The national language, as well as the nation, is a historical category, which arises simultaneously with the formation of a nation. The first and most important difference between the national language and language of nationalities lies in their area of distribution and operation. During the existence of a national language the vernacular language, as a rule, is presented by the oral conversational form. All other functions of communication, especially bookish and written forms of communication are carried out, predominantly, by a different language, which very often belongs to a completely different family – thus, writing a persuasive essay largely depends on the understanding of this difference. In England, during the existence of the ethnic language the functions of bookish and written communication were carried out, due to historical conditions, by the French language in its Anglo-Norman version for the composition of public and private documents and by the Latin language that was used in science and religion. Unlike the ethnic language the national language had both spoken and book-writing forms, i.e. it became a means of not only verbal communication but also of writing, thus penetrating into all spheres of the economic and cultural life of the country. It replaced that alien written language that in the period of existence of the national language served, mainly, for a book-writing communication. The need for a single national language had been arising, precisely speaking, during the formation of the nation, when an intensive exchange between different, sometimes very remote regions of one and the same linguistic territory developed more and more in connection with the economic concentration and the formation of the single internal market.
The history of the English language is traditionally divided by many philologists and linguists into three periods: Old English, Middle English and, as a ground for a somewhat divergent definition, Modern English. Without the shadow of a doubt, this agreement is very conditional because of the fact that the language had already existed among the tribes that inhabited the British Isles long before the conquest of Britain by Caesar or the spread of Christianity in the country. Let us look closer at the said historic periods:
The modern language of the British Isles is by no means static or rigid. The language lives the most active life and neologisms are emerging constantly as well as some words are fading away. However, the most important difference of the English language from many other European languages is that in the UK there is no static linguistic norms at all. Sometimes, the latter causes many troubles when non-British students proceed to writing college application essays. Quite the contrary, different dialects and vernacular forms are being widely welcomed across the country. Not only pronunciation the phonetic level differs, but there are also completely different words for the same concept incorporated into the everyday use. Of course, the British media and members of the government communicate in British English. But American English is considered the most popular and widespread and there is no any divergent definition regarding this fact. Apart from it there are Australian English, Canadian English and many other dialects. On the territory of the United Kingdom alone, one can easily meet a situation in which several dialects are spoken freely by people of the same region. As we can see, the English language has maintained its main tradition of the mixture of many tongues in modern times. The colonial policy of Great Britain, particularly the colonization of Australia and North America, have contributed, undoubtedly, to the popularization of English. After the Second World War, the value of such a country as the United States has increased, which contributed to the popularization of the English language even greatly. In today's world, a predominant part of the Internet community and the people of science and culture generally communicate in English. The exact number of people who speak English in our time is difficult to be named. The results of different studies differ, literally, by tens of percent: one can hear about 900 million and, simultaneously, 1.5 billion of English speaking people on Earth. Well, at least one point has been made absolutely straight so far: English is definitely one of the most important means of communication in the modern world.
The history of the English language organically linked with the country's history and is traditionally divided into three periods. The era of the Old Language in the history of the English language began with the settlement of newly arrived tribes on the British Isles in the fifth century. According to the most recent research, the arrival of Germanic tribes (note this down as a great choice for a thesis theme ), such as Angles, Saxons and Jutes was crowned by the conquest of England by the Normans in the year of 1066. The most important events of this period (and in the history of the English language on the whole) were as follows: 1) the formation of the four Anglo-Saxon kingdoms (supplemented by the formation of four main dialects on territories of these kingdoms, as evidenced by the history of the English language); 2) Christianization of Britain; 3) and, finally, constant clashes with the Scandinavian Vikings. At the beginning of the Middle English period (including the history of the English language) the power in England was in the hands of the conquerors, namely, the Normans; consequently, without any divergent definition the Norman dialect of French became an official language of the new state, while the native population continued to speak English. Thus, there was also such a turn in the history of the English language when Latin was a language of the church and academic life. However, as the assimilation of Norman English by the population went on, it recaptured the lost ground by the end of the fourteenth century. The moment it regained the status of a national language can be true-heartedly considered as a breakthrough in the history of the English language. At this time, the London dialect began to play a special role (apparently, the next era in the history of the English language), which successfully absorbed the peculiarities of various regional dialects. The beginning of the New Language period refers to the Renaissance (the end of the fifteenth – the sixteenth century) when English replaced Latin as the language of scientific literature, and as the religious language as well, while the establishment of the absolute monarchy in England had contributed to a better allocation of the national language from the environment of dialects; furthermore, the introduction of printing became the cornerstone of its quick distribution and dissemination. The history of the English language is, first and foremost, a story of the constant accumulation of words and the case study method can prove this well enough. A significant proportion of the most common today’s vocabulary, which was enriched by many Old English words and components, came from a German origin (for instance, the words like father, winter, cow, etc.), with addition of constructions from Scandinavian dialects (husband, wrong, they and other); of course, it is impossible not to mention a huge number of words of French origin (prince, army, religion, city, government and so on). The loan words originating from Latin (such as wine, pepper, priest, school, important, attention, complete) were added to the treasury of the English language in different historical periods (the most significant insertions and modifications happened on the time of the Renaissance), and also, there were processes of linguistic derivation (for example, the appearance of the suffix -tion). Several other languages, such as Greek (via Latin) and modern European languages (Spanish, Italian, Dutch), as well as other languages coming from the Middle East and India made smaller yet valuable contributions to the English language and the building of the modern English vocabulary.
Famous English orthography is also a monument of some kind in the history of the English language. It also reflects the struggle between dialectal forms and innovations made by Norman scribes and the restoration of borrowed words spelling according to the rules inherent in Latin or Greek. The history of the English language reflects, with all due respect, the history of English spelling. But the most important role in the history of English spelling played the fact that the spelling tradition mainly established in the twelfth – fourteenth centuries was fixed very early – practically, with the introduction of printing, while the phonetic structure of the language has undergone a big number of significant changes since then. However, the interaction of different dialects and changes in pronunciation led to the fact that the system gradually lost its functionality and, basically, disintegrated. As a parallel to this was the development of the divergent definition of new elements of the grammatical system: some phrases and syntactic constructions with data points acquired a complete analytical form (i.e. ones composed of several elements) of grammatical structures and re-thought generic content at the same time.