Conclusions

Unfortunately, I predicted the types of sentences I would be able to evaluate during this project. The nature of the word sort, though, did not allow me to determine the types of sentences in this text. Therefore, a second sort based on sentence type is needed to determine the types of sentences (those with compounding and those with embedding) and the percentage of each that the text contains.

 

Unexpectedly over 50% of my sample text consists of words originating in Germanic and Old English. While Latin and French words comprise 26% of my sample text. Almost all of the Germanic and Old English words are grammaticalizations, such as theof, and to in OE and ain, and and in Germanic. Latin, Anglo Norman, and French words (25.6% of all words) carry the meanings of the text in words such as create and prescribe (Latin), use and author (Anglo Norman), and grammarcenturylanguageeducation, and printing (French).

Therefore, as van Gelderen has noted, the influence of Celtic, Latin, Scandinavian, and French greatly influenced the vocabulary of English as it moved from Old to Middle English (113) and the trends toward an analytic language (rather than the synthetic language of OE) greatly increased throughout eME and into eModE (144), resulting in a language that bases its grammar on Germanic (OE's parent language) and Old English but uses vocabulary from many languages.

Without the grammatical words of Germanic and OE, my text would lose its intended meaning, but without the assimilated vocabulary of the other languages, conveying meaning would not be possible since ModE has lost the complex vocabulary from Germanic and OE. ModE requires both the grammaticalizations of Germanic and OE and the assimilated vocabulary for ModE users to communicate effectively.

van Gelderen, Elly. A History of the English Language. John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2014.

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