Copyright Dr. L.
Kip Wheeler 1998-2018. Permission is granted for non-profit,
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This map shows the regions
of the world where English is commonly spoken (red circles).
When scholars speak of English, they typically divide the development
of English into three periods: (1) the most recent is Modern
English (abbreviated MnE), which is English as it has been spoken
during the last five-hundred years subsequent to the Great Vowel
Shift; (2) Middle English (abbreviated ME) is the way English
was spoken between the years 1066 or so and the year 1400, before
the Great Vowel Shift; (3) Old English (abbreviated OE) or Anglo-Saxon
is the most ancient version of English spoken before the Norman
Invasion of 1066. Anglo-Saxon, and hence English, descends from
the West Germanic subfamily of the Germanic branch of Indo-European.
English is most closely related to Modern
Low German and Frisian.
Most Germanic languages use grammatical declensions, but English
lost its declensions when parts of the old Anglo-Saxon kingdoms
were conquered and settled by Viking invaders from Denmark.
English is also different from most Germanic languages in that
a large percentage of its vocabulary comes from Norman French.
These words were borrowed by Middle-English speakers after the
Normans conquered large parts of Britain after the Norman Invasion
|Daniel M. Short originally created this
map and the other Indo-European language charts for his website at http://www.danshort.com/.
I reproduce these images here with the author's permission, but they are
copyrighted by Daniel Short as of 2002. These charts should not be reproduced
or reused without Mr. Short's approval. You may contact him at email@example.com
for more information. These images are not public domain.