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Encyclopedia > English Language
English  
Pronunciation: /ˈɪŋɡlɪʃ/[37]
Spoken in: Listed in the article
Total speakers: First language: 309[38] – 380 million[3]
Second language: 199[39] – 600 million[40]
Overall: 1.8 billion[41] 
Ranking: 3 (native speakers)[9][10]
Total: 1 or 2 [11]
Language family: Indo-European
 Germanic
  West Germanic
   Anglo–Frisian
    Anglic
     English 
Writing system: Latin (English variant
Official status
Official language of: 53 countries
Regulated by: no official regulation
Language codes
ISO 639-1: en
ISO 639-2: eng
ISO 639-3: eng 
World countries, states, and provinces where English is a primary language are dark blue; countries, states and provinces where it is an official but not a primary language are light blue. English is also one of the official languages of the European Union, and one of its three working languages.

English is a West Germanic language originating in England, and the first language for most people in Australia, Canada, the Commonwealth Caribbean, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America (also commonly known as the Anglosphere). It is used extensively as a second language and as an official language throughout the world, especially in Commonwealth countries such as India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and South Africa, and in many international organisations. Articles with similar titles include the NATO phonetic alphabet, which has also informally been called the “International Phonetic Alphabet”. For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words, see IPA chart for English. ... This is a list of languages, ordered by the number of native-language speakers, with some data for second-language use. ... A language family is a group of languages related by descent from a common proto-language. ... For other uses, see Indo-European. ... The West Germanic languages constitute the largest branch of the Germanic family of languages and include languages such as German, English and Frisian, as well as Dutch and Afrikaans. ... The Anglo-Frisian languages (also known as Ingvaeonic languages or North Sea Germanic languages) are a group of West Germanic languages consisting of Old English, Old Frisian, and their descendants. ... The Anglic languages (also called Anglian languages) are one of the two branches of Anglo-Frisian languages, itself a branch of West Germanic. ... Writing systems of the world today. ... The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most widely used alphabetic writing system in the world today. ... The modern English alphabet consists of the 26 letters[1] of the Latin alphabet: The exact shape of printed letters varies depending on the typeface. ... The following is a list of sovereign states and territories where English is an official language, in order of population. ... ISO 639-1 is the first part of the ISO 639 international-standard language-code family. ... ISO 639-2 is the second part of the ISO 639 standard, which lists codes for the representation of the names of languages. ... ISO 639-3 is an international standard for language codes. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1357x628, 36 KB) Summary Colored by me from public domain Wikimedia Commons source Licensing I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... A working language (also procedural language) is a language that is given a unique legal status in a supra-national company, society, state or other body or organization as its primal mean of communication. ... Articles with similar titles include the NATO phonetic alphabet, which has also informally been called the “International Phonetic Alphabet”. For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words, see IPA chart for English. ... The Unicode Standard, Version 5. ... This chart shows concisely the most common way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is applied to represent the English language. ... The West Germanic languages constitute the largest branch of the Germanic family of languages and include languages such as German, English and Frisian, as well as Dutch and Afrikaans. ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... “Native Language” redirects here. ... The term Anglophone Caribbean is used to refer to the independent English-speaking countries of the Caribbean region. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... A second language (L2) is any language learned after the first language or mother tongue (L1). ... An official language is a language that is given a unique legal status in the countries, states, and other territories. ... The Commonwealth of Nations as of 2006 Headquarters Marlborough House, London, UK Official languages English Membership 53 sovereign states Leaders  -  Queen Elizabeth II  -  Secretary-General Don McKinnon (since 1 April 2000) Establishment  -  Balfour Declaration 18 November 1926   -  Statute of Westminster 11 December 1931   -  London Declaration 28 April 1949  Area  -  Total... For the political science journal, see: International Organization An international organization (also called intergovernmental organization) is an organization of international scope or character. ...


Modern English is sometimes described as the global lingua franca.[1][2] English is the dominant international language in communications, science, business, aviation, entertainment, radio and diplomacy.[3] The influence of the British Empire is the primary reason for the initial spread of the language far beyond the British Isles.[4] Following World War II, the growing economic and cultural influence of the United States has significantly accelerated the spread of the language. On an average school day approximately one billion people are learning English in one form or another. Lingua franca, literally Frankish language in Italian, was originally a mixed language consisting largely of Italian plus a vocabulary drawn from Turkish, Persian, French, Greek and Arabic and used for communication throughout the Middle East. ... The British Empire in 1897, marked in pink, the traditional colour for Imperial British dominions on maps. ...


A working knowledge of English is required in certain fields, professions, and occupations. As a result over a billion people speak English at least at a basic level (see English language learning and teaching). English is one of six official languages of the United Nations. See also: Language education and Second language acquisition ESL (English as a second language), ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) and EFL (English as a foreign language) all refer to the use or study of English by speakers of other languages. ... The foundation of the U.N. The United Nations (UN) is an international organization whose stated aims are to facilitate co-operation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress and human rights issues. ...

Contents

History

Main article: History of the English language

English is an Anglo-Frisian language. Germanic-speaking peoples from northwest Germany (Saxons and Angles) and Jutland (Jutes) invaded what is now known as Eastern England around the fifth century AD. It is a matter of debate whether the Old English language spread by displacement of the original population, or the native Celts gradually adopted the language and culture of a new ruling class, or a combination of both of these processes (see Sub-Roman Britain). English is a West Germanic language that originated from the Anglo-Frisian dialects brought to Britain by Germanic settlers and Roman auxiliary troops from various parts of what is now northwest Germany and the Northern Netherlands. ... The Anglo-Frisian languages (also known as Ingvaeonic languages or North Sea Germanic languages) are a group of West Germanic languages consisting of Old English, Old Frisian, and their descendants. ... For other uses, see Saxon (disambiguation). ... White cliffs of Dover in England White cliffs of Rugen down the Baltic coast from Schleswig The Angles is a modern English word for a Germanic-speaking people who took their name from the cultural ancestor of Angeln, a modern district located in Schleswig, Germany. ... Jutland Peninsula Jutland (Danish: Jylland; German: Jütland; Frisian Jutlân; Low German Jötlann) is the western, continental part of Denmark as well as one of the three historical Lands of Denmark, dividing the North Sea from the Kattegat and the Baltic Sea. ... For the coarse vegetable textile fiber, see Jute. ... Old English (also called Anglo-Penis[1], Englisc by its speakers) is an early form of the English language that was spoken in parts of what is now England and southern Scotland between the mid-fifth century and the mid-twelfth century. ... Romano-British is a term used to refer to the Romanized Britons under the Roman Empire (and later the Western Roman Empire) and in the years after the Roman departure exposed to Roman culture and Christian religion. ... Sub-Roman Britain is a term derived from an archaeologists label for the material culture of Britain in Late Antiquity. ...


Whatever their origin, these Germanic dialects eventually coalesced to a degree (there remained geographical variation) and formed what is today called Old English. Old English loosely resembles some coastal dialects in what are now northwest Germany and the Netherlands (i.e., Frisia). Throughout the history of written Old English, it retained a synthetic structure closer to that of Proto-Indo-European, largely adopting West Saxon scribal conventions, while spoken Old English became increasingly analytic in nature, losing the more complex noun case system, relying more heavily on prepositions and fixed word order to convey meaning. This is evident in the Middle English period, when literature was to an increasing extent recorded with spoken dialectal variation intact, after written Old English lost its status as the literary language of the nobility. It is postulated that the early development of the language was influenced by a Celtic substratum.[5][6] Later, it was influenced by the related North Germanic language Old Norse, spoken by the Vikings who settled mainly in the north and the east coast down to London, the area known as the Danelaw. Satellite view of the German Bight (the Frisian Coast). ... A synthetic language, in linguistic typology, is a language with a high morpheme-per-word ratio. ... The Proto-Indo-European language (PIE) is the hypothetical common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, spoken by the Proto-Indo-Europeans. ... This article concerns the English kingdom, not the Westland Wessex helicopter Wessex was one of the seven major Anglo-Saxon kingdoms (the Heptarchy) that preceded the kingdom of England. ... An isolating language is a language in which the vast majority of morphemes are free morphemes and are considered to be full-fledged words. By contrast, in a synthetic language, a word is composed of agglutinated or fused morphemes that denote its syntactic meanings. ... The Brythonic languages (or Brittonic languages) form one of the two branches of the Insular Celtic language family. ... The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages, a sub-family of the Indo-European languages, along with the West Germanic languages and the East Germanic languages. ... Old Norse is the Germanic language spoken by the inhabitants of Scandinavia and their overseas settlements during the Viking Age, until about 1300. ... For other uses, see Viking (disambiguation). ... Green: Danelaw The Danelaw (from the Old English Dena lagu, Danish: Danelagen ) is an 11th century name for an area of northern and eastern England under the administrative control of the Vikings (or Danes, or Norsemen) from the late 9th century. ...


The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 profoundly influenced the evolution of the language. For about 300 years after this, the Normans and successive dynasties used Anglo-Norman, which was close to Old French, as the language of the court, law and administration. A very large number of Norman words found their way into Old English, particularly those in the legal and administrative fields, but also including many common words for food, such as mutton[7] and beef[8] . Later, many words were borrowed directly from Latin and Greek, leaving a parallel vocabulary that persists into modern times. The Norman influence gave rise to what is now referred to as Middle English. The Bayeux Tapestry depicts the Battle of Hastings and the events leading to it. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Old French was the Romance dialect continuum spoken in territories corresponding roughly to the northern half of modern France and parts of modern Belgium and Switzerland from around 1000 to 1300. ... An unweaned lamb Legs of lamb in a supermarket cabinet The terms lamb, hoggett or mutton are culinary names for the meat of a domestic sheep. ... For other uses, see Beef (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Latin (disambiguation). ... Middle English is the name given by historical linguistics to the diverse forms of the English language spoken between the Norman invasion of 1066 and the mid-to-late 15th century, when the Chancery Standard, a form of London-based English, began to become widespread, a process aided by the...


