THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE HISTORY (ORIGEN E HISTORIA DEL IDIOMA INGLÉS)

Timeline created by Marifer Casillas
In History
  • 450

    Angles Settlement

    Angles Settlement
    This event established the beginning of the Old English stage, and it describes the process which changed the language and culture of most of what became England from Romano-British to Germanic.
  • 597

    St. Augustine arrives in Britain (beginning of Christian conversion of the Anglo-Saxons)

    St. Augustine arrives in Britain (beginning of Christian conversion of the Anglo-Saxons)
    The pagan Anglo-Saxons were converted to Christianity mainly by missionaries sent from Rome. Augustine arrived on the Isle of Thanet in 597 and established his base at the main town of Canterbury.
  • 600

    Anglo-Saxon language covers most of modern-day England

    Anglo-Saxon language covers most of modern-day England
    As the Anglo-Saxons became dominant in England, their language replaced also the languages of Roman Britain: Common Brittonic, a Celtic language, and Latin, brought to Britain by Roman invasion.
  • 800

    Composition of “Beowulf”

    Composition of “Beowulf”
    It is one of the most important works of Old English literature. The date of composition is a matter of contention among scholars. The author was an anonymous Anglo-Saxon poet, referred to by scholars as the "Beowulf poet".
  • 871

    The kingdom of Alfred the Great

    The kingdom of Alfred the Great
    Believing that without Christian wisdom there can be neither prosperity nor success in war, Alfred aimed "to set to learning (as long as they are not useful for some other employment) all the free-born young men now in England who have the means to apply themselves to it". Conscious of the decay of Latin literacy in his realm Alfred proposed that primary education be taught in English, with those wishing to advance to holy orders to continue their studies in Latin.
  • 878

    Danelaw establishment

    Danelaw establishment
    This caused a notorious dividing Britain into Anglo-Saxon south and Danish north. The Anglo-Saxons divided England into several kingdoms.
  • 911

    Norman French origin

    Norman French origin
    During this period, Charles II of France granted Normandy to the Viking chief Hrolf the Ganger. This influenced English and was in turn influenced by it, as well as by Central (Parisian) French, which as the language of the French court was considered more refined.
  • 1066

    The Norman Conquest

    The Norman Conquest
    It was the 11th-century invasion and occupation of England by an army of Norman, Breton, Flemish, and French soldiers led by the Duke of Normandy, later styled William the Conqueror.
  • 1086

    The Domesday Book

    The Domesday Book
    It's a manuscript record of the "Great Survey" of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086 by order of King William the Conqueror. It was written in Medieval Latin, was highly abbreviated, and included some vernacular native terms without Latin equivalents. The survey's main purpose was to determine what taxes had been owed during the reign of King Edward the Confessor, which allowed William to reassert the rights of the Crown.
  • 1154

    "The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle” discontinued

    "The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle” discontinued
    The original manuscript of the Chronicle was created late in the 9th century, probably in Wessex, during the reign of Alfred the Great (r. 871–899). Multiple copies were made of that one original and then distributed to monasteries across England, where they were independently updated. In one case, the Chronicle was still being actively updated in 1154.
  • 1167

    Oxford University establishment

    Oxford University establishment
    A quarrel between Henry II and Thomas Becket led to a temporary ban on English scholars going to study in France. Scholars and academics gathered in Oxford to continue with their work. As journeying to the university in Paris was not allowed, more scholars and academics arrived in Oxford.
  • 1204

    King John loses the province of Normandy to France

    King John loses the province of Normandy to France
    John lost the Duchy of Normandy and most of his other French lands to King Philip II of France, resulting in the collapse of the Angevin Empire and contributing to the subsequent growth in power of the French Capetian dynasty during the 13th century.
  • 1209

    Cambridge University establishment

    Cambridge University establishment
    Scholars from Oxford migrated to Cambridge to escape Oxford’s riots of “town and gown” (townspeople versus scholars).
  • 1350

    The Black Death kills one third of the British population

    The Black Death kills one third of the British population
    It raged in London until spring 1350, and is generally assumed to have killed between one third and one half of the populace.
  • 1362

    The Statute of Pleading replaces French with English as the language of law (although records continue to be kept in Latin)

    The Statute of Pleading replaces French with English as the language of law (although records continue to be kept in Latin)
    The linguistic division between the nobility and the commoners was largely over. In that year, the Statute of Pleading was adopted, which made English the language of the courts and it began to be used in Parliament.
  • 1384

    John Wycliffe publishes his English translation of “The Bible”

    John Wycliffe publishes his English translation of “The Bible”
    These Bible translations were the chief inspiration and chief cause of the Lollard movement, a pre-Reformation movement that rejected many of the distinctive teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. In the early Middle Ages, most Western Christian people encountered the Bible only in the form of oral versions of scriptures, verses and homilies in Latin.
  • 1399

    The first English-speaking monarch

    The first English-speaking monarch
    Henry IV becomes first English-speaking monarch since before the Conquest
  • 1450

    The Great Vowel Shift begins

    The Great Vowel Shift begins
    It was a massive sound change affecting the long vowels of English during the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries. Basically, the long vowels shifted upwards; that is, a vowel that used to be pronounced in one place in the mouth would be pronounced in a different place, higher up in the mouth.
  • 1476

