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Introduction: Historical Linguistics And The History Of English

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The Early Modern period refers to the time period between 1500 and 1800. The letters written in this time are known as Early Modern letters. The English language during this time constantly went through a state of flux. Here the assignment discusses two Early Modern letters the first letter is written between William Godolphin and Thomas Cromwell and the second letter is written between the dowager and Countess of Angus, Jean Douglas, and James VI of Scotland.

Linguistic Features of the Early Modern Period

The Modern period of English literature is the most important decade when many poets are written much poetry and explained these times. Many new inventions occurred during this time and the development of all English novels and epics. William Shakespeare is the father of English literature, he emerged his plays and poems during this time. In this period, Shakespeare wrote many poems and use standard English. Many dramatic expressions occurred in this period and it gets to read the history of English literature. This time period refers to between 1500 and 1800 and during this time, many new letters are written by many famous poets such as William Godolphin, William Shakespeare, and Thomas Cronwell.  

The Early modern period was from 1500 to 1800 and many English writers used many letters. At that time, the Renaissance period occurred and many speakers are the English language and they communicate with other non-English speakers. Therefore, they easily adopted the English language and many phrases (Kortmann, 2020). William Shakespeare takes many new words when he wrote many plays, novels and poems.Many new words and phrases are the most important part of the English language. Many linguistic features are generated in this period and many vowels and constants shifts occurred, and different types of letter variations occurred in that time.  

Vowel Shift

This period witnesses the vowel shift within the words and this means the vowel sounds became shorter. Diphthong means the two vowels and these two vowels combined with each other so that it creates one sound (Van Deinsen et al. 2021). There were also some sounds that were created with short vowels and they shifted to diphthongs. The word “whyche” in the letter 1 is an example of vowel shift where the “e” letter is pronounced at the end even if it is not available there.

This period of time witnessed many vowel shifts and vowel sounds are short. The Great Vowel Shift is was help to change the sound of the long vowels in English and this method used in the middle of fifteenth to twenty centuries. The long type vowels are shifted in the upward places and it is mostly used in different type of pronunciation. Human used various organs of mouth to pronounced different type of words. The Great Vowel Shift is used in implication for long term and orthography is the great example of Great Vowel Shift. 

The sound of “I” and “u” is sounds like “ei” and “eu” as well as “e” and “o” are sounds like “I” and “u”. The high front of “I” was used in early modern English era and high-mid front “e” was used in Middle English era. “U” was used in high back during the time of modern English and “e” used as high mid front during the time of early modern era of English. Many vowel words are “mite> meet> mate” and fewer vowel sounds are “thief> fete> palm, these words are pronounced with phonetics. The GVS method helps to change the quality of tense as well as pronunciations. The various changing stages are unknown and various theories were made during that time.  Two vowels are referred Diphthongs and combined one vowel sound and replaced long vowels. For example, the Vowel sound “i” is spelling out “ee” and it is replaced vowel. 

Vowel sounds are identical sounds when they had been independent (Ballard, 2022). For example, “may” and “main” are two different words and these are different from sounds but began to create the same vowel, in spite of these, “dew” and “due” are the same difference but the beginning vowel is same. Therefore, many short vowels are changed into diphthongs, examples are, “u” is a short vowel and it was replaced with “ou” and “oo” such as these two words are “blood” and “double”. The “ea” vowel came from short vowel “u” and these words are “bread” and “lead”. These vowel sounds are explained by much phonology and changed from modern English to Middle English (Rao, 2019). It has a bad impact and these shifts are affected many long vowel sounds and have different many pronunciations. 

Silent Consonants

The Great Vowel Shift made some consonants silent, as they are non-vowels. For example, the letter q in the word quhaire in letter 2 is silent because it is a silent consonant. The letter h is also silent in the word honoure of the second letter since h is also a consonant.

The vowel shifts are created into consonant shifts and they are known for non-vowels. Some letters that are consonant, became no sound means silent. Examples are- “k” from “knight”, the word “k” sound is silent and many words are pronounced as another letter such as “b” and “g” are pronounced as the main word like “lamb” and other word “hang”. Many sounds are silent and that comes with consonants (Roberts, 2018). The main silent word is “t” because many words are pronounced without “t”, these words are- “thistle” and “listen”, in these words “t” sounds are not used in these words. 

The English language has a combination letter and this letter is heard in the same sound, this is “gh” such as “light” and “night”. These words are not long sounds. Consonant sounds are used to hear the word sounds are pleasure and these phrases are listening to twinkling (Nazzi and Cutler, 2019). These sounds help to draw good attention and help to get attention from these sounds. Some similar sounds are heard by other rhythmic sounds and heard these sounds are so rhythmic that it helps to achieve many new ideas and new aspects. These letters help with different spellings and various homophones. Some silent letters are written but these are not pronounced.  