During the 15th century, Middle English was transformed by the Great Vowel Shift, the spread of a prestigious South Eastern-based dialect in the court, administration and academic life, and the standardising effect of printing. Early Modern English can be traced back to around the Elizabethan period. The Great Vowel Shift was a major change in the pronunciation of the English language that took place in the south of England between 1200 and 1600. ... “Caxton” redirects here. ... Shakespeares writings are universally associated with Early Modern English Early Modern English refers to the stage of the English language used from about the end of the Middle English period (the latter half of the 1400s) to 1650. ... Elizabeth I (7 September 1533 – 24 March 1603 ) was Queen of England and Queen of Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. ...


Classification and related languages

The English language belongs to the western sub-branch of the Germanic branch of the Indo-European family of languages. The Germanic languages are a group of related languages constituting a branch of the Indo-European (IE) language family. ... For other uses, see Indo-European. ...


The question as to which is the nearest living relative of English is a matter of discussion. Apart from such English-lexified creole languages such as Tok Pisin, Scots (spoken primarily in Scotland and parts of Northern Ireland) is not a Gaelic language, but is part of the English family of languages: both Scots and modern English are descended from Old English, also known as Anglo-Saxon. The closest relative to English after Scots is Frisian, which is spoken in the Northern Netherlands and Northwest Germany. Other less closely related living West Germanic languages include German, Low Saxon, Dutch, and Afrikaans. The North Germanic languages of Scandinavia are less closely related to English than the West Germanic languages. A creole language, or simply a creole, is a stable language that originated from a non-trivial combination of two or more languages, typically with many features that are not inherited from any parent. ... This article includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... Scots refers to the Anglic varieties spoken in parts of Scotland. ... This article is about the Frisian languages, as spoken in the north of the Netherlands and Germany. ... The West Germanic languages constitute the largest branch of the Germanic family of languages and include languages such as German, English and Frisian, as well as Dutch and Afrikaans. ... Low Saxon (in Low Saxon, Nedersaksisch, Neddersassisch, Plattdüütsch or Nedderdüütsch) is any of a variety of Low German dialects spoken in northern Germany and the Netherlands. ... Afrikaans is a West Germanic language mainly spoken in South Africa and Namibia. ... The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages, a sub-family of the Indo-European languages, along with the West Germanic languages and the East Germanic languages. ...


Many French words are also intelligible to an English speaker (though pronunciations are often quite different) because English absorbed a large vocabulary from Norman and French, via Anglo-Norman after the Norman Conquest and directly from French in subsequent centuries. As a result, a large portion of English vocabulary is derived from French, with some minor spelling differences (word endings, use of old French spellings, etc.), as well as occasional divergences in meaning, in so-called "faux amis", or false friends. Norman is a Romance language and one of the Oïl languages. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... The Bayeux Tapestry depicts the Battle of Hastings and the events leading to it. ... False friends are pairs of words in two languages or letters in two alphabets that look or sound similar but differ in meaning. ...


Geographical distribution

See also: List of countries by English-speaking population

Over 380 million people speak English as their first language. English today is probably the third largest language by number of native speakers, after Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.[9][10] However, when combining native and non-native speakers it is probably the most commonly spoken language in the world, though possibly second to a combination of the Chinese Languages, depending on whether or not distinctions in the latter are classified as "languages" or "dialects."[11][12] Estimates that include second language speakers vary greatly from 470 million to over a billion depending on how literacy or mastery is defined.[13][14] There are some who claim that non-native speakers now outnumber native speakers by a ratio of 3 to 1.[15] This is a list of countries of the world sorted by the total English-speaking population in that country. ... This article is on all of the Northern Chinese dialects. ... Chinese (written) language (pinyin: zhōngwén) written in Chinese characters The Chinese language (汉语/漢語, 华语/華語, or 中文; Pinyin: Hànyǔ, Huáyǔ, or Zhōngwén) is a member of the Sino-Tibetan family of languages. ... A second language (L2) is any language learned after the first language or mother tongue (L1). ... This article is about the ability to read and write. ...


The countries with the highest populations of native English speakers are, in descending order: United States (215 million),[16] United Kingdom (58 million),[17] Canada (17.7 million),[18] Australia (15 million),[19] Ireland (3.8 million),[17] South Africa (3.7 million),[20] and New Zealand (3.0-3.7 million).[21] Countries such as Jamaica and Nigeria also have millions of native speakers of dialect continuums ranging from an English-based creole to a more standard version of English. Of those nations where English is spoken as a second language, India has the most such speakers ('Indian English') and linguistics professor David Crystal claims that, combining native and non-native speakers, India now has more people who speak or understand English than any other country in the world.[22] Following India is the People's Republic of China.[23] A dialect continuum is a range of dialects spoken across a large geographical area, differing only slightly between areas that are geographically close, and gradually decreasing in mutual intelligibility as the distances become greater. ... An English-based creole language, or English creole for short, is a creole language that was significantly influenced by the English language. ... Indian English refers to the dialects or varieties of English spoken primarily in India, and/or by first generation Indian diaspora elsewhere in the world. ... Professor David Crystal, OBE (born 1941 in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, UK) is a linguist, academic and author. ...

Distribution of native English speakers by country (Crystal 1997)
Distribution of native English speakers by country (Crystal 1997)
Country Native speakers
1 USA 214,809,000[16]
2 UK 58,200,000[17]
3 Canada 17,694,830[18]
4 Australia 15,013,965[19]
5 Ireland 4,200,000+ (Approx)[17]
6 South Africa 3,673,203[20]
7 New Zealand 3,500,000+ (Approx)[21]
8 Singapore 665,087[24]

English is the primary language in Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia (Australian English), the Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Belize, the British Indian Ocean Territory, the British Virgin Islands, Canada (Canadian English), the Cayman Islands, Dominica, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Grenada, Guernsey (Guernsey English), Guyana, Ireland (Hiberno-English), Isle of Man (Manx English), Jamaica (Jamaican English), Jersey, Montserrat, Nauru, New Zealand (New Zealand English), Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Singapore, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the United Kingdom, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the United States (various forms of American English). Ive created this diagram as an update for [1]. The previous chart didnt take into account several varieties, which is why the Others percentage was too small. ... Ive created this diagram as an update for [1]. The previous chart didnt take into account several varieties, which is why the Others percentage was too small. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Ireland. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_South_Africa. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_New_Zealand. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Singapore. ... Australian English (AuE, AusE, en-AU) is the form of the English language used in Australia. ... Canadian English (CaE) is a variety of English used in Canada. ... Guernsey English is the dialect of English spoken by natives of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, distinguished by the fact that it has considerable influence from Dgèrnésiais, the variety of Norman indigenous to Guernsey. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Manx English, or Anglo-Manx, is the dialect of English which was formerly spoken by the people of the Isle of Man. ... This does not cite its references or sources. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Motto Leo Terram Propriam Protegat(Latin) Let the Lion protect his own land or May the Lion protect his own land Anthem God Save the Queen Capital Grytviken (King Edward Point) Official languages English Government British overseas territory  -  Head of State Queen Elizabeth II  -  Commissioner Alan Huckle Area  -  Total 3... For other uses, see American English (disambiguation). ...


In many other countries, where English is not the most spoken language, it is an official language; these countries include Botswana, Cameroon, Fiji, the Federated States of Micronesia, Ghana, Gambia, Hong Kong, India, Kiribati, Lesotho, Liberia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malta, the Marshall Islands, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Rwanda, the Solomon Islands, Samoa, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. It is also one of the 11 official languages that are given equal status in South Africa ("South African English"). English is also an important language in several former colonies or current dependent territories of the United Kingdom and the United States, such as in Hong Kong and Mauritius. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article is about a type of political territory. ... A dependent territory, dependent area or dependency is a territory that does not possess full political independence or sovereignty as a State. ...


English is not an official language in either the United States or the United Kingdom.[25][26] Although the United States federal government has no official languages, English has been given official status by 30 of the 50 state governments.[27]


English as a global language

See also: English on the Internet and global language

Because English is so widely spoken, it has often been referred to as a "global language", the lingua franca of the modern era.[2] While English is not an official language in many countries, it is currently the language most often taught as a second language around the world. Some linguists believe that it is no longer the exclusive cultural sign of "native English speakers", but is rather a language that is absorbing aspects of cultures worldwide as it continues to grow. It is, by international treaty, the official language for aerial and maritime communications, as well as one of the official languages of the European Union, the United Nations, and most international athletic organisations, including the International Olympic Committee. The predominance of English on the Internet—English language content and English language users—has fueled the rise of the Internet as a means of communication, information dissemination and entertainment. ... International English is the concept of the English language as a global means of communication in numerous dialects, and the movement towards an international standard for the language. ... International English is the concept of the English language as a global means of communication in numerous dialects, and the movement towards an international standard for the language. ... Lingua franca, literally Frankish language in Italian, was originally a mixed language consisting largely of Italian plus a vocabulary drawn from Turkish, Persian, French, Greek and Arabic and used for communication throughout the Middle East. ... A second language (L2) is any language learned after the first language or mother tongue (L1). ... Stamp The International Olympic Committee (French: Comité International Olympique) is an organization based in Lausanne, Switzerland, created by Pierre de Coubertin and Demetrios Vikelas on June 23, 1894. ...


English is the language most often studied as a foreign language in the European Union (by 89% of schoolchildren), followed by French (32%), German (18%), and Spanish (8%).[28] In the EU, a large fraction of the population reports being able to converse to some extent in English. Among non-English speaking countries, a large percentage of the population claimed to be able to converse in English in the Netherlands (87%), Sweden (85%), Denmark (83%), Luxembourg (66%), Finland (60%), Slovenia (56%), Austria (53%), Belgium (52%), and Germany (51%). [29] Norway and Iceland also have a large majority of competent English-speakers.


Books, magazines, and newspapers written in English are available in many countries around the world. English is also the most commonly used language in the sciences.[2] In 1997, the Science Citation Index reported that 95% of its articles were written in English, even though only half of them came from authors in English-speaking countries.


Dialects and regional varieties

The expansion of the British Empire and—since WWII—the primacy of the United States have spread English throughout the globe.[2] Because of that global spread, English has developed a host of English dialects and English-based creole languages and pidgins. This is a list of varieties of the English language. ... This is a list of varieties of the English language. ... A creole language, or simply a creole, is a stable language that originated from a non-trivial combination of two or more languages, typically with many features that are not inherited from any parent. ... A pidgin is a simplified language that develops as a means of communication between two or more groups who do not share a common language, in situations such as trade. ...


