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The Story of English Chapter Summary & Analysis - Chapter 2, The Mother Tongue Summary

Robert McCrum
This Study Guide consists of approximately 37 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Story of English.
This section contains 1,007 words
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Chapter 2, The Mother Tongue Summary and Analysis

English was made through three invasions and a cultural revolution. Germanic tribes took it to Britain, followed soon after by the Angles, Saxons and Jutes. Latin and Greek influenced it when St. Augustine and others brought Christianity to England. The Danes added their own elements and then it was deeply transformed by the French. English was always a hybrid forged between war and peace. Only after a thousand years, however, did English become recognizable to the modern ear. It was not clear until the eighteenth century, however, how closely it was connected to European languages.

Linguists know that languages spoken by around one-third of humanity came from a common Indo-European source that consisted of tribes who had a half-settled existence and that no longer exist. It is unclear precisely where they lived. The horse and the wheel spread the...

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This section contains 1,007 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Story of English Study Guide
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The Story of English from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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