Changing patt erns of Word- Order from Old English to Early Modern English

AuthorJonida Shkurti - Mirela Kosta
PositionJakov Xoxa Artistic High School - Sadik Dilka High School
Vol. 4 No.3
January, 2019
Balkan Journal of Interdisciplinary Research
IIPCCL Publishing, Graz-Austria
ISSN 2410-759X
Acces online at
Changing pa erns of Word- Order from Old English to Early Modern English
Jonida Shkurti
Jakov Xoxa Artistic High School
Mirela Kosta
Sadik Dilka High School
Word order pa erns in English are related directly to the morphology of the language. In
shaping them, linguistic, cultural as well as historical factors need to be taken into consideration.
Language re ects our historical, social and our cultural life. It is the principal vehicle for the
transmission of cultural knowledge and the primary means by which we gain access to the
contents of others' minds. Just as language use re ects social life, the elements of social life
constitute an internal part of the way language is used; it even re ects our way of living
changes. This means that change contributes to synchronic variation in a language system –
old and new, and new and new, variants may co-exist at any one time in a speech community.
It also has a diachronic e ect – as some variants become dominant and retained and as others
are lost, the ‘linguistic character’ of the language also changes. However, processes of change
not only ‘move’ a language from one stage to another; they can also, given enough time and
appropriate conditions, eventually result in the gradual emergence of a new language.English
is the typical example of the above phenomenon. It changed from a highly in ected language
into an analytical one. A very surprising the fact for linguists is that languages that are highly
in ected do not have a xed word order - as in the case of Old English Language. The in ection
of each element in languages like Old English, allows for the words to be rearranged without
altering the meaning of the overall clauses or sentences in which they are part. Instead, the
meaning in these languages is given by the individual word endings. However, languages like
today’s English, which are less in ected, rely on a particular resource to maintain the function
of the word: in this case, the resource is the word's position in the clause.
Keywords: Word order, social life, Old English, language.
The focus of this work is to analyze how the English Language word order has changed
from Old English to Early Modern English and to identify how linguistic, cultural as
well as historical factors need to be taken into consideration as the primary shaping
forces of this language. Structure and word order has o en been analyzed and
studied by numerous academics such as Elly van Gelderen (2006), John Alego (2005)
or Charles C. Fries (1940)in order to show how syntax has worked and still functions
in languages and its importance for speakers to communicate properly. The reason
for this is the fact that the structure has been progressing with the passing of time and
the word order has helped speakers to express themselves conveniently. In order to
see the di erences, some of the points will be the advances made throughout history,
giving concise notions about the changes that have undergone; regarding also their
similar features; and also making reference to some speci c features, among some
general ones.

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