Letter Variations

Some letters in the Early Modern period were interchangeable. For example, the word “haue” refers to have in the letter 2 and this change happened because the u and v words could have been alternatively (Harrison and Mikkelson, 2021). The word “uill” in the previously mentioned letter means will where u was interchanged with w. The word hym was not replaced with him in the first letter and this indicates that the first letter was written before this linguistic change happened. 

Letter Variations are the most important part of the modern English period and it is interchanged. This changing process is used at that time and most of the parts are used in standard English. Examples are- the letter “u” and “v” is not changed when “v” was appeared then used only the letter “u, and when “i” used then used “j”. The most common letter “e” is used in the last letter of the word and it is a silent vowel, an example is “cross” and it is spelt with “crosse”(Kortmann, 2020). Many times “y” is replaced in many words and then “i” is changed. Example is “faith”, this word changed into “fayth”. The common letter “c” sound is used when “tion” is pronounced at the end of the word. For example-”creation”> “creacyon”. Some words are intentionally pronounced differently. These words are pronounced in Latin words, examples are- “Anker” changed into “anchor” and another word “doute” changed into” doubt”. Letters are different from one another and it is important from other key letters. These letters help many personalized pronounced and it is to be noted that many new words are getting from this reasons. For these reasons, the English language is more appropriate for this period and it is an important part of English literature.

Loan words come from:

Words are borrowed and loaned as a result of cultural exchange between two groups who speak different languages. The process of exchange is typically unequal since the dominant culture (or the culture seen to have more prestige) lends more words than it borrows. Loanwords are not translated, in contrast. Language in which loanwords are used in English such as from German Kindergarten, which literally means "children's garden", from Persian b?z?r, which means "market" and from French café, which means "coffee". 

In one word Loan word means that when two people are from different cultures and want to communicate with each other makes an occurred atmosphere in that case they are using their version of that word and making new words to communicate with each other. It is a very complicated thing to understand (Roberts, 2018). These loan words also help many people to communicate with each other. In English, there are many words which are collected from many different countries in Germani call Kindergurden which actually means Children’s garden, and in the Persian language, the loan word is Bazar which means “market” there is also a very common loan word which came from French that is “Cafe” it means coffee. In linguistics, there are many things and many words which are not really mean to the language they only mean to communicate (Ballard, 2022). In any period of time, every people wants to communicate with another person in that case that language became a barrier to their communication but these types of Loan words help them to communicate with new people. In literature, many poets and writer are also used loan words to improve their level of writing.       

Letters are different from today’s English:

When people in Britain stopped using the old runes in the Middle Ages, the letter thorn eventually became the letter 'th,' and the runic symbol for "wynn" changed to "uu," which then became "w." Later during this time, the letters "j" and "u" were introduced, bringing the total to 26.

At that period of time, the Letters are so much different from now. At that time they are no “J” and no” U”. U is used like “wynn”. Nowadays in English literature, there are 26 alphabets but at that time there is only 14 alphabets are there. To smoothen up the language researcher invented new alphabets in English. In the English word division section, there are many parts throughout the world, the language is called English but they speak and write differently. For example, in the UK everyone writes “organisation” but on the other side in the USA they wright “organization”. English literature has various different styles to speak and write. This versatileness is helpful to communicate with others. Maybe it is not acceptable for some people but times change a lot. This time also changes the people and change the communicative language (Purnellet al. 2019). At present time this language makes everyone comfortable communicating with each other. Today's English is very different from that period's English. This English language is becoming very versatile from time to time. In future, it will also become very fluent for everyone to communicate with each other.              


The era witnessed the change of “you” from “ye or thou”, “goes” from “goeth” and the usage of “it” became neutral eventually. The letter from James VI of Scotland to Jean Douglas uses both the words you and ye in it. This indicates that the language was in the transition state when the second letter was written. 

In communicating with each other, there is no need to do grammar work because communication is a way to involve people, but in the written segment of English, there is always a need for a grammar check. Grammar is the main route of English in this case after writing something grammar also helps to understand the meaning of bunched words. A sentence is never complete without grammar. In grammar, there is no use of “you” in that period of time but now eventually it became the main part of English literature. At that time in replace of “you” they used” ye or thou”. Modern literature and middle-aged literature had so many differences in language. (McLeod and Crowe, 2018) This language is also affected by cultural and social effects. Modernizing the social and cultural sector give an effect on linguistics. English learning is also affected by this segment, the grammar is so much different from that time. In grammar there are two parts one is tense and the other one is spelling. 

In the segment of tense, grammar determines the time. At which time the work happens or at which time the work will happen completely depends on the tense. In that period of time, English is a tougher language to speak because at that time every person is talk in proper English with the proper grammar, but nowadays it became very casual to talk, on the basis of communication (Glotfeltyand Katz, 2021). At present time in communication there is no need for any grammar or to be very specific nowadays no one really bothers about grammar at all.

