A.D.-450) At the time of Roman’s invasion, the indigenous languages of Britain was Celtic and its two branches Gaelic andWelsh. The Romans made Latin as the official Language, England became a bilingual Celtic-Latin nation. Latin was the language of administration, used by a social elite but not spoken by the majority ofthe population, it served only as a lingua franca among the elites of many countries and in the 17th and 18th century, Latin declined.
Early Old English. (450-850) The English language developedafter the Anglo-Saxon invasion when the Romans left Britain and new settlers brought their Germanic dialects. By this time, Latin words had already been introduced and literary texts appeared.
Later OldEnglish. (850-1100) This was a time of invasion from the Vikings, and the language was influenced by Scandinavian dialects.
Middle English. (1100-1450) The Norman Conquest affected language; Frenchwas now the official language, which affected vocabulary and spelling. The grammar was entirely transformed. People spoke French, Latin and English. It was a time of splendor in literature.
EarlyModern English. (1450-1750) This is the renaissance era, Elizabeth’s era and Shakespeare’s era. Europe took its modern form; Britain grew commercially and acquired overseas colonies. English was taken...