Flashcards in "A Muse of Fire" (pp. 90-129) Coursepack Deck (31):
When did Elizabeth I reign? List the names of 5 of her most famous subjects. What areas of art or knowledge did they leave a mark on?
Elizabeth I reigned in the years 1558-1603.
- William Shakespeare – playwright and poet.
- Sir Walter Raleigh – explorer.
- Francis Bacon – philosopher.
- Francis Drake – explorer.
- Edmund Spencer – writer.
What 3 factors led to the determination of Elizabeth I's reign as "the golden age of the English language"?
1- The Renaissance.
2- The Reformation.
3- The emergence of England as a maritime (and industrial) power.
How did the words "education, maturity, dedicate" get introduced into English? What roots are they based on?
"Education, maturity, dedicate" are based on Latin roots. These words were introduced into English by Sir Thomas Elyot in his book on education "The Book Named Governour", published in 1531.
What was the role of Latin at the time? What are 10 Latinate words introduced into English?
Latin was still the predominant language in all fields of knowledge, considered by many “the proper medium of scholarship”.
Why is the Renaissance described as the "Age of the Scientific Revoluation"? What branches of science developed then and what was their effect on the development of the English vocabulary (10 examples)?
Because of the numerous discoveries and the scientific inventions introduced at that time, such as those of Galileo Galilei and Copernicus, which redefined our understanding of the universe; Vesalius’ revolutionary description of the human anatomy, and the work in physics of William Gilbert.
- atmosphere, pneumonia, skeleton, encyclopaedia, gravity, excrement, strenuous, paradox, external, chronology.
How many new coinages entered the English lexicon in the 15th-16th centuries?
Between 10,000 and 12,000 new words.
What are 5 examples of today's adjectives and nouns used as verbs in Elizabethan English? How was such freedom explained?
Elizabethan English writers experimented with language in the true spirit of the Renaissance, when people felt that they were not bound by any constraints, and that they were free to challenge old rules, traditions, etc.
This linguistic freedom can be explained by two factors: a) there was a need for these words, b) they manifested a certain “cultural courage”, so typical of the Elizabethan spirit.
Examples: happy, malice, foot, fall, tongue.
When did Sir Humphrey Gilbert land in Newfoundland starting the first American settlement? What other settlements followed?
In 1570 starting the first English-speaking settlement in the New World. Two other settlements followed: in 1584, on the coast of North Caroline (the Roanoke Island); in 1585, the second expedition, with a settlement at the same place.
What example shows how hazardous the settlement of the New World was?
The story of the Lost Colony is an example of how hazardous the settlement of the New World was: the colony on the Roanoke Island was established in 1585; some of the colonists went back home (to England) to bring more supplies and provisions. When they returned in 1590, the colony was no longer there, and all trace of it had disapeared.
What facts of Shakespeare's life are known to us?
- The greatest English writer.
- Born in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire.
- Married young and had two children.
- Then left Stratford and went to London where he became an actor and a playwright for the Globe Theatre.
- He returned to Stratford towards the end of his life and died there.
**Not much more of Shakespeare’s life is known.
What words in Shakespeare's vocabulary betray his Warrickshire origin? What kind of English would Shakespeare have spoken? How rich was his vocabulary?
"ballow" (cudgel), "geck" (a fool), "gallow" (frighten), "potch" (thrust), etc. Shakespeare must have spoken a North-Midlands dialect of the West Country English. His vocabulary totals ~34 000 words while the vocabulary of an average educated speaker of English is about 15 000 words.
What are 8 titles of Shakespeare's plays and 4 of his famous characters?
- A Midsummer Night's Dream
- The Merry Wives of Windsor
- King Lear
- All's Well That Ends Well
- Love's Labour's Lost
- Richard III
- Henry V
What was the pronunciation of "tea" and "sea" in Shakespeare's times? How do we know it?
Shakespeare’s "tea" would rhyme with "tay", and his "sea" with "say". These phonetic features are still preserved in the dialect of West Country and in Irish English.
Who succeeded Elizabeth I on the English throne? What marks did he leave on the English language?
