Modern English making contribution

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      Wren rightly observes that a language must have the pattern of tones as well as of sounds for completeness. It is the intonation that gives a language its character, and each language has its own series of tone patterns. It is only by reading the language of poetry or drama that we can know the tonal pattern of language. We are confined to the written word; we do not know how the poets and writers read their works. So we would try to assess the contributions of outstanding works and writers to the growth and development of language. The words and individual phrases of some authors have become part of the literary heritage of poets and novelists and essayists.

Wren rightly observes that a language must have the pattern of tones as well as of sounds for completeness. It is the intonation that gives a language its character, and each language has its own series of tone patterns.
Making English

      The journalists have also added to the vocabulary. Sometimes new turns to the sophisticated language have percolated through to the spoken usage. Such words as back (a horse), bump and the phrase what the dickens are first written in the plays of Shakespeare. But these words and phrases have come from actual colloquial speech for his dramatic purposes and these have been introduced by Shakespeare in writing. But there are expressions so vivid and seemingly individual in Shakespeare at their first appearance which have become part of the literary and occasionally also of the spoken language. Such phrases as to out - Herod Herod, Patience on a monument, Salad days, beggars description, foregone conclusion (with a change of meaning from Shakespeare's), conscience does make cowards of all (with again a change in the sense of conscience), and brevity is the soul ofwit have acquired a permanent place in the language.

      However, individual writers can give currency to some notable words and phrases. But in the field of poetry, influence is more easily exercised, since there is always likely to be some kind of a poetic tradition looking back to the great poets of the past. As for example, Wordsworth's language has the influence of Milton, Spenser's language bears the stamp of Chaucer's language. Chaucer, a medieval writer could not have influenced the language as a whole, but he has considerable influence in the formation of poetic diction. Dryden, Jonathan Swift, Dr Johnson tried to improve the linguistic and stylistic features of the English language. Language is a social activity and when studied historically help us to the knowledge of important parts of English social history when it has been handled by its great masters. Elizabethan physical and mental characteristics may be linked with our idea of Elizabethan pronunciation because the act of speaking is partly physical and partly psychological.

      Every great author has played some part in the making and the illustrating of the history of the English language. Besides Shakespeare, Milton has also contributed to the English language although his English is highly latinate and his vocabulary is composed of Latin words. In syntax, Milton is influenced by the models of Latin prose. Yet he has left notable marks on the language. The now common word pandemorium was coined by Milton from the Greek 'pan' (all) and daimon (dev).

      Like Spenser's blatant, this word has become commonplace in speech and writing. Some expressions have become familiar: precious bane for gold, Secret Conclave, The gorgeous East, prove a bitter morsel, confusion worse confounded, a heaven on earth to save appearances etc. Milton has also used dialect words and archaism. For examples: 'Or the Belmans drousie charm', (II Peneroso) ; Grate on their scrannel pipes (Lycidas). Scrannel, a Lincolnshire word of Norse origin. In comus, he brought into literary use the west country term, dingle.

      Indeed, some poets and writers may not have given new words but they have enriched the English language by their linguistic and stylistic uses of the language. nis is more evident in the modern age - Hopkins, Dylan Thomas etc. For fuler treatment of Shakespeare's contributions to English language

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