The major varieties of English include, in most cases, several subvarieties, such as Cockney slang within British English; Newfoundland English within Canadian English; and African American Vernacular English ("Ebonics") and Southern American English within American English. English is a pluricentric language, without a central language authority like France's Académie française; and, although no variety is clearly considered the only standard, there are a number of accents considered to be more prestigious, such as Received Pronunciation in Britain. A variety of a language is a form that differs from other forms of the language systematically and coherently. ... St Mary-le-Bow The term cockney refers to working-class inhabitants of London, particularly east London, and the slang used by these people. ... British English (BrE, BE, en-GB) is the broad term used to distinguish the forms of the English language used in the United Kingdom from forms used elsewhere in the Anglophone world. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Canadian English (CaE) is a variety of English used in Canada. ... Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... For African American U.S. English that is distinctly non-standard U.S. English, see African American Vernacular English. ... Southern American English as defined by the monophthongization of to before obstruents (Labov, Ash, and Boberg 2006:126). ... For other uses, see American English (disambiguation). ... A pluricentric language is a language with several standard versions. ... The Académie française In the French educational system an académie LAcadémie française, or the French Academy, is the pre-eminent French learned body on matters pertaining to the French language. ... Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ...


Scots developed — largely independently — from the same origins, but following the Acts of Union 1707 a process of language attrition began, whereby successive generations adopted more and more features from English causing dialectalisation. Whether it is now a separate language or a dialect of English better described as Scottish English is in dispute. The pronunciation, grammar and lexis of the traditional forms differ, sometimes substantially, from other varieties of English. Scots refers to the Anglic varieties spoken in parts of Scotland. ... The Acts of Union were a pair of Acts of Parliament passed in 1706 and 1707 (taking effect on 1 May 1707) by, respectively, the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland. ... Language attrition is the loss of a first or second language or a portion of that language by either a community or an individual. ... A dialect (from the Greek word διάλεκτος, dialektos) is a variety of a language characteristic of a particular group of the languages speakers. ... Scottish English is usually taken to mean the standard form of the English language used in Scotland, often termed Scottish Standard English. ...


Because of the wide use of English as a second language, English speakers have many different accents, which often signal the speaker's native dialect or language. For the more distinctive characteristics of regional accents, see Regional accents of English speakers, and for the more distinctive characteristics of regional dialects, see List of dialects of the English language. This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... This is a list of varieties of the English language. ...


Just as English itself has borrowed words from many different languages over its history, English loanwords now appear in a great many languages around the world, indicative of the technological and cultural influence of its speakers. Several pidgins and creole languages have formed using an English base, such as Jamaican Creole, Nigerian Pidgin, and Tok Pisin. There are many words in English coined to describe forms of particular non-English languages that contain a very high proportion of English words. Franglais, for example, is used to describe French with a very high English word content; it is found on the Channel Islands. Another variant, spoken in the border bilingual regions of Québec in Canada, is called FrEnglish. A loanword (or loan word) is a word directly taken into one language from another with little or no translation. ... A pidgin is a simplified language that develops as a means of communication between two or more groups who do not share a common language, in situations such as trade. ... A creole language, or simply a creole, is a stable language that originated from a non-trivial combination of two or more languages, typically with many features that are not inherited from any parent. ... Jamaican Creole, also known locally as Patois/(Patwa) or simply Jamaican, is an English/African-based language --not to be confused with Jamaican English nor with the Rastafarian use of English-- used primarily on the island of Jamaica. ... Nigerian Pidgin is an English-based pidgin or creole language spoken as a kind of lingua franca across Nigeria that is referred to simply as Pidgin, Broken English or Brokan. It is often not considered a creole language since most speakers are not native speakers, although many children do learn... This article includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... Franglais (slang), a portmanteau combining the words français (French) and anglais (English), also called Frenglish, is a slang term for types of speech, although the word has different overtones in French and English. ... This article is about the British dependencies. ... Franglais (slang), a portmanteau combining the words français (French) and anglais (English), also called Frenglish, is a slang term for types of speech, although the word has different overtones in French and English. ...


Constructed varieties of English

  • Basic English is simplified for easy international use. It is used by manufacturers and other international businesses to write manuals and communicate. Some English schools in Asia teach it as a practical subset of English for use by beginners.
  • Special English is a simplified version of English used by the Voice of America. It uses a vocabulary of only 1500 words.
  • English reform is an attempt to improve collectively upon the English language.
  • Seaspeak and the related Airspeak and Policespeak, all based on restricted vocabularies, were designed by Edward Johnson in the 1980s to aid international cooperation and communication in specific areas. There is also a tunnelspeak for use in the Channel Tunnel.
  • English as a lingua franca for Europe and Euro-English are concepts of standardising English for use as a second language in continental Europe.
  • Manually Coded English — a variety of systems have been developed to represent the English language with hand signals, designed primarily for use in deaf education. These should not be confused with true sign languages such as British Sign Language and American Sign Language used in Anglophone countries, which are independent and not based on English.
  • E-Prime excludes forms of the verb to be.

Euro-English (also EuroEnglish or Euro-English) terms are English translations of European concepts that are not native to English-speaking countries. Due to the United Kingdom's (and even the Republic of Ireland's) involvement in the European Union, the usage focuses on non-British concepts. This kind of Euro-English was parodied when English was "made" one of the constituent languages of Europanto. Look up Appendix:Basic English word list in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Special English is a simplified version of the English language used by the United States broadcasting service Voice of America in daily broadcasts. ... Voice of America logo Voice of America (VOA), is the official external radio and television broadcasting service of the United States federal government. ... This article is in need of attention. ... Seaspeak is a simplified language designed to facilitate communication between ships whose captains native tongues differ. ... The NATO phonetic alphabet is a common name for the radiotelephony spelling alphabet of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which assigned words to the letters of the English alphabet so that critical combinations of letters could be pronounced and understood by aircrew and air traffic controllers regardless of their... Edward Johnson may refer to: Edward Johnson (general) (1816–1873), American Civil War Edward H. Johnson (born 1846?), inventor, electric Christmas tree lights Edward Johnson (soccer) (born 1984), American Edward Mead Johnson (1852–1934), co-founder of Johnson and Johnson Edward Johnson (finance) Edward Johnson (mayor), former mayor of Baltimore... Tunnelspeak is a constructed language used by workers in the Channel Tunnel, using a limited vocabulary of French and English for ease of communication between workers with different native languages. ... Map of the Channel Tunnel. ... It has been suggested that Euro-English be merged into this article or section. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Manually Coded English (MCE) is a general term used to describe a variety of visual communication methods expressed through the hands which attempt to represent the English language. ... British Sign Language (BSL) is the sign language used in the United Kingdom (UK), and is the first or preferred language of an unknown number of Deaf people in the UK (published estimates range from 30,000 to 250,000 but it is likely that the lower figures are more... It has been suggested that ASL Grammar be merged into this article or section. ... Dr. David Bourland coined the term E-Prime, short for English Prime, in the 1965 work A Linguistic Note: Writing in E-Prime to refer to the English language modified by prohibiting the use of the verb to be. E-Prime arose from Alfred Korzybskis General Semantics and his... Europanto is a constructed language, a linguistic jest with a hodge-podge vocabulary from many European languages. ...


Phonology

Main article: English phonology

English phonology is the study of the phonology (ie the sound system) of the English language. ...

Vowels

IPA Description word
monophthongs
i/iː Close front unrounded vowel bead
ɪ Near-close near-front unrounded vowel bid
ɛ Open-mid front unrounded vowel bed
æ Near-open front unrounded vowel bad
ɒ Open back rounded vowel bod 1
ɔ Open-mid back rounded vowel pawed 2
ɑ/ɑː Open back unrounded vowel bra
ʊ Near-close near-back rounded vowel good
u/uː Close back rounded vowel booed
ʌ/ɐ Open-mid back unrounded vowel, Near-open central vowel bud
ɝ/ɜː Open-mid central unrounded vowel bird 3
ə Schwa Rosa's 4
ɨ Close central unrounded vowel roses 5
diphthongs
e(ɪ)/eɪ Close-mid front unrounded vowel
Close front unrounded vowel
bayed 6
o(ʊ)/əʊ Close-mid back rounded vowel
Near-close near-back rounded vowel
bode 6
Open front unrounded vowel
Near-close near-front unrounded vowel
cry
Open front unrounded vowel
Near-close near-back rounded vowel
bough
ɔɪ Open-mid back rounded vowel
Close front unrounded vowel
boy
ʊɝ/ʊə Near-close near-back rounded vowel
Schwa
boor 9
ɛɝ/ɛə Open-mid front unrounded vowel
Schwa
fair 10

