The English Language in Hampshire

People under tree

Thursday 21 March

5:30pm for a 6pm start

St James' Tavern, 3 Romsey Road, Winchester, SO22 5BE

Professor Chris Mulvey: The English Language in Hampshire

The story of English has no real beginning, but, when the Romans withdrew from Britannia, Germanics began streaming across the North Sea, and they brought with them a language we now call English. The Angles invaded north and south of the River Humber. The Jutes invaded what we now call Kent. The Saxons invaded Essex and Sussex. From Sussex, they moved westward to create the Kingdom of Wessex, and its first shire was Hampshire. The English of this kingdom was called West Saxon; today, we call it West Country English. It was the language of King Alfred, and since Alfred’s time, Hampshire’s West Saxon has become a rural dialect. Meanwhile, London dialects have provided the basis for various forms of English to be heard in the modern county. In addition, the arrival of English-speaking immigrant groups from Asia has provided further new urban dialects. Nonetheless, had Winchester remained the capital of England, the Queen would be speaking Tess Durbeyfield’s English.ofessor Chris Mulvey: The English Language in Hampshire

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