Class 1,Question 12

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Class 1,Question 12

Post  chloef on Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:00 am

What writing systems, if any were used during this time period? For what languages? What role, if any,did written language play.

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Re: Class 1,Question 12

Post  chloef on Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:04 pm

Runic script in which the earliest English was written. This is known as the “futhorc” after the first few letters of its alphabet. The letters are based on simple lines that can be cut easily with a blade. The origins of the runic writing system are obscure-it appears to be modelled loosely on the Latin or Greek alphabet, but exactly where and when it was devised is unclear. It is known, however, that runes were used in various Germanic languages from the third century AD, and that they were brought to England by people from mainland Europe.

Latin continued to be used for many centuries as the main language of writing for religious texts, legal documents and science. This reflected the importance of church for whom Latin was the lingua franca and official language. Runic inscriptions in Old English often appeared alongside Latin inscriptions.

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Re: Class 1,Question 12

Post  chloef on Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:06 pm

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Last edited by chloef on Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:20 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Class 1,Question 12

Post  chloef on Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:17 pm

Even though the Celts have been present in the British Isles since the
Neolithic period, there are almost no traces of Celtic languages in English
and little retention of Celtic institutions. In comparison, the influence of
Latin languages and Roman customs on the English language and English
culture is staggering. Why do you think the English would borrow so
massively from the Romans and their descendants while refusing almost
everything Celtic? Before answering this question, you might like to think
about who you try to emulate and why? It's a long story p. 25

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Re: Class 1,Question 12

Post  chloef on Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:18 pm

Peoples from the North Germanic grouping, who moved into the areas we
now know as Denmark, Sweden, and Norway (and subsequently further
aWeld, to Iceland and other places), left extensive texts dating from c 1100
ad onwards. They also left a considerable number of much earlier texts
(relatively short) carved in ‘runes’ on metal, wooden, bone, and other objects.
The runic ‘alphabet’ is generally called the ‘futhark’, after the values of the
Wrst six characters of the sequence; this is illustrated in Figure 1.3. It varies in
some particulars from one place or time to another and is of disputed
origin. The earliest of these runic texts are reckoned no later than the second
century ad, and frequently consist of just a name or one or two words. In
many cases the identity of the words or the meaning of the texts cannot be
conWdently made out. In such circumstances it is not surprising that there is
uncertainty surrounding the nature of the language in which they are written. Some scholars take it to be an intermediate ‘Common Scandinavian’ stage between Proto-Germanic and the later separate Scandinavian languages, others that it is a ‘North West Germanic’ stage that subsequently gave rise not only to the Scandinavian but also to the West Germanic languages
(including English). The Oxford History of English p.22

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