flash-back @!!!:: English is a member of the Indo-European family of languages. This broad family includes most of the European languages spoken today. The Indo-European family includes several major branches:
Latin and the modern Romance languages;
The Germanic languages;
The Indo-Iranian languages, including Hindi and Sanskrit;
The Slavic languages;
The Baltic languages of Latvian and Lithuanian (but not Estonian);
The Celtic languages; and
The influence of the original Indo-European language, designated proto-Indo-European, can be seen today, even though no written record of it exists. The word for father, for example, is vater in German, pater in Latin, and pitr in Sanskrit. These words are all cognates, similar words in different languages that share the same root.
Of these branches of the Indo-European family, two are, for our purposes of studying the development of English, of paramount importance, the Germanic and the Romance (called that because the Romance languages derive from Latin, the language of ancient Rome, not because of any bodice-ripping literary genre). English is in the Germanic group of languages. This group began as a common language in the Elbe river region about 3,000 years ago. Around the second century BC, this Common Germanic language split into three distinct sub-groups:
East Germanic was spoken by peoples who migrated back to southeastern Europe. No East Germanic language is spoken today, and the only written East Germanic language that survives is Gothic.
North Germanic evolved into the modern Scandinavian languages of Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, and Icelandic (but not Finnish, which is related to Estonian and is not an Indo-European language).
West Germanic is the ancestor of modern German, Dutch, Flemish, Frisian, and English.
cool quizzes;;; http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/quizzes/index.shtml
eng resc at uvirg http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/english.html
linguistic mail-lists: http://linguistlist.org/lists/get-lists.html
A Chronology of the English Language: http://www.wordorigins.org/histeng.htm