English was a widely spoken language on Terra, especially during the period between the advent of space flight and interstellar travel. It is the source of much of the vocabulary and grammar of Anglic, the most common language in the Third Imperium and Solomani Confederation.
After the Second World War on Terra ended in -2573, English, the majority language of two of the victorious Allied powers (the United States of America and the United Kingdom), as well as a common language in the former possessions of the British Empire, became the most commonly used language for international communication, especially in the fields of diplomacy (where it replaced French in this regard), science, and technology. It was one of the six working languages of the United Nations as well as many other international organizations. Notably, English became the default language for air traffic control planet-wide. When space travel began in earnest, this extended to traffic control offworld as well. When the Interstellar Wars began, English was adopted as the working language of the Terran Confederation Navy, and it became an interplanetary language as the lingua franca among new Terran colonies as well as conquered Vilani worlds (where many Vilani residents learned English to better thrive under their new rulers). Many Terran colonies that were founded by one particular nation or ethnic group used the non-English languages of their founders for internal communication, however.
English served as the basic root stock for most of Anglic's vocabulary, phonology, and grammar. To this was added a significant amount of Vilani vocabulary, most notably terms for describing Vilani society and culture, extraterrestrial animals and plants, and concepts related to tech levels A and above (where there was much reverse-engineering of Vilani devices by the Terrans).
History & Background (Historical Linguistics)
English was a member of the Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family. Although historical linguists hypothesized a Proto-Germanic language whose West Germanic variety eventually developed into English, its first recorded ancestor was Old English, also called Anglo-Saxon, spoken and written by the TL1 inhabitants of the British Isles on Terra. The Norman Conquest of Britain in -3452 led to a substantial admixture from Norman French, which then led to the development of Middle English. What linguists of the early spaceflight age called Modern English began to stabilize with the development of the printing press in Europe on Terra as well as overseas colonization by English speakers at the same time (roughly the beginning of TL2).
At the dawn of spaceflight (TL6) on Terra, English had a number of mutually intelligible dialects, notably the British, American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, South African, and Indian varieties. They shared a common core vocabulary but had marked distinctions in pronunciation as well as specialized vocabulary related to local concepts. The American variety became dominant in the post-spaceflight era due to United States dominance in space technology, in science and technology areas generally, and in cultural production.
Worlds & Sectors (Astrography)
Originating on Terra, English was spoken there as well as other worlds in Solomani Rim Sector colonized or conquered by the Terran Confederation.
References & Contributors (Sources)
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