Notes: Articles with similar titles include the NATO phonetic alphabet, which has also informally been called the “International Phonetic Alphabet”. For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words, see IPA chart for English. ... A monophthong (in Greek μονόφθογγος = single note) is a pure vowel sound, one whose articulation at both beginning and end is relatively fixed, and which does not glide up or down towards a new position of articulation; compare diphthong. ... Vowels See also: IPA, Consonants Near-close Close-mid Mid Open-mid Near-open Open Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a rounded vowel. ... Vowels See also: IPA, Consonants Near-close Close-mid Mid Open-mid Near-open Open Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a rounded vowel. ... Vowels See also: IPA, Consonants Near‑close Close‑mid Mid Open‑mid Near‑open Open Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a rounded vowel. ... Vowels Near-close Close-mid Mid Open-mid Near-open Open Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a rounded vowel. ... Vowels Near-close Close-mid Mid Open-mid Near-open Open Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a rounded vowel. ... Vowels Near-close Close-mid Mid Open-mid Near-open Open Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a rounded vowel. ... Vowels See also: IPA, Consonants Near‑close Close‑mid Mid Open‑mid Near‑open Open Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a rounded vowel. ... Vowels Near-close Close-mid Mid Open-mid Near-open Open Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a rounded vowel. ... Vowels See also: IPA, Consonants Near‑close Close‑mid Mid Open‑mid Near‑open Open Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a rounded vowel. ... Vowels Near-close Close-mid Mid Open-mid Near-open Open Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a rounded vowel. ... Vowels See also: IPA, Consonants Near‑close Close‑mid Mid Open‑mid Near‑open Open Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a rounded vowel. ... Vowels See also: IPA, Consonants Near‑close Close‑mid Mid Open‑mid Near‑open Open Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a rounded vowel. ... The IPA symbol for the Schwa In linguistics, specifically phonetics and phonology, schwa can mean: An unstressed and toneless neutral vowel sound in any language, often but not necessarily a mid-central vowel. ... Vowels Near-close Close-mid Mid Open-mid Near-open Open Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a rounded vowel. ... In phonetics, a diphthong (in Greek δίφθογγος) is a vowel combination usually involving a quick but smooth movement from one vowel to another, often interpreted by listeners as a single vowel sound or phoneme. ... Vowels Near-close Close-mid Mid Open-mid Near-open Open Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a rounded vowel. ... Vowels See also: IPA, Consonants Near-close Close-mid Mid Open-mid Near-open Open Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a rounded vowel. ... Vowels Near-close Close-mid Mid Open-mid Near-open Open Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a rounded vowel. ... Vowels Near-close Close-mid Mid Open-mid Near-open Open Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a rounded vowel. ... Vowels See also: IPA, Consonants Near‑close Close‑mid Mid Open‑mid Near‑open Open Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a rounded vowel. ... Vowels See also: IPA, Consonants Near-close Close-mid Mid Open-mid Near-open Open Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a rounded vowel. ... Vowels See also: IPA, Consonants Near‑close Close‑mid Mid Open‑mid Near‑open Open Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a rounded vowel. ... Vowels Near-close Close-mid Mid Open-mid Near-open Open Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a rounded vowel. ... Vowels Near-close Close-mid Mid Open-mid Near-open Open Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a rounded vowel. ... Vowels See also: IPA, Consonants Near-close Close-mid Mid Open-mid Near-open Open Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a rounded vowel. ... Vowels Near-close Close-mid Mid Open-mid Near-open Open Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a rounded vowel. ... The IPA symbol for the Schwa In linguistics, specifically phonetics and phonology, schwa can mean: An unstressed and toneless neutral vowel sound in any language, often but not necessarily a mid-central vowel. ... Vowels See also: IPA, Consonants Near‑close Close‑mid Mid Open‑mid Near‑open Open Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a rounded vowel. ... The IPA symbol for the Schwa In linguistics, specifically phonetics and phonology, schwa can mean: An unstressed and toneless neutral vowel sound in any language, often but not necessarily a mid-central vowel. ...


It is the vowels that differ most from region to region. Note: This page contains phonetic information presented in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) using Unicode. ...


Where symbols appear in pairs, the first corresponds to American English, General American accent; the second corresponds to British English, Received Pronunciation. Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ...

  1. American English lacks this sound; words with this sound are pronounced with /ɑ/ or /ɔ/.
  2. Many dialects of North American English do not have this vowel. See Cot-caught merger.
  3. The North American variation of this sound is a rhotic vowel.
  4. Many speakers of North American English do not distinguish between these two unstressed vowels. For them, roses and Rosa's are pronounced the same, and the symbol usually used is schwa /ə/.
  5. This sound is often transcribed with /i/ or with /ɪ/.
  6. The diphthongs /eɪ/ and /oʊ/ are monophthongal for many General American speakers, as /eː/ and /oː/.
  7. The letter <U> can represent either /u/ or the iotated vowel /ju/. In BRP, if this iotated vowel /ju/ occurs after /t/, /d/, /s/ or /z/, it often triggers palatalization of the preceding consonant, turning it to /ʨ/, /ʥ/, /ɕ/ and /ʑ/ respectively, as in tune, during, sugar, and azure. In American English, palatalization does not generally happen unless the /ju/ is followed by r, with the result that /(t, d,s, z)jur/ turn to /tʃɚ/, /dʒɚ/, /ʃɚ/ and /ʒɚ/ respectively, as in nature, verdure, sure, and treasure.
  8. Vowel length plays a phonetic role in the majority of English dialects, and is said to be phonemic in a few dialects, such as Australian English and New Zealand English. In certain dialects of the modern English language, for instance General American, there is allophonic vowel length: vowel phonemes are realized as long vowel allophones before voiced consonant phonemes in the coda of a syllable. Before the Great Vowel Shift, vowel length was phonemically contrastive.
  9. This sound only occurs in non-rhotic accents. In some accents, this sound may be, instead of /ʊə/, /ɔ:/. See pour-poor merger.
  10. This sound only occurs in non-rhotic accents. In some accents, the schwa offglide of /ɛə/ may be dropped, monophthising and lengthening the sound to /ɛ:/.

// Father-bother merger The father-bother merger is a merger of the Early Modern English vowels and that occurs in almost all varieties of North American English (exceptions are accents in Eastern New England (such as the Boston accent) and New York-New Jersey English. ...   In phonetics, an r-colored vowel or rhotacized vowel is a vowel either with the tip or blade of the tongue turned up during at least part of the articulation of the vowel (a retroflex articulation) or with the tip of the tongue down and the back of the tongue... The IPA symbol for the Schwa In linguistics, specifically phonetics and phonology, schwa can mean: An unstressed and toneless neutral vowel sound in any language, often but not necessarily a mid-central vowel. ... Iotation is a form of palatalisation which occurs in Slavic languages. ... In linguistics, vowel length is the perceived duration of a vowel sound. ... Australian English (AuE, AusE, en-AU) is the form of the English language used in Australia. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... The Great Vowel Shift was a major change in the pronunciation of the English language that took place in the south of England between 1200 and 1600. ... The English language has undergone a number of phonological changes before the historic phoneme . ...

See also

The symbols of the International Phonetic Alphabet can be used to show pronounciation in English. ...

Consonants

This is the English Consonantal System using symbols from the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). Articles with similar titles include the NATO phonetic alphabet, which has also informally been called the “International Phonetic Alphabet”. For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words, see IPA chart for English. ...

  bilabial labio-
dental
dental alveolar post-
alveolar
palatal velar glottal
plosive p  b     t  d     k  ɡ  
nasal m     n     ŋ 1  
flap       ɾ 2        
fricative   f  v θ  ð 3 s  z ʃ  ʒ 4 ç 5 x 6 h
affricate         tʃ  dʒ 4      
approximant       ɹ 4   j    
lateral approximant       l        
  labial-velar
approximant ʍ  w 7
  1. The velar nasal [ŋ] is a non-phonemic allophone of /n/ in some northerly British accents, appearing only before /k/ and /g/. In all other dialects it is a separate phoneme, although it only occurs in syllable codas.
  2. The alveolar flap [ɾ] is an allophone of /t/ and /d/ in unstressed syllables in North American English and Australian English.[30] This is the sound of tt or dd in the words latter and ladder, which are homophones for many speakers of North American English. In some accents such as Scottish English and Indian English it replaces /ɹ/. This is the same sound represented by single r in most varieties of Spanish.
  3. In some dialects, such as Cockney, the interdentals /θ/ and /ð/ are usually merged with /f/ and /v/, and in others, like African American Vernacular English, /ð/ is merged with dental /d/. In some Irish varieties, /θ/ and /ð/ become the corresponding dental plosives, which then contrast with the usual alveolar plosives.
  4. The sounds /ʃ/, /ʒ/, and /ɹ/ are labialised in some dialects. Labialisation is never contrastive in initial position and therefore is sometimes not transcribed. Most speakers of General American realize <r> (always rhoticized) as the retroflex approximant /ɻ/, whereas the same is realized in Scottish English, etc. as the alveolar trill.
  5. The voiceless palatal fricative /ç/ is in most accents just an allophone of /h/ before /j/; for instance human /çjuːmən/. However, in some accents (see this), the /j/ is dropped, but the initial consonant is the same.
  6. The voiceless velar fricative /x/ is used only by Scottish or Welsh speakers of English for Scots/Gaelic words such as loch /lɒx/ or by some speakers for loanwords from German and Hebrew like Bach /bax/ or Chanukah /xanuka/. In some dialects such as Scouse (Liverpool) either [x] or the affricate [kx] may be used as an allophone of /k/ in words such as docker [dɒkxə]. Most native speakers have a great deal of trouble pronouncing it correctly when learning a foreign language. Most speakers use the sounds [k] and [h] instead.
  7. Voiceless w [ʍ] is found in Scottish and Irish English, as well as in some varieties of American, New Zealand, and English English. In most other dialects it is merged with /w/, in some dialects of Scots it is merged with /f/.

In phonetics, a bilabial consonant is a consonant articulated with both lips. ... In phonetics, labiodentals are consonants articulated with the lower lips and the upper teeth, or viceversa. ... Interdental consonants are produced by placing the blade of the tongue against the upper incisors. ... Alveolar consonants are articulated with the tongue against or close to the superior alveolar ridge, which is called that because it contains the alveoli (the sockets) of the superior teeth. ... Postalveolar (or palato-alveolar) consonants are consonants articulated with the tip of the tongue between the alveolar ridge (the place of articulation for alveolar consonants) and the palate (the place of articulation for palatal consonants). ... Palatal consonants are consonants articulated with the body of the tongue raised against the hard palate (the middle part of the roof of the mouth). ... Velars are consonants articulated with the back part of the tongue (the dorsum) against the soft palate (the back part of the roof of the mouth, known also as the velum). ... Glottal consonants are consonants articulated with the glottis. ... A stop or plosive or occlusive is a consonant sound produced by stopping the airflow in the vocal tract. ... A nasal consonant is produced when the velum—that fleshy part of the palate near the back—is lowered, allowing air to escape freely through the nose. ... In phonetics, a flap or tap is a type of consonantal sound, which is produced with a single contraction of the muscles so that one articulator (such as the tongue) is thrown against another. ... Fricatives (or spirants) are consonants produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together. ... Affricate consonants begin as stops (most often an alveolar, such as or ) but release as a fricative (such as or or, in a couple of languages, into a fricative trill) rather than directly into the following vowel. ... Approximants are speech sounds that could be regarded as intermediate between vowels and typical consonants. ... Laterals are L-like consonants pronounced with an occlusion made somewhere along the axis of the tongue, while air from the lungs escapes at one side or both sides of the tongue. ... Labial-velar consonants are doubly articulated at the velum and the lips. ... Approximants are speech sounds that could be regarded as intermediate between vowels and typical consonants. ... The velar nasal is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... Note: This page contains phonetic information presented in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) using Unicode. ... The alveolar tap/flap is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... North American English is a collective term used for the varieties of the English language that are spoken in the United States and Canada. ... Australian English (AuE, AusE, en-AU) is the form of the English language used in Australia. ... Scottish English is usually taken to mean the standard form of the English language used in Scotland, often termed Scottish Standard English. ... Indian English refers to the dialects or varieties of English spoken primarily in India, and/or by first generation Indian diaspora elsewhere in the world. ... St Mary-le-Bow The term cockney refers to working-class inhabitants of London, particularly east London, and the slang used by these people. ... Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... The retroflex approximant is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... Scottish English is usually taken to mean the standard form of the English language used in Scotland, often termed Scottish Standard English. ... The alveolar trill is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... The voiceless palatal fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... In phonetics, an allophone is one of several similar phones that belong to the same phoneme. ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... The voiceless velar fricative is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. ... Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... For other uses, see Liverpool (disambiguation). ... An affricate is a consonant that begins like a stop (most often an alveovelar, such as [t] or [d]) and that doesnt have a release of its own, but opens directly into a fricative (or, in one language, into a trill). ... In phonetics, an allophone is one of several similar phones that belong to the same phoneme. ...

