When we talk about ‘English’, we often think of it as a single language. But what do the dialects spoken in dozens of countries around the world have in common with each other, or with the writings of Chaucer? Claire Bowern traces the language from the present day back to its ancient roots, showing how English has evolved through generations of speakers.
English has obviously changed much over the years, but this video (and lesson) also shows some good language family information and traces it back to proto-Indo-European, using the English as the main example. This other TED-ED video (and lesson) shows how the connotations of English words often times depend on the linguistic root (sweat–Germanic, perspire–Latin).
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