Evolution of Languages

AP English Language Ms. Houk Period 3 October 14th, 2017


Celtic peoples inhabit modern day Spain, France, Germany and England; Celtic becomes the most widely spoken European language.

1000 BC

Germanic people migragrate from Scandinavia spreading throughout Central Europe and coming into contact with the Roman empire.

200 BC - 200 AD

Romans begin raiding the British Isles.

55 BC

Rome establishes a colony in modern day Britain; some Celtics Romanize while others continue to participate in rebellions.

43 AD

Following the collapse of the Roman empire, Romans pull out of colonies and are defeated by the Goths. Meanwhile, Germanic tribes migrate in large units taking over the former Roman colonies and adopt

401 AD - 450 AD

Germanic peoples have settled most of Britain and Proto-Germanic is beginning to take form.

410 AD - 600 AD

The first Germanic tribes arrive in England.

410 AD

Three large kingdoms develop and politically unify the European continent.

600 AD - 800 AD

Roman missionary introduces Christianity to the Anglo-Saxons meanwhile Irish missionaries introduce the Celtic form of Christianity to mainland Britain.

600 AD

Sudden viking attacks destroy important monastery.

793 AD

The king of the Franks and Wessex aspire to unite Britain under one crown.

800 AD

The viking attacks worsen and groups encamp themselves on English territory, leaving Wessex the last Anglo-Saxon kingdom in Britain.

840 AD - 889 AD

The vikings attack Wessex, and while English plays a strong defense, they are certainly defeated and the king is killed.

871 AD

Danish kings attack Wessex and leave the newly crowned British king looking silly.

876 AD

Danish and English peoples mix and their languagess become deeply intertwined.

901 AD - 1000 AD

England crushes uprisings of Anglo-Saxons and decimates populations in Mercia and Northumberland. The king of England re-distributes the wealth of the defeated among his followers. English becomes kno

1066 AD - 1075 AD

Norman French becomes known as the language of the more socially and economically elite classes as well as that of official conduct, church business, and published literature. English/Norman French bi

1066 AD

English kings lose to French kings, thus England is now the home of the Norman English.

1204 AD

The first English books appears since the conquest.

1205 AD

The first royal proclamation issued in English since the conquest.

1258 AD

French is used as a foreign language in schools and is no longer the primary medium of instruction.

1300 AD

English nationalism among noblemen rises and education in English becomes more popular.

1300 AD

Start of the Hundred Years’ War between England and France.

1337 AD

English becomes the official language of law courts and becomes more popular among authors.

1362 AD

Chaucer pens the Canterbury tales in Middle English and demonstrates remarkable French influence. For the first time, the London dialect becomes known as the “Standard English” making other English di

1380 AD

William Caxton brings a painting press to England from Germany and publishes the first book to be printed in England, thus beginning the process of standardization of spelling.

1474 AD

The Modern English language develops as the Great Vowel Shift takes place and is heavily influenced by Latin and Greek.

1500 - 1650 AD

The Archbishop of Canterbury publishes the Book of Common Prayer, the first ranslation of the church’s liturgy into English.

1552 AD

During the era of British imperialism, English was heavily influenced by languages from around the world.

1601 - 1801 AD

The King James Bible is published.

1611 AD

William Shakespeare dies and is recognized as a genius of the English language for his weavings of native and borrowed words to create unique and pleasant combinations.

1616 AD

During the classical period of English literature, trends from Greek and Latin wordage were incorporated alongside elaborate syntax structures and vocabulary.

1701 AD - 1800 AD

Linguistic scholars become more widely recognized and accepted. Discoveries about the Indo-European language family are made.

1801 AD - 1900 AD

The Scientific and Industrial Revolutions take place and motivate the emergence of technical vocabularies. English has gone from an island tongue to a world language due to the ambitious British effor

1801 AD - 2000 AD

A standard variety of American English develops based on the dialect of the Mid-Atlantic states. English takes a foothold as a common language in Australia, South Africa, India, and other British colo

1801 AD - 1900 AD

It becomes philosophically recognized that all languages are fundamentally the same and equally respectable in nature.

1850 AD - 1900 AD

Many world languages begin to die out as a product of globalization in favor of more widely spoken ones.

1901 AD - 2000 AD