The History of English Podcast-logo

The History of English Podcast

History Podcasts >

A chronological history of the English language examined through the lens of historical events that shaped the development and spread of the language from the Eurasian steppe to the entire world.

A chronological history of the English language examined through the lens of historical events that shaped the development and spread of the language from the Eurasian steppe to the entire world.
More Information

Location:

United States

Description:

A chronological history of the English language examined through the lens of historical events that shaped the development and spread of the language from the Eurasian steppe to the entire world.

Language:

English


Episodes

Episode 108: On the Move

2/9/2018
More
In this episode, we look at the movement of people and their money in the 13th century. This was a period when international trading networks carried goods and people to the far-flung corners of the known world. This was also … Continue reading →

Duration:00:55:53

Episode 107: Parlez-Vous Anglais?

1/15/2018
More
Even though English writing started to re-emerge in the early 1200s, government and legal documents remained the exclusive domain of Latin and French. English finally found a voice in the English government in the mid-1200s with a series of government … Continue reading →

Duration:00:49:10

Episode 106: An Illuminating Development

12/31/2017
More
The 12th and 13th centuries saw the saw the transfer of book production from monasteries to professional bookmakers. In this episode, we look at the birth of the Medieval book trade. We also examine how early illuminators worked with color, … Continue reading →

Duration:00:57:23

Episode 105: Suffix Summary

12/25/2017
More
In this episode, we explore some of the suffixes that were in common use in the early 1200s at the time the Ancrene Wisse was composed. These include traditional Old English suffixes, as well as several new suffixes that were … Continue reading →

Duration:00:48:28

Episode 104: Prefix Preferences

12/18/2017
More
During the early Middle English period, many loanwords from Latin and French were borrowed into English. Very often, those loanwords came in with prefixes and suffixes that were new to the English language. Many of those new affixes appear for … Continue reading →

Duration:00:57:33

Episode 103: Solitary Confinement

12/2/2017
More
The early 13th century saw the rise of a monastic movement in which men and women locked themselves away in secluded cells to practice their religion. These monks were known as anchorites, and an early Middle English text called the … Continue reading →

Duration:00:57:28

Episode 102: A Medieval Glossary

11/6/2017
More
In this episode, we explore the notes and translations left behind by scribes in the margins of Medieval manuscripts. Those marginal notes reveal numerous insights about the state of English in the early 1200s. Those early glosses and translations also … Continue reading →

Duration:00:59:24

Episode 101: The Birth of English Song

10/11/2017
More
Advances in musical notation allowed the first English folk songs to be preserved in writing in the early 1200s. These songs include “Mirie It Is While Sumer Ilast” and “Sumer Is Icumen In.” In this episode, we explore the Greek … Continue reading →

Duration:01:02:37

Episode 100: Decoding English

9/25/2017
More
In this special 100th episode, we review the major consonant sound changes that have impacted English since the Proto-Indo-European language. These sound changes provide us with a set of general rules that we can use to distinguish loanwords from native … Continue reading →

Duration:00:52:03

Episode 99: The Second French Invasion

9/9/2017
More
The early 13th century saw the arrival of a new wave of Frenchmen on the English shores. Some came as conquerors, and some came as nobles and courtiers looking for land and titles. During this period, Norman French started to … Continue reading →

Duration:01:10:03

Episode 98: The Great Debates

8/17/2017
More
Magna Carta is often presented as the culmination of a dispute between King John and his barons, but it didn’t settle the debate. In fact, the charter actually sparked a new debate over the power of the king. That debate … Continue reading →

Duration:00:59:34

Episode 97: Let’s Put It In Writing

7/27/2017
More
The early 13th Century saw a massive increase in the production of government documents, including charters and official letters. In this episode, we explore the changing role of the written word in the Middle Ages. We also examine how King … Continue reading →

Duration:01:02:15

Episode 95: Old School and New School

6/15/2017
More
The 12th and 13th Centuries saw the rise of new institutions of higher learning called “universities.” In this episode, we look at the changing educational system in Western Europe and the rise of Oxford and Cambridge. We also explore the … Continue reading →

Duration:01:07:56

Episode 94: From British Legend to English King

5/23/2017
More
The first version of the King Arthur legend to be composed in English is found in Layamon’s 13th century poem called Brut. In this episode, we explore Layamon’s version of the story, and we examine how the text reveals certain … Continue reading →

Duration:01:05:18

Episode 93: The Two Arthurs

4/22/2017
More
In this episode, we look at the rivalry between John “Lackland” and Arthur of Brittany for control of the Angevin Empire. John eventually emerged victorious, but in the process, he set in motion the events that led to the loss of Normandy and … Continue reading →

Duration:01:01:55

Episode 92: The Lion Kings

3/29/2017
More
During the Middle Ages, lions were adopted as symbols of European royalty. Many monarchs also acquired nicknames related to lions. That included Richard the Lionheart. In this episode, we explore the origin of that nickname, and we examine the popular … Continue reading →

Duration:00:51:02

Episode 91: Traders and Traitors

3/8/2017
More
During the Crusades, Christian forces and Muslim forces traded blows in the Holy Land. At the same time, Europeans and Arabs traded goods through an extensive trading network that passed through the Near East and the Mediterranean. In this episode, … Continue reading →

Duration:01:17:23

Episode 90: Healers, Hospitals and Holy Wars

2/15/2017
More
In this episode, we turn our attention to the Near East to explore the spread of the Islam and rise of Muslim science in the Middle Ages. This scientific and literary revolution in the Near East contributed to the English language in some … Continue reading →

Duration:00:59:49

Episode 89: ‘I Before E’ and All That

1/23/2017
More
During the Middle English period, scribes developed a variety of spelling innovations to distinguish the sound of the various vowels. Some of those innovations were borrowed from French, and some were native to English. In this episode, we explore those spelling … Continue reading →

Duration:00:51:42

Episode 88: The Long and Short of It

1/3/2017
More
The Middle English document called the Ormulum is a goldmine for historical linguists because the text explicitly indicated how the vowel sounds in the text were to be pronounced. The text was written at a time when the vowels in many words were changing. … Continue reading →

Duration:00:53:11

See More