James VI Scotland was crowned James I of England, and he succeeded Elizabeth I on the English throne. He was the most powerful Protestant King in Europe, who introduced the name Great Britain for the island. James I ordered a new translation of the Bible. This Authorized Version of the King James Bible was published in 1611, and it is largely responsible for a certain standardization and spreading of the English language on the island and overseas.
How big is the vocabulary used in the King James Bible? Who produced the work?
The language is simple but full of poetry. It employs only
8 000 words, and in this respect, it is the of the language of Shakespeare. The King James Bible was produced by a committee of 6 scholars who accomplished their translation at Cambridge working under the direction of John Bois. The job took 6 years, and the result is a much better version than the previous 5 translations of the Bible into English.
What are "bellicose words"?
Aggressive, belligerent, hostile words; words used with reference to arguments and conflicts of the time.
What is the Armada?
The Spanish fleet (an armada) sent to attack England in 1588 and defeated by the English.
What are "inkhorn terms"?
Learned borrowings into English (“words of antiquitee” from Latin and Greek, numerous in the Renaissance, considered “mere pedantry” and accused of introducing “obscurity” into the English language. By the advocates of “plainnesse” in language.)
What expedition founded Jamestown in Chespeake Bay, Virginia and when? Why did the pioneers name the island Jamestown?
Under the leadership of Captain John Smith, the London Company set out in 1606 eventually landing in Chesapeake Bay in 1607 to found the colony in Jamestown. They named the colony after their new king, James I of England and James VI of Scotland.
Who are the "watermen" of Tangier Island, Virginia? What British dialect does their speech resemble? Give 2 characteristics of this dialect.
Fishermen a part of the ‘hoi toiders’ or ‘bankers’ who have lived in relative linguistic isolation preserving many of the characteristic speech of their ancestors of the West Country in England. For example "sing" is pronounced "zink", "Mary" and "merry" have a similar pronunciation.
What is "Tidewater English" and in what parts of the US can it be heard today?
A variety of English spoken from the outer banks in North Carolina up into Delaware and Maryland. It is spoken by the people living along the coast and is a variety inherited from the first settlers which has resisted change over the centuries due to its geographical isolation.
How was the island of Bermuda settled and when?
By the survivors of a shipwreck of a supply ship sailing to Jamestown. In 1612, three years after the shipwreck, these survivors were joined by a group of settlers from England.
What was the new emigration wave from England that took place in Massachesetts Bay (north of Virginia) starting in 1620? What features of the dialect spoken by those settlers characterize the speech of New Englanders?
The Puritans, mostly from East Anglia and the eastern counties. The speech-features of East Anglia were transplanted to New England and still linger in the rural parts of certain counties. For example "noo" for "new"; the "r" is not sounded in words like "bar", "storm" or "yard".
How can you explain the fact that certain pronunciation features characteristic of American English are present in the speech of Virginians but absent from the dialect of New Englanders?
Because the Virginians were quicker to mingle with and accept to either the indigenous peoples, African slaves or with other settlers on the continent whereas the New Englanders tended to be much more conservative in their customs. Equally, in the years following the initial migrations, the southern settlements tended to attract a more diverse group of settlers creating more pressure on the language to ‘level’ to a certain commonality. The northern settlements tended to attract a more homogeneous group of settlers from the same areas in England, mainly London and East Anglia creating less pressure to level.
What were the rivals of English in the New World? What paerts of the American Continent were the traditional Spanish and French possessions? What areas belonged to the English?
Principally the French and the Spanish, however there were also colonies of Dutch. The parts of the American continent that were traditionally Spanish possessions were to the south and along the western coast of North America, the French possessions were to the north and directly west of the English colonies. The English were situated along the eastern seaboard and in the far north.
When did the first Black slaves arrive in America?
Why did Pidgin English appear in Massachusetts?
Because of contact with aboriginal peoples who had been in contact with the settlers farther south in Jamestown and who brought their pidgin north.
What are 5 geographical names of Indian origin in Canada and the US?
Massachusettes, North Dakota, South Dakota, Canada, Quebec.
What are 5 American English words that reflect the new experience of life in America?
Backwoodsman, squatter, prairie, clapboard, popcorn.
What 5 British archaisms are preserved in American English?
The use of "gotten" instead of "got", use of "mad" in the sense of "angry", "sick" as general illness instead of BE of "being faint", "platter" for a "dish", "fall" for "autumn".