Type of Submission

Podium Presentation

Keywords

English, Old English, Middle English, English spelling, spelling history, spelling reform

Abstract

This paper explores the deep, and surprisingly informative, history of English spelling. It is a well-known fact that English spelling is confusing and troublesome for native speakers and non-native speakers alike. Its history is a winding road that ventures into various languages, picking up rules and idiosyncrasies along the way. The question facing linguists and other English language scholars is whether the system that is worth keeping or if reformative measures are needed. In its history, English has overcome invasions, subjugation, and conversion efforts to become what it is today. In the past many individuals have suggested reforms and have had varying degrees of success. The position of many today is that wholesale reform would be lead to more problems than it would solve. They instead propose looking at the history and formation of the English language as a whole in the hope that understanding how words came into the language and how they changed since arriving can provide a method for making sense of spelling. This paper answers the question: Should English spelling be reformed?

Campus Venue

Stevens Student Center, Room 241

Location

Cedarville, OH

Start Date

4-20-2016 1:00 PM

End Date

4-20-2016 1:20 PM

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

 
Apr 20th, 1:00 PM Apr 20th, 1:20 PM

Should English Spelling be Reformed?: A History of English Spelling

Cedarville, OH

This paper explores the deep, and surprisingly informative, history of English spelling. It is a well-known fact that English spelling is confusing and troublesome for native speakers and non-native speakers alike. Its history is a winding road that ventures into various languages, picking up rules and idiosyncrasies along the way. The question facing linguists and other English language scholars is whether the system that is worth keeping or if reformative measures are needed. In its history, English has overcome invasions, subjugation, and conversion efforts to become what it is today. In the past many individuals have suggested reforms and have had varying degrees of success. The position of many today is that wholesale reform would be lead to more problems than it would solve. They instead propose looking at the history and formation of the English language as a whole in the hope that understanding how words came into the language and how they changed since arriving can provide a method for making sense of spelling. This paper answers the question: Should English spelling be reformed?

 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.