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ENGL 101: English I: ENGL 101: J. Houston

History of English Langauge Assignment Overview

Students taking ENGL101 (English I) with Professor Julie Houston may have an assignment to research the background and components of the English language. The languages included are:

  1. Indo-European languages (the concept of  large, related groups of languages across all continents) 
  2. Anglo-Saxon  (also know as Old English)
  3. Old Norse 
  4. French -- from the Norman invasion in 1066
  5. Latin
  6. Greek

Additional details of the assignment will be provided by Professor Houston.

Keyword Suggestions and Search Strategies

The more specific you can be with your search the better. Searching for something general like OLD NORSE is likely to give you too many results.

Ask yourself, what do you want to know about your topic? Is there a certain group of people or even a location that you can concentrate on?

A better search strategy would be something like: OLD NORSE and INFLUENCE and ENGLISH

In library databases, be sure to always choose the full-text option, so that you can read the full article on the screen. You may also choose to check the scholarly / peer-reviewed option, if your instructor requires you to find scholarly articles.

Sometimes you will find that major world events will be the catalyst for the spread of your language. Examples include the Roman Empire and Catholic Church influencing the spread of Latin or the French settlers influence on the spread of French in Canada. To find the spark for the spread of any language, look for the who (emperor, king, religion) or the what (wars, conquests, exploration).

Recommended Databases

  • Dictionary of Languages: Located in Britannica, this dictionary provides background information and context for many languages.

Recommended Websites