Voicing and aspiration

Voicing and aspiration of stop consonants in English depend on dialect and context, but a few general rules can be given: A voiced consonant is a sound made as the vocal cords vibrate, as opposed to a voiceless consonant, where the vocal cords are relaxed. ... In phonetics, aspiration is the strong burst of air that accompanies the release of some obstruents. ... A stop, plosive, or occlusive is a consonant sound produced by stopping the airflow in the vocal tract. ...

  • Voiceless plosives and affricates (/ p/, / t/, / k/, and / /) are aspirated when they are word-initial or begin a stressed syllable — compare pin [pʰɪn] and spin [spɪn], crap [kʰɹ̥æp] and scrap [skɹæp].
    • In some dialects, aspiration extends to unstressed syllables as well.
    • In other dialects, such as Indo-Pakistani English, all voiceless stops remain unaspirated.
  • Word-initial voiced plosives may be devoiced in some dialects.
  • Word-terminal voiceless plosives may be unreleased or accompanied by a glottal stop in some dialects (e.g. many varieties of American English) — examples: tap [tʰæp̚], sack [sæk̚].
  • Word-terminal voiced plosives may be devoiced in some dialects (e.g. some varieties of American English) — examples: sad [sæd̥], bag [bæɡ̊]. In other dialects they are fully voiced in final position, but only partially voiced in initial position.

In phonetics, a voiceless consonant is a consonant that does not have voicing. ... A stop or plosive or occlusive is a consonant sound produced by stopping the airflow in the vocal tract. ... An affricate is a consonant that begins like a stop (most often an alveovelar, such as [t] or [d]) and that doesnt have a release of its own, but opens directly into a fricative (or, in one language, into a trill). ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... For other uses, see American English (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see American English (disambiguation). ...

Supra-segmental features

Tone groups

English is an intonation language. This means that the pitch of the voice is used syntactically, for example, to convey surprise and irony, or to change a statement into a question. Intonation, in linguistics, is the variation of pitch when speaking. ... Pitch is the perceived fundamental frequency of a sound. ... The human voice consists of sound made by a human using the vocal folds for talking, singing, laughing, crying and screaming. ... For other uses, see Syntax (disambiguation). ... Look up surprise in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... “Ironic” redirects here. ... In linguistics, a sentence is a unit of language, characterized in most languages by the presence of a finite verb. ... A question may be either a linguistic expression used to make a request for information, or else the request itself made by such an expression. ...


In English, intonation patterns are on groups of words, which are called tone groups, tone units, intonation groups or sense groups. Tone groups are said on a single breath and, as a consequence, are of limited length, more often being on average five words long or lasting roughly two seconds. For example:

- /duː juː niːd ˈɛnɪˌθɪŋ/ Do you need anything?
- /aɪ dəʊnt | nəʊ/ I don't, no
- /aɪ dəʊnt nəʊ/ I don't know (contracted to, for example, - /aɪ dəʊnəʊ/ or /aɪ dənəʊ/ I dunno in fast or colloquial speech that de-emphasises the pause between don't and know even further)

Characteristics of intonation

English is a strongly stressed language, in that certain syllables, both within words and within phrases, get a relative prominence/loudness during pronunciation while the others do not. The former kind of syllables are said to be accentuated/stressed and the latter are unaccentuated/unstressed. All good dictionaries of English mark the accentuated syllable(s) by either placing an apostrophe-like ( ˈ ) sign either before (as in IPA, Oxford English Dictionary, or Merriam-Webster dictionaries) or after (as in many other dictionaries) the syllable where the stress accent falls. In general, for a two-syllable word in English, it can be broadly said that if it is a noun or an adjective, the first syllable is accentuated; but if it is a verb, the second syllable is accentuated. Articles with similar titles include the NATO phonetic alphabet, which has also informally been called the “International Phonetic Alphabet”. For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words, see IPA chart for English. ... The Oxford English Dictionary print set The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is a dictionary published by the Oxford University Press (OUP), and is the most successful dictionary of the English language, (not to be confused with the one-volume Oxford Dictionary of English, formerly New Oxford Dictionary of English, of... Merriam-Webster, originally known as the G. & C. Merriam Company of Springfield, Massachusetts, is a United States company that publishes reference books, especially dictionaries that are descendants of Noah Websters An American Dictionary of the English Language (1828). ...


Hence in a sentence, each tone group can be subdivided into syllables, which can either be stressed (strong) or unstressed (weak). The stressed syllable is called the nuclear syllable. For example:

That | was | the | best | thing | you | could | have | done!

Here, all syllables are unstressed, except the syllables/words best and done, which are stressed. Best is stressed harder and, therefore, is the nuclear syllable.


The nuclear syllable carries the main point the speaker wishes to make. For example:

John hadn't stolen that money. (... Someone else had.)
John hadn't stolen that money. (... You said he had. or ... Not at that time, but later he did.)
John hadn't stolen that money. (... He acquired the money by some other means.)
John hadn't stolen that money. (... He had stolen some other money.)
John hadn't stolen that money. (... He stole something else.)

Also

I didn't tell her that. (... Someone else told her.)
I didn't tell her that. (... You said I did. or ... But now I will!)
I didn't tell her that. (... I didn't say it; she could have inferred it, etc.)
I didn't tell her that. (... I told someone else.)
I didn't tell her that. (... I told her something else.)

This can also be used to express emotion:

Oh really? (...I didn't know that)
Oh really? (...I don't believe you)

The nuclear syllable is spoken more loudly than the others and has a characteristic change of pitch. The changes of pitch most commonly encountered in English are the rising pitch and the falling pitch, although the fall-rising pitch and/or the rise-falling pitch are sometimes used. In this opposition between falling and rising pitch, which plays a larger role in English than in most other languages, falling pitch conveys certainty and rising pitch uncertainty. This can have a crucial impact on meaning, specifically in relation to polarity, the positive–negative opposition; thus, falling pitch means "polarity known", while rising pitch means "polarity unknown". This underlies the rising pitch of yes/no questions. For example:

When do you want to be paid?
Now? (Rising pitch. In this case, it denotes a question: "Can I be paid now?" or "Do you desire to be paid now?")
Now. (Falling pitch. In this case, it denotes a statement: "I choose to be paid now.")

Grammar

Main article: English grammar

English grammar has minimal inflection compared with most other Indo-European languages. For example, Modern English, unlike Modern German or Dutch and the Romance languages, lacks grammatical gender and adjectival agreement. Case marking has almost disappeared from the language and mainly survives in pronouns. The patterning of strong (e.g. speak/spoke/spoken) versus weak verbs inherited from its Germanic origins has declined in importance in modern English, and the remnants of inflection (such as plural marking) have become more regular. English grammar is a body of rules specifying how meanings are created in English. ... Inflection of the Spanish lexeme for cat, with blue representing the masculine gender, pink representing the feminine gender, grey representing the form used for mixed-gender, and green representing the plural number. ... For other uses, see Indo-European. ... The Romance languages (sometimes referred to as Romanic languages) are a branch of the Indo-European language family, comprising all the languages that descend from Latin, the language of the Roman Empire. ... In linguistics, grammatical gender is a morphological category associated with the expression of gender through inflection or agreement. ... In languages, agreement is a form of cross-reference between different parts of a sentence or phrase. ... In linguistics, declension is a feature of inflected languages: generally, the alteration of a noun to indicate its grammatical role. ... In linguistics and grammar, a pronoun is a pro-form that substitutes for a noun or noun phrase with or without a determiner, such as you and they in English. ... A strong inflection is an irregular inflection, in which the stem of a word changes. ... In Germanic languages, weak verbs are those verbs that form their preterites and past participles by means of a dental suffix, an inflection that contains a /t/ or /d/ sound. ... Look up plural in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


At the same time, the language has become more analytic, and has developed features such as modal verbs and word order as rich resources for conveying meaning. Auxiliary verbs mark constructions such as questions, negative polarity, the passive voice and progressive tenses. An analytic language (or isolating language) is a language in which the vast majority of morphemes are free morphemes and considered to be full-fledged words. By contrast, in a synthetic language, a word is composed of agglutinated or fused morphemes that denote its syntactic meanings. ... A modal verb (also modal, modal auxiliary verb, modal auxiliary) is a type of auxiliary verb that is used to indicate modality. ... In linguistic typology, word order is the order in which words appear in sentences. ... In linguistics, an auxiliary (also called helping verb, auxiliary verb, or verbal auxiliary) is a verb functioning to give further semantic or syntactic information about the main or full verb following it. ... In grammar, voice is the relationship between the action or state expressed by a verb, and its arguments (subject, object, etc. ... Grammatical tense is a way languages express the time at which an event described by a sentence occurs. ...