    William Caxton establishes the first English printing press

    William Caxton establishes the first English printing press
    He was an English merchant, diplomat, and writer. He is thought to be the first person to introduce a printing press into England, in 1476, and as a printer was the first English retailer of printed books.
  • 1500

    Start of English Renaissance

    Start of English Renaissance
    The period is characterized by a rebirth among English elite of classical learning, a rediscovery of ancient Greek and Roman authors, and a recovery of the ancient Greek spirit of scientific inquiry.
  • 1539

    “The Great Bible” published

    “The Great Bible” published
    It was the first authorized edition of the Bible in English, authorized by King Henry VIII of England to be read aloud in the church services of the Church of England. The Great Bible was prepared by Myles Coverdale, working under commission of Thomas, Lord Cromwell, Secretary to Henry VIII and Vicar General.
  • Robert Cawdrey publishes the first English dictionary, “A Table Alphabeticall”

    Robert Cawdrey publishes the first English dictionary, “A Table Alphabeticall”
    The first monolingual dictionary in English, created by Robert Cawdrey and first published in London.
  • The Authorized, or King James Version, of “The Bible” is published

    The Authorized, or King James Version, of “The Bible” is published
    The books of the King James Version include the 39 books of the Old Testament, an intertestamental section containing 14 books of the Apocrypha, and the 27 books of the New Testament. The translation is noted for its "majesty of style", and has been described as one of the most important books in English culture and a driving force in the shaping of the English-speaking world.
  • Samuel Johnson publishes his “Dictionary of the English Language”

    Samuel Johnson publishes his “Dictionary of the English Language”
    Rhe dictionary took just over eight years to compile, required six helpers and listed 40,000 words.
  • Last native speaker of the Celtic Cornish language dies

    Last native speaker of the Celtic Cornish language dies
    Pentreath was the last known native speaker of the Cornish language. She is also the best-known of the last fluent speakers of Cornish.
  • Noah Webster publishes “The American Spelling Book”

    Noah Webster publishes “The American Spelling Book”
    It not only taught students how to read and spell, but also provided lessons on subjects such as morality and the principles of American government.
  • Noah Webster publishes his “The American Dictionary of the English Language”

    Noah Webster publishes his “The American Dictionary of the English Language”
    A product of nine years of painstaking collecting of common and uncommon English words, their etymological derivations, and use in written documents of the past, the dictionary reflected Johnson’s brilliant wit and humor as well as singular scholarship. It became the standard of definition, including the words used in the United States Constitution and the generation that founded the American Republic.
  • Abolition of slavery in the British Empire

    Abolition of slavery in the British Empire
    In British history, act of Parliament that abolished slavery in most British colonies, freeing more than 800,000 enslaved Africans in the Caribbean and South Africa as well as a small number in Canada.
  • United States ends slavery after Civil War

    United States ends slavery after Civil War
    Due to Union measures such as the Confiscation Acts and Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, the war effectively ended slavery, even before ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, formally ended the legal institution throughout the United States.
  • First edition of the “Oxford English Dictionary” is published

    First edition of the “Oxford English Dictionary” is published
    It offered on thorny grammatical problems, giving guidance on effective writing and spelling.
  • Sir Ernest Gowers’ “The Complete Plain Words” published

    Sir Ernest Gowers’ “The Complete Plain Words” published
    The aim of the book is to help officials in their use of English as a tool of their trade. To keep the work relevant for readers in subsequent decades it has been revised by Sir Bruce Fraser in 1973, by Sidney Greenbaum and Janet Whitcut in 1986, and by the original author's great-granddaughter Rebecca Gowers in 2014.
  • Second edition of the “Oxford English Dictionary” is published

    Second edition of the “Oxford English Dictionary” is published
    By the time the new supplement was completed, it was clear that the full text of the dictionary would need to be computerized. Achieving this would require retyping it once, but thereafter it would always be accessible for computer searching – as well as for whatever new editions of the dictionary might be desired, starting with an integration of the supplementary volumes and the main text.
  • Period:
    450
    to
    1100

    OLD ENGLISH

    It's the earliest historical form of the English language, spoken in England and southern and eastern Scotland in the early Middle Ages. Old English developed from a set of Anglo-Frisian or Ingvaeonic dialects originally spoken by Germanic tribes traditionally known as the Angles, Saxons and Jutes.
  • Period:
    1100
    to
    1500

    MIDDLE ENGLISH

    It was a form of the English language, spoken after the Norman conquest until the late 15th century. During the Middle English period, many Old English grammatical features became simplified or disappeared altogether. Noun, adjective and verb inflections were simplified by the reduction (and eventual elimination) of most grammatical case distinctions. ME also saw considerable adoption of Norman French vocabulary, especially in the areas of politics, law, the arts and religion.
  • Period:
    1500
    to

    EARLY MODERN ENGLISH

    It's the stage of the English language from the beginning of the Tudor period to the English Interregnum and Restoration, or from the transition from Middle English, in the late 15th century, to the transition to Modern English, in the mid-to-late 17th century.
  • Period: to

    LATE MODERN ENGLISH

    The principal distinction between early- and late-modern English is vocabulary. Pronunciation, grammar, and spelling are largely the same, but Late-Modern English has many more words. These words are the result of two historical factors. The first is the Industrial Revolution and the rise of the technological society. The second was the British Empire. At its height, Britain ruled one quarter of the earth's surface, and English adopted many foreign words and made them its own.