The reasons for the diffusion (spread) of languages

The reasons for the diffusion (spread) of languages

Languages diffuse from their place of origin through migration.

Origin + diffusion of English:




Celtic tribes – Celts spoke the language Celtic = we know nothing about the earlier languages in Britain.

The reasons for the diffusion (spread) of languages

Angles, Saxons, + Jutes – these tribes in northern Germany + southern Denmark pushed Celtic tribes to remote northern + western parts of Britian. The name
England = comes from Angles’ land and English people are often called AngloSaxons.

Vikings – Vikings from present-day Norway landed on the northeast coast of England + raided several settlements there. Although unable to conquer Britian,

Vikings remaining in the country contributed words from their language.

The Normans – from present-day Normandy in France, conquered England and established French as their official language. The British Parliament enacted the Statue of Pleading in 1362 to change the official language of court business from French to English, though Parliament itself continued to conduct business in French.




  • English = diffused through integration with other languages.
  • Widespread use of English in French = Franglais, in Spanish = Spanglish and in
    German = Denglish.

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