Vocabulary

The English vocabulary has changed considerably over the centuries.[31]


Germanic words (generally words of Old English or to a lesser extent Norse origin) which include all the basics such as pronouns (I, my, you, it) and conjunctions (and, or, but) tend to be shorter than the Latinate words of English, and more common in ordinary speech. The longer Latinate words are often regarded as more elegant or educated. However, the excessive or superfluous use of Latinate words is considered at times to be either pretentious (as in the stereotypical policeman's talk of "apprehending the suspect") or an attempt to obfuscate an issue. George Orwell's essay "Politics and the English Language" is critical of this, as well as other perceived abuses of the language. In linguistics and grammar, a pronoun is a pro-form that substitutes for a noun or noun phrase with or without a determiner, such as you and they in English. ... Obfuscation refers to the concept of concealing the meaning of communication by making it more confusing and harder to interpret. ... Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 [1] [2] – 21 January 1950), better known by the pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist. ... For other uses, see Essay (disambiguation). ... Politics and the English Language (1946) is an essay by George Orwell wherein he criticizes ugly and inaccurate contemporary written English, and asserts that it was both a cause and an effect of foolish thinking and dishonest politics. ...


An English speaker is in many cases able to choose between Germanic and Latinate synonyms: come or arrive; sight or vision; freedom or liberty. In some cases there is a choice between a Germanic derived word (oversee), a Latin derived word (supervise), and a French word derived from the same Latin word (survey). The richness of the language arises from the variety of different meanings and nuances such synonyms harbour, enabling the speaker to express fine variations or shades of thought. Familiarity with the etymology of groups of synonyms can give English speakers greater control over their linguistic register. See: List of Germanic and Latinate equivalents. Synonyms (in ancient Greek, συν (syn) = plus and όνομα (onoma) = name) are different words with similar or identical meanings. ... Not to be confused with Entomology, the scientific study of insects. ... In linguistics, a register is a subset of a language used for a particular purpose or in a particular social setting. ... This list contains Germanic elements of the English language which have a close corresponding Latinate form. ...


An exception to this and a peculiarity perhaps unique to English is that the nouns for meats are commonly different from, and unrelated to, those for the animals from which they are produced, the animal commonly having a Germanic name and the meat having a French-derived one. Examples include: deer and venison; cow and beef; swine/pig and pork, or sheep and mutton. This is assumed to be a result of the aftermath of the Norman invasion, where a French-speaking elite were the consumers of the meat, produced by English-speaking lower classes. This article is about the ruminant animal. ... Leg of venison on apple sauce with dumplings and vegetables Venison is meat of the family Cervidae. ... COW is an acronym for a number of things: Can of worms The COW programming language, an esoteric programming language. ... For other uses, see Beef (disambiguation). ... Binomial name Sus scrofa Linnaeus, 1758 Synonyms The domestic pig is usually given the scientific name Sus scrofa, though some authors call it , reserving for the wild boar. ... For other uses, see Pig (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Pork (disambiguation). ... Species See text. ... Mutton may refer to either: The meat of a sheep In parts of Asia, the meat of a goat Category: ...


In everyday speech, the majority of words will normally be Germanic. If a speaker wishes to make a forceful point in an argument in a very blunt way, Germanic words will usually be chosen. A majority of Latinate words (or at least a majority of content words) will normally be used in more formal speech and writing, such as a courtroom or an encyclopedia article. However, there are other Latinate words that are used normally in everyday speech and do not sound formal; these are mainly words for concepts that no longer have Germanic words, and are generally assimilated better and in many cases do not appear Latinate. For instance, the words mountain, valley, river, aunt, uncle, move, use, push and stay are all Latinate. A trial at the Old Bailey in London as drawn by Thomas Rowlandson and Augustus Pugin for Ackermanns Microcosm of London (1808-11). ... “Cyclopedia” redirects here. ...


English is noted for the vast size of its active vocabulary and its fluidity.[citation needed][weasel words] English easily accepts technical terms into common usage and imports new words and phrases that often come into common usage. Examples of this phenomenon include: cookie, Internet and URL (technical terms), as well as genre, über, lingua franca and amigo (imported words/phrases from French, German, modern Latin, and Spanish, respectively). In addition, slang often provides new meanings for old words and phrases. In fact, this fluidity is so pronounced that a distinction often needs to be made between formal forms of English and contemporary usage. See also: sociolinguistics. A vocabulary is a set of words known to a person or other entity, or that are part of a specific language. ... This article is about the HTTP state mechanism. ... A Uniform Resource Locator, URL (spelled out as an acronym, not pronounced as earl), or Web address, is a standardized address name layout for resources (such as documents or images) on the Internet (or elsewhere). ... For the magazine, see Genre (magazine). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Lingua franca, literally Frankish language in Italian, was originally a mixed language consisting largely of Italian plus a vocabulary drawn from Turkish, Persian, French, Greek and Arabic and used for communication throughout the Middle East. ... Amigo (female form: Amiga) is a Spanish word for friend. ... Slang is the use of highly informal words and expressions that are not considered standard in the speakers dialect or language. ... This article or section cites its sources but does not provide page references. ...


Number of words in English

English has an extraordinarily rich vocabulary and willingness to absorb new words. As the General Explanations at the beginning of the Oxford English Dictionary states: A vocabulary is a set of words known to a person or other entity, or that are part of a specific language. ...

The Vocabulary of a widely diffused and highly cultivated living language is not a fixed quantity circumscribed by definite limits... there is absolutely no defining line in any direction: the circle of the English language has a well-defined centre but no discernible circumference.

The vocabulary of English is undoubtedly vast, but assigning a specific number to its size is more a matter of definition than of calculation. Unlike other languages, there is no Academy to define officially accepted words. Neologisms are coined regularly in medicine, science and technology and other fields, and new slang is constantly developed. Some of these new words enter wide usage; others remain restricted to small circles. Foreign words used in immigrant communities often make their way into wider English usage. Archaic, dialectal, and regional words might or might not be widely considered as "English". This is a list of bodies that regulate languages. ... A neologism (Greek νεολογισμός [neologismos], from νέος [neos] new + λόγος [logos] word, speech, discourse + suffix -ισμός [-ismos] -ism) is a word, term, or phrase which has been recently created (coined) — often to apply to new concepts, to synthesize pre-existing concepts, or to make older terminology sound more contemporary. ... Slang is the use of highly informal words and expressions that are not considered standard in the speakers dialect or language. ...


The Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (OED2) includes over 600,000 definitions, following a rather inclusive policy: The Oxford English Dictionary print set The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is a dictionary published by the Oxford University Press (OUP), and is the most successful dictionary of the English language, (not to be confused with the one-volume Oxford Dictionary of English, formerly New Oxford Dictionary of English, of...

It embraces not only the standard language of literature and conversation, whether current at the moment, or obsolete, or archaic, but also the main technical vocabulary, and a large measure of dialectal usage and slang (Supplement to the OED, 1933).[32]

The editors of Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged (475,000 main headwords) in their preface, estimate the number to be much higher. It is estimated that about 25,000 words are added to the language each year.[33] 1888 advertisement for Websters Dictionary Websters Dictionary is the common title given to English language dictionaries in the United States, derived from American lexicographer Noah Webster. ...


Word origins

Influences in English vocabulary
Influences in English vocabulary

One of the consequences of the French influence is that the vocabulary of English is, to a certain extent, divided between those words which are Germanic (mostly Old English) and those which are "Latinate" (Latin-derived, either directly from Norman French or other Romance languages). Image File history File links Influencegraph. ... Image File history File links Influencegraph. ... . ... Old English (also called Anglo-Penis[1], Englisc by its speakers) is an early form of the English language that was spoken in parts of what is now England and southern Scotland between the mid-fifth century and the mid-twelfth century. ...


Numerous sets of statistics have been proposed to demonstrate the various origins of English vocabulary. None, as yet, are considered definitive by a majority of linguists.


A computerised survey of about 80,000 words in the old Shorter Oxford Dictionary (3rd ed.) was published in Ordered Profusion by Thomas Finkenstaedt and Dieter Wolff (1973)[34] that estimated the origin of English words as follows:

  • Langue d'oïl, including French and Old Norman: 28.3%
  • Latin, including modern scientific and technical Latin: 28.24%
  • Other Germanic languages (including words directly inherited from Old English): 25%
  • Greek: 5.32%
  • No etymology given: 4.03%
  • Derived from proper names: 3.28%
  • All other languages contributed less than 1% (e.g. Arabic-English loanwords)

A survey by Joseph M. Williams in Origins of the English Language of 10,000 words taken from several thousand business letters[35] gave this set of statistics: The geographical spread of the Oïl languages (except French) can be seen in shades of green and yellow in this map Langues doïl is the linguistic and historical designation of the Gallo-Romance languages which originated in the northern territories of Roman Gaul now occupied by northern... Old Norman was one of many langue doïl dialects. ... A great number of words of French origin have entered the English language to the extent that 40% of its vocabulary is of French origin. ... Proto-Indo-European Indo-European studies The Germanic languages form one of the branches of the Indo-European (IE) language family, spoken by the Germanic peoples who settled in northern Europe along the borders of the Roman Empire. ... Old English (also called Anglo-Saxon[1], Old English: ) is an early form of the English language that was spoken in parts of what is now England and southern Scotland between the mid-fifth century and the mid-twelfth century. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with List of Arabic loanwords in English. ... Joseph M. Williams is a professor emeritus in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Chicago. ...

  • French (langue d'oïl), 41%
  • "Native" English, 33%
  • Latin, 15%
  • Danish, 2%
  • Dutch, 1%
  • Other, 10%

However, 83% of the 1,000 most-common English words are Anglo-Saxon in origin. [36]


Dutch origins

Words describing the navy, types of ships, and other objects or activities on the water are often from Dutch origin. Yacht (Jacht) and cruiser (kruiser) are examples. This is a list of words of Dutch language origin. ...


