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 Main Influences on Old English

 

 

Scandinavian Influence

 

 

A 19th century map of England in 878 AD: the area under the control of Scandinavian settlers is coloured blue

  • Old Norse - North Germanic language, spoken by the Vikings who settled mainly in the north-east and the east coast down to London (Danelaw)

 
  • Old Norse was related to Old English: both derived from the same ancestral Proto-Germanic language

 
  • It spread during the Viking invasions of the ninth and tenth centuries

 
  • Its influence was reflected in place names, items of basic vocabulary, and words concerned with particular administrative aspects of the Danelaw

 
  • The everyday flavour of the Scandinavian loans can be seen in these examples, all of which survived into modern Standard English: anger, awkward, bond, cake, crooked, dirt, dregs, egg, fog, freckle, get, kid, leg, lurk, meek, muggy, neck, seem, sister, skill, skirt, smile, Thursday, window, take, get

 
  • Old Norse is credited with the introduction of a new set of third-person plural pronouns, they, them, and their. These replaced the earlier Old English inflected forms: hi or hie (in the nominative and accusative cases, 'they / them'), hira or heora (in the genitive case, 'their, of them'), and him or heom (in the dative case, 'to them, for them')

 
  • A mixture of Old Norse and Old English helped accelerate the decline of case endings in Old English

 

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MAIN INFLUENCES ON OLD ENGLISH

  Multiple Influences on Old English

  Latin Influence

  Latin Words from Continental Period

  Latin Words from c. 650 - c. 1000

  Scandinavian Influence

  Scandinavian Place- and Family Names

 

  Celtic Influence

 

OLD ENGLISH

  The Origins of Old English

  Main Influences on Old English

  The Lord's Prayer in Old English

  Beowulf Home

  More

 

 
 
 
 

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