It will be seen from this brief survey that Modern English, although it has greatly simplified its inflection, is not a wholly analytical language. in the nouns the process has been earried further than in the pronouns, since in the former the relation of subject and object is determined wholly by posit ion, w bile in the latter there is in most eases a distinct form for each. That there is a tendency, especially in the speech of the uneducated, to disregard this distinction in the pronoun is clearly shown by sueh idioms as 'Who are you talking to?' between you and I.' The sole cisms, 'you was; `they was,' indicate a similar tendeney in the verb.
Turning now to the foreign element in the vocabulary of Middle and Modern English. we should take care to distinguish between the Nor man French words introduced during the former and the Parisian or standard French words intro dueed during the latter period. As Skeet truly states (Principles of English Etymology, Part II.) : "Hundreds of words of :Nnglo-French ori gin, owing to their early introduction into the lan guage, and the thoroughness with which they have been incorporated in it, have quite as strong a elaim to our attention, and are found in prac tice to he quite as useful in their way as are those of truly native origin." (See NORM AN FRENCH .) The presence of French is very able in the poetry of Chaucer and Gower; hut there is no ground for the statement that writers corrupted the language by a large admix ture of novel French words.
We may here notiee the question which has often been asked: "Which of the early dialects spoken in England is the origin of the form now used?" We have seen that in the Anglo-Saxon period two were used for literary purposes—a Northern, d• Anglian, and a Southern, or Saxon. In the period, however, succeeding the Norman Conquest, and more especially after 1250, we find not two, but three dialects: a Northern. a Mid land, and a Southern. During the fourteenth cen tury circumstances gave prominenee to the Mid land counties, in which arose the great universi ties, the rich monasteries, and many other reli gious foundations. One of its subdivisions, the East Midland, was the dialect in which Wielif. Gower, and, above all, Chaucer wrote. It had then become the speech of the metropolis. and had probably forced its way south of the Thames into Kent and Surrey. All these circumstances, com bined with the fact that the Midland avoided the extremes of the Northern on the one hand and of the Southern on the other—that it was. in fact. a sort of compromise, gave to the East Midland a commanding position and made it the parent of the Modern English literary language. But while the East Midland came to be regarded as the standard English speech. the other dialects con
tinued to exist and are in use at the present day: and a nucleus of new dialects, based upon several of the parent dialects. but gradually departing from them, has developed in the United States. (See As! ERICA NISMS. ) Although all Anglo-Saxons write practically the same form of English, in their every-day speech they show differences of pronunciation and of vocabulary that are very marked. In English there is no standard of pro nuneiation such as is given in French by the French Academy.
During the modern period of English the most decided change in the language has been in eon ne•tinn with the vocabulary. Ever since the beginning of this period the language has bur rowed freely from hiany foreign sources. As a result of the influence of the Italian Renais sance at the beginning of the sixteenth century many Italian words were introduced, and in spite of Ascham's dislike of them they increased rap idly. Contact with Spain un the Western Con tinent led to the borrowing of many Spanish words, and the commercial relations with Holland are responsible for the introduction of not a few Dutch words, especially maritime terms. ln the seventeenth century political and literary con nections with France helped to augment the French element, and the advances of science have created au immense number of classical terms, either borrowed or formed from the Latin and Greek. 1% herever Englishmen have gone they have absorbed into their language words describing local objects and ideas. The British conquest of India has brought in such words as bangle, chintz, loot, mahout; the war in South Africa has Anglicized some Dutch words, as trek, outlander; commercial relations with China have given Chinese words, as china and the names for the different kinds of tea. Of especial interest is the large class of In dian words, brought from North and South America. borrowed either directly or through the Spanish or Portuguese. Many of these come tinder the head of 'Americanisms! During the four of the modern period the English vocabulary has gradually assumed the composite character which is one of its most striking fea tures. All the Germanic languages. indeed, show a marked tendeney to assimilate foreign words. The only point of inferiority that the modern English vocabulary shows as compared with the vocabulary of the oldest period is in the power to furor self-explaining compounds, in which An glo-Saxon was as rich as modern German. This inferiority of modern English is not so great, however. as would appear. since many words that are really compounds are written as separate words. as companyg life insurance.