French origins

There are many words of French origin in English, such as competition, art, table, publicity, police, role, routine, machine, force, and many others that have been and are being anglicised; they are now pronounced according to English rules of phonology, rather than French. A large portion of English vocabulary is of French or Oïl language origin, most derived from, or transmitted via, the Anglo-Norman spoken by the upper classes in England for several hundred years after the Norman Conquest. Here are some examples of French words and phrases used by English speakers. ... A great number of words of French origin have entered the English language to the extent that 40% of its vocabulary is of French origin. ... This does not cite any references or sources. ... Phonology (Greek phonÄ“ = voice/sound and logos = word/speech), is a subfield of linguistics which studies the sound system of a specific language (or languages). ... The geographical spread of the Oïl languages (except French) can be seen in shades of green in this map The Oïl language family in linguistics comprises Romance languages originating in territories now occupied by northern France, part of Belgium and the Channel Islands. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Upper class refers to the group of people at the top of a social hierarchy. ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... Bayeux Tapestry depicting events leading to the Battle of Hastings The Norman Conquest of England was the conquest of the Kingdom of England by William the Conqueror (Duke of Normandy), in 1066 at the Battle of Hastings and the subsequent Norman control of England. ...


Writing system

English has been written using the Latin alphabet since around the ninth century. (Before that, Old English had been written using the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc.) The spelling system, or orthography, is multilayered, with elements of French, Latin and Greek spelling on top of the native Germanic system; it has grown to vary significantly from the phonology of the language. The spelling of words often diverges considerably from how they are spoken. See English orthography. The modern English alphabet consists of the 26 letters[1] of the Latin alphabet: The exact shape of printed letters varies depending on the typeface. ... English orthography (or spelling), has relatively complicated rules when compared to other orthographic systems written with alphabetic scripts and contains many inconsistencies between spelling and pronunciation, necessitating rote learning for most people learning to read or write English. ... The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most widely used alphabetic writing system in the world today. ... The Anglo-Saxon Futhorc are a runic alphabet, extended from the Elder Futhark, consisting of 29, and later even 33 characters. ... The orthography of a language specifies the correct way of writing in that language. ... Phonology (Greek phonē = voice/sound and logos = word/speech), is a subfield of linguistics which studies the sound system of a specific language (or languages). ... English spelling (or orthography), although largely phonemic, has more complicated rules than many other spelling systems used by languages written in alphabetic scripts and contains many inconsistencies between spelling and pronunciation, necessitating rote learning for anyone learning to read or write English. ...


Basic sound-letter correspondence

See also: hard and soft c and hard and soft g

Only the consonant letters are pronounced in a relatively regular way: A hard c vs. ... A hard g vs a soft g is a feature that occurs in many languages, including English, in which there are two sounds both represented by the letter g. A hard g is a velar stop /g/ represented by g, and a soft g is an affricate or a fricative...

IPA Alphabetic representation Dialect-specific
p p
b b
t t, th (rarely) thyme, Thames th thing (African-American, New York)
d d th that (African-American, New York)
k c (+ a, o, u, consonants), k, ck, ch, qu (rarely) conquer, kh (in foreign words)
g g, gh, gu (+ a, e, i), gue (final position)
m m
n n
ŋ n (before g or k), ng
f f, ph, gh (final, infrequent) laugh, rough th thing (many forms of English used in England)
v v th with (Cockney, Estuary English)
θ th thick, think, through
ð th that, this, the
s s, c (+ e, i, y), sc (+ e, i, y), ç (façade)
z z, s (finally or occasionally medially), ss (rarely) possess, dessert, word-initial x xylophone
ʃ sh, sch, ti (before vowel) portion, ci/ce (before vowel) suspicion, ocean; si/ssi (before vowel) tension, mission; ch (esp. in words of French origin); rarely s/ss before u sugar, issue; chsi in fuchsia only
ʒ medial si (before vowel) division, medial s (before "ur") pleasure, zh (in foreign words), z before u azure, g (in words of French origin) (+e, i, y) genre
x kh, ch, h (in foreign words) occasionally ch loch (Scottish English, Welsh English)
h h (syllable-initially, otherwise silent)
ch, tch, t before u future, culture t (+ u, ue, eu) tune, Tuesday, Teutonic (most dialects - see yod coalescence)
j, g (+ e, i, y), dg (+ e, i, consonant) badge, judg(e)ment d (+ u, ue, ew) dune, due, dew (most dialects - another example of yod coalescence)
ɹ r, wr (initial) wrangle
j y (initially or surrounded by vowels)
l l
w w
ʍ wh (pronounced hw) Scottish and Irish English, as well as some varieties of American, New Zealand, and English English

The voiceless bilabial plosive is a type of consonantal sound used in many spoken languages. ... The voiced bilabial plosive is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... The voiceless alveolar plosive is a type of consonantal sound used in many spoken languages. ... Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... New York Dialect is the variety of the English language spoken by most European Americans in New York City and much of its metropolitan area including Northern New Jersey, Westchester and Rockland counties, and all of Long Island. ... The voiced alveolar plosive is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... New York Dialect is the variety of the English language spoken by most European Americans in New York City and much of its metropolitan area including Northern New Jersey, Westchester and Rockland counties, and all of Long Island. ... The voiceless velar plosive is a type of consonantal sound used in many spoken languages. ... The voiced velar plosive is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... The bilabial nasal is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... The alveolar nasal is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. ... The velar nasal is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... The voiceless labiodental fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... English English is a term that has been applied to the English language as spoken in England. ... The voiced labiodental fricative is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. ... St Mary-le-Bow The term cockney refers to working-class inhabitants of London, particularly east London, and the slang used by these people. ... Estuary English is a name given to the form of English widely spoken in South East England, especially along the river Thames and its estuary. ... The voiceless dental non-sibilant fricative is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. ... The voiced dental non-sibilant fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... The voiceless alveolar fricatives are consonantal sounds. ... The voiced alveolar fricatives are consonantal sounds. ... The voiceless palato-alveolar fricative or domed postalveolar fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... The voiced palato-alveolar fricative or domed postalveolar fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... The voiceless velar fricative is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. ... Scottish English is usually taken to mean the standard form of the English language used in Scotland, often termed Scottish Standard English. ... Welsh English, Anglo-Welsh, or Wenglish (see below) refers to the dialects of English spoken in Wales by Welsh people. ... The voiceless glottal transition, commonly called a fricative, is a type of sound used in some spoken languages which often behaves like a consonant, but sometimes behaves more like a vowel, or is indeterminate in its behavior. ... The voiceless palato-alveolar affricate or domed postalveolar affricate is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... The voiced palato-alveolar fricative or domed postalveolar affricate is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... The alveolar approximant is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. ... The palatal approximant is a type of consonantal sound, used in many spoken languages. ... The alveolar lateral approximant is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. ... The labial-velar approximant is a type of consonantal sound, used in certain spoken languages. ... The voiceless labial-velar approximant (traditionally called a fricative) is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ...

Written accents

Unlike most other Germanic languages, English has almost no diacritics, except in foreign loanwords (like the acute accent in café) and in the uncommon use of a diaeresis mark (often in formal writing) to indicate that two vowels are pronounced separately, rather than as one sound (e.g. naïve, Zoë). This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Example of a letter with a diacritic A diacritical mark or diacritic, also called an accent, is a small sign added to a letter to alter pronunciation or to distinguish between similar words. ... A loanword (or a borrowing) is a word taken in by one language from another. ... The acute accent (   ) is a diacritic mark used in many modern written languages with alphabets based on the Latin and Greek scripts. ... In linguistics, a, diaeresis, or dieresis (AE) (from Greek (diaerein), to divide) is the modification of a syllable by distinctly pronouncing one of its vowels. ...


Formal written English

A version of the language almost universally agreed upon by educated English speakers around the world is called formal written English. It takes virtually the same form no matter where in the English-speaking world it is written. In spoken English, by contrast, there are a vast number of differences between dialects, accents, and varieties of slang, colloquial and regional expressions. In spite of this, local variations in the formal written version of the language are quite limited, being restricted largely to the spelling differences between British and American English. Note: this article may be of particular interest to non-native users of English. ... Note: this article may be of particular interest to non-native users of English. ... A dialect (from the Greek word &#948;&#953;&#940;&#955;&#949;&#954;&#964;&#959;&#962;) is a variant, or variety, of a language spoken in a certain geographical area. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Slang is the use of highly informal words and expressions that are not considered standard in the speakers dialect or language. ... Spelling differences redirects here. ...


Basic and simplified versions

To make English easier to read, there are some simplified versions of the language. One basic version is named Basic English, a constructed language with a small number of words created by Charles Kay Ogden and described in his book Basic English: A General Introduction with Rules and Grammar (1930). The language is based on a simplified version of English. Ogden said that it would take seven years to learn English, seven months for Esperanto, and seven weeks for Basic English, comparable with Ido. Thus Basic English is used by companies who need to make complex books for international use, and by language schools that need to give people some knowledge of English in a short time. Look up Appendix:Basic English word list in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A constructed or artificial language — known colloquially as a conlang — is a language whose phonology, grammar, and/or vocabulary have been devised by an individual or group, instead of having naturally evolved as part of a culture. ... Charles Kay Ogden (June 1, 1889 Fleetwood - March 21, 1957 London) was a British linguist, philosopher, and writer, now mostly remembered as the inventor and propagator of Basic English, a constructed language, his primary activity from 1925 until his death. ...   is the most widely spoken constructed international auxiliary language. ... Ido (pronounced ) is a constructed language created with the goal of becoming a universal second language for speakers of different linguistic backgrounds as a language easier to learn than ethnic languages. ...


Ogden did not put any words into Basic English that could be said with a few other words and he worked to make the words work for speakers of any other language. He put his set of words through a large number of tests and adjustments. He also made the grammar simpler, but tried to keep the grammar normal for English users.


The concept gained its greatest publicity just after the Second World War as a tool for world peace. Although it was not built into a program, similar simplifications were devised for various international uses. Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000...


