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The division of the history of English as suggested by V. Arakin
Historical periodization as offered by B. Khaimovich
Henry Sweet and his division of the history of English
Periods in the History of the English Language
Each of the periods is marked by a set of specific features of phonology, grammar, and vocabulary, and may be also defined in these terms. Henry Sweet classified them as the Period of Full Endings, which means that any vowel may be found in an unstressed ending (e.g. OE sunu), the Period of Levelled Endings, which means that vowels of unstressed endings were leveled under a neutral vowel [ə] represented in spelling by the letter e (e.g. OE sunu – ME sune), and the period of Lost Endings (e.g. NE sun).
According to B. Khaimovich, the history of the English language is divided into three periods: Old English, Middle English, and New English. As landmarks separating the three periods, he uses very important events, which had a great influence on the history of English:
· The Anglo-Saxon invasion of the 5th century is taken as the beginning of the Old English period.
· The Norman Conquest of the 11th century is regarded as the beginning of the Middle English period.
· The introduction of printing in the 15th century is the beginning of the New English period.
3. T. Rastorguyeva’s periodization of the English language
According to T. Rastorguyeva, the history of English is divided into the seven periods:
I Early OE (also: Pre-written OE) c. 450 – c. 700
II OE (also: Written OE) c. 700 – 1066
III Early ME 1066 – c. 1350
IV ME (also: Classical ME) c. 1350 – 1475
V Early NE 1476 – c. 1660
VI Normalization Period c. 1660 – c. 1800
(also: Age of Correctness,
VII Late NE, or Mod E c. 1800 . . . . . .
(including Present-day English) since 1945 . . . .
Arakin’s periodization is a traditional one because it is based on the extra linguistic, which means that periodization connotes the character of the society speaking the language. So, he divided the history of English into the following periods:
· the Ancient English Period dated between the first centuries AD and the 7th – 8th c. This is the period of the languages of the Old English tribes;
· the Old English Period dated between the 7th and 11th c. This is the period of the language of the establishing English nationality. The end of this period is marked by the Norman Conquest of England;
· the Middle English Period dated from the beginning of the 12th c. to the 15th c. This is the period of the language of the established English nationality transforming gradually into the nation. The end of this period is marked by the Wars of Roses (1455-1485);
· the New English Period dated from the end of the 15th c. to present. It is subdivided into two periods: a) the Early New English Period – the period of establishing standards of the national language; and b) the Late New English Period – the period of the established standards of the national language.
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