English comes from Scandinavian not Saxon (Old English). Is his the standard view today?

Does English come from Scandinavian or Saxon/West Saxon (Old English)? What is the accepted view today?

"Faarlund and his colleague Joseph Emmonds, visiting professor from Palacký University in the Czech Republic, now believe they can prove that English is in reality a Scandinavian language, in other words it belongs to the Northern Germanic language group, just like Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Icelandic and Faroese. This is totally new and breaks with what other language researchers and the rest of the world believe, namely that English descends directly from Old English. "

I look forward to your feedback

I thought it’s old German. They sound a lot the same.

Since there were a lot of Scandinavian invasions of England during the Middle Ages, why would anyone think they had no influence on the language?

But Dutch is so close to English that it’s hard to believe they’re not closely related.

Well being descended from is different than being influenced by another language. English has lots of influences. It’s a slutty language, picking things up all over the place.

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Some professor’s latest, hot theory, as breathlessly reported by Science Daily, is pretty much guaranteed not to be “the accepted view”. Maybe, in ten years time, something like it will be. Maybe not. This one is all a bit odd, however, given that it has long been clearly recognized that there was a very considerable Scandinavian influence on the development of English. This seems less like a new theory, and more like a different spin on the same old theory.

English is a mix of various original languages. There is an Old English = Anglo-Saxon base, perhaps with some celtic infulences. Then comes latin from the time of Roman occupation. Then come scandinavian influences from viking raids during 9th or so century, and finally french influences from norman invasion in 1066 and onwards, which is originally based in latin anyway.

Sorry, but this is not correct. The Roman occupation (which would be better characterized as the Roman province of Britannia) had zero impact on English. The Anglo-Saxons pretty much displaced any Latin from Great Britain when they invaded.

It’s not that Latin had no influence on English, but it came from other sources: 1) indirectly via Romance languages (French, Spanish, and Italian, mainly), 2) from the church, mostly in the form of religious terminology, and 3) direct borrowing by scholars in more recent eras.

The raids didn’t do anything in terms of language influences, but the domination of about half of England did. See the Danelaw for more details.

Note that “onward” means all the way to the present day. And the Noman invasion is overrated in its influence on English. Even if it hadn’t occured, English would have borrowed lots of French. After all, France is one of England’s closest neighbors and neighboring languages are the most common source of borrowed words.

BTW, there’s nothing special or “slutty” about English borrowing words from other languages. All languages do it to varying degrees. Some have done so more than English. And for the last century or so, English has been loaning more words to other languages than it’s been borrowing.

It’s amazing how many linguistic theories that come close to nutcase raving will get printed in popular science magazines and mainstream newspapers. The people at the blog Language Log often complain about this. That blog is written strictly by well known professors of linguistics. They point out how little science writers for magazines and newspapers know about linguistics and how sloppy their linguistic reporting is compared to reporting on other scientific matters. The author of that article that’s linked to should have interviewed at least one linguistics professor not connected with the research, who would have told him that the claims of Faarlund and Emmonds are not generally accepted.

True, except for the implication that science journalists reporting on other scientific fields are not, usually, at least equally as sloppy and misleading. You won’t hear that at Language Log, of course, but you will hear plenty about it at lots of other blogs written by a wide variety of other scientists.

The Romans were over here before the Anglo-Saxons, who invaded after they left in the 4th-5th centuries.

levdrakon I think ‘mongrel’ would be a better term. A mongrel language for a mongrel nation.

Sluts indeed… I ought to be offended.:stuck_out_tongue:

Your own quote answers that question:

Pretty sloppy writing, though, since how could English not be descended from something called “Old English”. They probably should have said Anglo-Saxon, although those are generally considered synonymous.

No, “Old [High] German” is used to refer to an early form of German, a distinct language from the rest of the West Germanic languages. The common root of English and German (and Dutch is called “West Germanic”.

The Scandinavian languages descend from North Germanic.

Not strictly true, the dialects of the north of England are riddled with Scandinavian influence.

Small examples, in many places we call children “bairns” (baren in Norwegian) and “force” is used to mean waterfall.

Much of English comes from Vogon, which explains why so much of our poetry is dreadful.:wink:

It wasn’t the raids but the settlement by Scandinavians that caused the language influences. See dtilque’s mention of the Danelaw.

There is no reason that raids couldn’t cause some level of language influence even if the areas in the Danelaw had more. This needn’t be a binary situation.

Well, true, and you rarely catch me not using weasel words, but “bairn” is more likely to have come from a farmer than a guy saying, “Toss that bairn over here and I’ll catch it on my sword.”

Isn’t a settlement just an extended raid?

If the only interaction between Vikings and the English were just the former looting and pillaging the latter’s towns and villages, the language influence would have been minimal at best. You don’t borrow may words from people who you are mainly just fighting. Perhaps a few related to that fighting, such as Viking itself.

But there’s some very basic words borrowed from Old Norse during that period: get, give, they, them are some significant examples. For those kinds of words, you need long term and close interaction.

I would not normally think so.