Another version, Simplified English, exists, which is a controlled language originally developed for aerospace industry maintenance manuals. It offers a carefully limited and standardised subset of English. Simplified English has a lexicon of approved words and those words can only be used in certain ways. For example, the word close can be used in the phrase "Close the door" but not "do not go close to the landing gear". Disambiguation: see also simple English Simplified English is a controlled language originally developed for aerospace industry maintenance manuals. ... Controlled Natural Languages are subsets of natural languages whose grammars and dictionaries have been restricted in order to reduce or eliminate both ambiguity and complexity. ... Look up aerospace in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Notes

  1. ^ Terri Kelly (29 July 2004). From Lingua Franca to Global English. Global Envision. Retrieved on 2007-03-26.
  2. ^ a b c d David Graddol (1997). The Future of English?. The British Council. Retrieved on 2007-04-15.
  3. ^ a b The triumph of English. The Economist (20 December 2001). Retrieved on 2007-03-26.
  4. ^ Lecture 7: World-Wide English. EHistLing. Retrieved on 2007-03-26.
  5. ^ Venneman, Theo. "English, a Germanic dialect?". Retrieved on 2006-12-09. 
  6. ^ "What was spoken Old English like?". Retrieved on 2006-12-09. 
  7. ^ "mutton, n." The Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. 1989. OED Online. Oxford University Press. 6 September 2007 <http://dictionary.oed.com/cgi/entry/00319759
  8. ^ "beef, n." The Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. 1989. OED Online. Oxford University Press. 6 September 2007 <http://dictionary.oed.com/cgi/entry/50019353
  9. ^ a b c Ethnologue, 1999
  10. ^ a b CIA World Factbook, Field Listing - Languages (World).
  11. ^ a b Languages of the World (Charts), Comrie (1998), Weber (1997), and the Summer Institute for Linguistics (SIL) 1999 Ethnologue Survey. Available at The World's Most Widely Spoken Languages
  12. ^ Mair, Victor H. (1991). "What Is a Chinese "Dialect/Topolect"? Reflections on Some Key Sino-English Linguistic Terms". Sino-Platonic Papers. 
  13. ^ English language. Columbia University Press (2005). Retrieved on 2007-03-26.
  14. ^ http://www.oxfordseminars.com/Tesol/Pages/Teach/teach_20000jobs.php
  15. ^ Not the Queen's English, Newsweek International, March 7 edition, 2007.
  16. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2003, Section 1 Population (pdf) (English) 59 pages. U.S. Census Bureau. Table 47 gives the figure of 214,809,000 for those five years old and over who speak exclusively English at home. Based on the American Community Survey, these results exclude those living communally (such as college dormitories, institutions, and group homes), and by definition exclude native English speakers who speak more than one language at home.
  17. ^ a b c d The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language, Second Edition, Crystal, David; Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, [1995 (2003-08-03).]
  18. ^ a b Mother Tongue, 2001 Counts for Both Sexes, for Canada, Provinces and Territories - 20% Sample Data, Census 2001, Statistics Canada.
  19. ^ a b 2001 Census QuickStats: Australia Main Language Spoken at Home. The figure is the number of people who spoke English only at home.
  20. ^ a b Census in Brief, page 15 (Table 2.5), 2001 Census, Statistics South Africa.
  21. ^ a b Languages spoken, 2006 Census, Statistics New Zealand. No figure is given for the number of native speakers, but it would be somewhere between the number of people who spoke English only (3,008,058) and the total number of English speakers (3,673,623), if one ignores the 197,187 people who did not provide a usable answer.
  22. ^ Subcontinent Raises Its Voice, Crystal, David; Guardian Weekly: Friday November 19, 2004.
  23. ^ Yong Zhao; Keith P. Campbell (1995). "English in China". World Englishes 14 (3): 377–390. Hong Kong contributes an additional 2.5 million speakers (1996 by-census]).
  24. ^ 2000 Census. Native speakers aged 5 or more
  25. ^ Languages Spoken in the U.S., National Virtual Translation Center, 2006.
  26. ^ U.S. English Foundation, Official Language Research -- United Kingdom.
  27. ^ U.S. ENGLISH,Inc
  28. ^ http://europa.eu.int/comm/education/policies/lang/languages/index_en.html
  29. ^ http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_237.en.pdf
  30. ^ Cox, Felicity (2006). "Australian English Pronunciation into the 21st Century". Prospect 21: 3–21. Retrieved on 2007-07-22. 
  31. ^ For the processes and triggers of English vocabulary changes cf. English and General Historical Lexicology (by Joachim Grzega and Marion Schöner)
  32. ^ It went on to clarify,

    Hence we exclude all words that had become obsolete by 1150 [the end of the Old English era] . . . Dialectal words and forms which occur since 1500 are not admitted, except when they continue the history of the word or sense once in general use, illustrate the history of a word, or have themselves a certain literary currency. Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... March 26 is the 85th day of the year (86th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 105th day of the year (106th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... March 26 is the 85th day of the year (86th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... March 26 is the 85th day of the year (86th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 343rd day of the year (344th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 343rd day of the year (344th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Victor H. Mair is Professor of Chinese Language and Literature in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, United States. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... March 26 is the 85th day of the year (86th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Statistics Canada (French: Statistique Canada) is the Canadian federal government department commissioned with producing statistics to help better understand Canada, its population, resources, economy, society, and culture. ... Statistics South Africa is the national statistics board of South Africa. ... Statistics New Zealand (Te Tari Tatau) is a New Zealand government department, and the source of the countrys official statistics. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 203rd day of the year (204th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Old English (also called Anglo-Saxon[1], Old English: ) is an early form of the English language that was spoken in parts of what is now England and southern Scotland between the mid-fifth century and the mid-twelfth century. ...

  33. ^ Kister, Ken. "Dictionaries defined." Library Journal, 6/15/92, Vol. 117 Issue 11, p43, 4p, 2bw
  34. ^ Finkenstaedt, Thomas; Dieter Wolff (1973). Ordered profusion; studies in dictionaries and the English lexicon. C. Winter. ISBN 3-533-02253-6. 
  35. ^ Joseph M. Willams, Origins of the English Language at Amazon.com
  36. ^ http://www.utexas.edu/cola/centers/lrc/eieol/engol-0-X.html
  37. ^ "English, a. and n." The Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. 1989. OED Online. Oxford University Press. 6 September 2007 <http://dictionary.oed.com/cgi/entry/50075365
  38. ^ Ethnologue (1984 estimate)
  39. ^ Ethnologue (1999 estimate)
  40. ^ 20,000 Teaching Jobs (English). Oxford Seminars. Retrieved on 2007-02-18.
  41. ^ Lecture 7: World-Wide English. EHistLing. Retrieved on 2007-03-26.

Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 49th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... March 26 is the 85th day of the year (86th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

References

  • Baugh, Albert C.; Thomas Cable (2002). A history of the English language, 5th ed., Routledge. ISBN 0-415-28099-0. 
  • Bragg, Melvyn (2004). The Adventure of English: The Biography of a Language. Arcade Publishing. ISBN 1-55970-710-0. 
  • Emerson, Ralph Waldo (2006). The Classics of Style: The Fundamentals of Language Style from Our American Craftsmen, 1st ed., The American Academic Press. ISBN 0-9787282-0-3. 
  • Crystal, David (1997). English as a Global Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-53032-6. 
  • Crystal, David (2004). The Stories of English. Allen Lane. ISBN 0-7139-9752-4. 
  • Crystal, David (2003). The Cambridge encyclopedia of the English language, 2nd ed., Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-53033-4. 
  • Halliday, MAK (1994). An introduction to functional grammar, 2nd ed., London: Edward Arnold. ISBN 0-340-55782-6. 
  • Hayford, Harrison; Howard P. Vincent (1954). Reader and Writer. Houghton Mifflin Company.  [1]
  • McArthur, T. (ed.) (1992). The Oxford Companion to the English Language. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-214183-X. 
  • Robinson, Orrin (1992). Old English and Its Closest Relatives. Stanford Univ. Press. ISBN 0-8047-2221-8. 

Melvyn Bragg, Baron Bragg, FRSL, FRTS (born 6 October 1939, in Wigton, Cumberland) is a British author and broadcaster. ... The American Academic Press is a small academic press located in Cleveland, Ohio. ... Professor David Crystal, OBE (born 1941 in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, UK) is a linguist, academic and author. ... Professor David Crystal, OBE (born 1941 in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, UK) is a linguist, academic and author. ... Professor David Crystal, OBE (born 1941 in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, UK) is a linguist, academic and author. ...

See also

See also: Language education and Second language acquisition ESL (English as a second language), ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) and EFL (English as a foreign language) all refer to the use or study of English by speakers of other languages. ... TEFL or Teaching English as a foreign language refers to teaching English to students for whom it is not their mother tongue (see English language learning and teaching, which explains the distinctions between different kinds of teaching of English to non-native speakers). ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ...

External links

Wikiversity
At Wikiversity, you can learn about:
Topic:English Language
Image:Wikipedia-logo-w.png
English language edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
English language
  • English language at Ethnologue
  • National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition
  • The Global English Survey Project A survey tracking how English is used by non-native speakers around the world
  • 6000 English words recorded by a native speaker
  • More than 20000 English words recorded by a native speaker

Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Wikiversity logo Wikiversity is a Wikimedia Foundation beta project[1], devoted to learning materials and activities, located at www. ... Wikipedia (IPA: , or ( ) is a multilingual, web-based, free content encyclopedia project, operated by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization. ... Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... Ethnologue: Languages of the World is a web and print publication of SIL International (formerly known as the Summer Institute of Linguistics), a Christian linguistic service organization which studies lesser-known languages primarily to provide the speakers with Bibles in their native language. ...

Dictionaries

English language edition of Wiktionary, the free dictionary/thesaurus
  • Merriam-Webster's online dictionary
  • Oxford's online dictionary
  • dict.org
  • Collection of English bilingual dictionaries
  • Dictionary of American Regional English


Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 150 languages. ...

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  Results from FactBites:
 
KryssTal : The English Language (1199 words)
Because the English underclass cooked for the Norman upper class, the words for most domestic animals are English (ox, cow, calf, sheep, swine, deer) while the words for the meats derived from them are French (beef, veal, mutton, pork, bacon, venison).
Languages in the same box as English (the Germanic Languages) are sister languages to English and are its closest relatives.
English belongs to the Indo-European family of languages, which is a large collection of languages with a common ancestor.
English Language - MSN Encarta (1144 words)
English Language, primary language of the majority of people in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, other former colonies of Britain, and territories of the United States.
Even in countries where English is not a primary or official language, it is taught as a foreign language and used as the language of technology and diplomacy.
English is spoken in more parts of the world than any other language and by more people than any other language except Chinese.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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