Another segment of this grammar is spelling. In written literature spelling is a very much important element to work with. Spelling is a part which is not really avoidable at all. From big writers to small poets everybody follows these rules about selling (Herizet al. 2018). But in this case, the spelling of many things is now different from that time, for example, U and V is a change of graphic designing, where U is behave like a vowel and V behave like a consonant.          


The tense of a verb in grammar determines when it acts or what state it is in, such as present (something that is happening right now), past (something that happened in the past), or future. These are known as the time frame of the verb. For instance, consider I shall continue to walk as I do in the present and the past. There are divisions in these three tenses based on the timing. Total tenses in English literature are 12 and each tense contains 4 segments. 


Spelling matters for the following three reasons: Communication: A key part of communication is spelling. Reading and spelling abilities are intertwined and contribute to overall literacy development. Employment: Opportunities for employment are directly impacted by spelling proficiency. The following were the primary systematic spelling variations between early sixteenth-century English and modern English. i). The letters "u" and "v" were graphic versions of the same letter. Whether a vowel or a consonant sound was present, the form "v" was used at the start of a word and "u" in all other positions. ii). Similar to "i," "j" was merely an upgraded version of "i." In most positions within a word, "i" was typically used for both the vowel and the consonant sound (as in jam); its capital form, which resembles "J," was starting to be used in initial position for the consonant sound. iii). The final "silent" -"e" was much more frequently encountered, sometimes after an unnecessary doubled final consonant and sometimes as a marker of a "long" vowel in the preceding syllable (as in take). iv). Particularly in the vicinity of ranging or "minim" letters like "m," "n," and "u," the letter "y" was frequently substituted for the vowel "I."  Some consonant (non-vowel) letters became silent during the Great Vowel Shift. Examples include the "k" in "knight" and the letters "b" and "g," which are positioned at the ends of several words, such "lamb" and "hang." Additionally, the combination of "gh" in words like "light" and "night" was no longer pronounced, as was the letter "t" in words like "thistle" and "listen." 


The contraction of words was used before this period; however, the writers of this period started using both contractions and long forms. The words that were used previously were “I’ll” but the letter between William Godolphin and Thomas Cromwell uses the word “I will” in it (Droste and Salmi-Niklander, 2019). The second letter uses the word “it is” instead of the previous common contraction ‘tis.

The construction of words is also an important thing to discuss in this English literature. Construction can help to write and also help to write very smoothly. For example “I will not go to that house” in this case the writer used the full sentence with perfect construction, but on the other hand, it is very difficult to understand modern literature, because if this sentence is written in modern literature then it will portray like this “I’ll not go to that house” (Kortmann, 2020). In modern literature, it became very easy to read and write but at that period of time English is a tougher job to speak and also write. There are many examples of this in literature like should not become “shouldn’t” it became “it’s”.        


Elision refers to the creation of silence with a syllable or sound and this era has witnessed this feature. Elision occurred during this period as the word of, them, in and they were written as ‘o, ’em, ‘i and th’ (Utama, 2018). The letters do not show the characteristics of Elisions here and therefore the Elisions changes must have occurred after this time.

This is a part which is used at that time because of understanding the silence about anything. This type of literature is basically used by the poet. For example ”O, ‘em, ‘th” and many more, this elision become very effective at that time but in modern literature, there is no use of this language (Djurayevaet al. 2020). In the middle time period of English, literature used this type of Elision to attract the reader toward their poetry.    

It is concluded that the English language is different from other languages and these are pronounced differently and the spelling is different from other languages. Shakespeare is a famous writer of English literature so he used many English terms. In the modern period, many Vowel and consonants sounds are created but these are not common terms so common people do not understand these sounds and many letter variations are generated for the languages and many long vowels are pronounced into short vowels and these short and long vowels are pronounced differently and as a result, sounds are heard rhythmic and valuable. These silent sounds are valuable when it is used. Many vowel shifts are resulting in short vowels and this is called diphthongs many words are replaced with other words and it is increasing English kinds of literature values. Many silent consonants are used in many words and these are “knight”, “light” and “night”. In these studies, many languages information is get from this study and a knowledge of English literature.


The Early Modern period witnessed various instabilities in the English language. However, the printing press invention in 1440 created a great impact on this period’s language and literature. This invention helped to bring stability to the English language and brought a standard into the London press process. The spellings and pronunciations were still the same till almost 1630 and after that; the verbal and spoken English language started reflecting each other. The literature of this period witnessed the Classic Renaissance and English and non-English speakers both came into each other’s contact. That is why the language started using various foreign words and created some new English words. Various writers of literature utilized this situation and created a new vocabulary while playing with those words.  



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