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Middle English

Middle English was a form of the English language spoken after the Norman conquest until the late 15th century. English underwent distinct developments following the Old English period. Scholarly opinion varies, but the Oxford English Dictionary specifies the period when Middle English was spoken as being from 1150 to 1500; this stage of the development of the English language followed the High to the Late Middle Ages. Middle English saw significant changes to its vocabulary, grammar and orthography. Writing conventions during the Middle English period varied widely. Examples of writing from this period that have survived show extensive regional variation; the more standardized Old English language became fragmented and was, for the most part, being improvised. By the end of the period and aided by the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg in 1439, a standard based on the London dialect had become established; this formed the basis for Modern English spelling, although pronunciation has changed since that time.

Middle English was succeeded in England by the era of Early Modern English, which lasted until about 1650. Scots developed concurrently from a variant of the Northumbrian dialect. During the Middle English period, many Old English grammatical features either became simplified or disappeared altogether. Noun and verb inflections were simplified by the reduction of most grammatical case distinctions. Middle English saw considerable adoption of Norman French vocabulary in the areas of politics, the arts, religion. Conventional English vocabulary retained its Germanic etiology, with Old Norse influences becoming more apparent. Significant changes in pronunciation took place involving long vowels and diphthongs, which in the Middle English period began to undergo the Great Vowel Shift. Little survives of early Middle English literature, due in part to Norman domination and the prestige that came with writing in French rather than English. During the 14th century, a new style of literature emerged with the works of writers including John Wycliffe and Geoffrey Chaucer, whose Canterbury Tales remains one of the most studied and read works of the period.

Transition from Late Old English to Early Middle English occurred at some time during the 12th century. The influence of Old Norse aided the development of English from a synthetic language with free word order, to a more analytic or isolating language with a more strict word order. Both Old English and Old Norse were synthetic languages with complicated inflections; the eagerness of Vikings in the Danelaw to communicate with their Anglo-Saxon neighbours resulted in the erosion of inflection in both languages. Old Norse may have had a more profound impact on Middle and Modern English development than any other language. Simeon Potter notes: "No less far-reaching was the influence of Scandinavian upon the inflexional endings of English in hastening that wearing away and leveling of grammatical forms which spread from north to south.". Viking influence on Old English is most apparent in the more indispensable elements of the language. Pronouns, comparatives, pronominal adverbs and prepositions show the most marked Danish influence.

The best evidence of Scandinavian influence appears in extensive word borrowings, yet no texts exist in either Scandinavia or in Northern England from this period to give certain evidence of an influence on syntax. The change to Old English from Old Norse was substantive, of a democratic character. Like close cousins, Old Norse and Old English resembled each other, with some words in common, they understood each other, it is most "important to recognise that in many words the English and Scandinavian language differed chiefly in their inflectional elements. The body of the word was so nearly the same in the two languages that only the endings would put obstacles in the way of mutual understanding. In the mixed population which existed in the Danelaw these endings must have led to much confusion, tending to become obscured and lost." This blending of peoples and languages resulted in "simplifying English grammar."While the influence of Scandinavian languages was strongest in the dialects of the Danelaw region and Scotland, words in the spoken language emerge in the tenth and eleventh centuries near the transition from the Old to Middle English.

Influence on the written language only appeared at the beginning of the thirteenth century because of a scarcity of literary texts from an earlier date. The Norman conquest of England in 1066 saw the replacement of the top levels of the English-speaking political and ecclesiastical hierarchies by Norman rulers who spoke a dialect of Old French known as Old Norman, which developed in England into Anglo-Norman; the use of Norman as the preferred language of literature and polite discourse fundamentally altered the role of Old English in education and administration though many Normans of this period were illiterate and depended on the clergy for written communication and record-keeping. A significant number of words of French origin began to appear in the English language alongside native English words of similar meaning, giving rise to such Modern English synonyms as pig/pork, chicken/poultry, calf/veal, cow/beef, sheep/mutton, wood/forest, house/mansion, worthy/valuable, bold/courageous, freedom/liberty, si

Southampton Island

Southampton Island is a large island at the entrance to Hudson Bay at Foxe Basin. One of the larger members of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, Southampton Island is part of the Kivalliq Region in Nunavut, Canada; the area of the island is stated as 41,214 km2 by Statistics Canada. It is the 34th largest island in Canada's ninth largest island; the only settlement on Southampton Island is Coral Harbour, called in Inuktitut Salliq. Southampton Island is one of the few Canadian areas, the only area in Nunavut, that does not use daylight saving time. Speaking, Southampton Island is famous for its now-extinct inhabitants, the Sadlermiut, who were the last vestige of the Tuniit or Dorset; the Tuniit, a pre-Inuit culture went ethnically and culturally extinct in 1902-03 when infectious disease killed all of the Sallirmiut in a matter of weeks. The island's first recorded visit by Europeans was in 1613 by Welsh explorer Thomas Button. At the beginning of the 20th century, the island was repopulated by Aivilingmiut from Repulse Bay and Chesterfield Inlet, influenced to do so by whaler Captain George Comer and others.

Baffin Islanders arrived 25 years later. John Ell, who as a young child travelled with his mother Shoofly on Comer's schooners became the most famous of Southampton Island's re-settled population; the Native Point archaeological site at the mouth of Native Bay is the largest Sadlermiut site on the island. Southampton Island does have geological resources that are of industrial interest. However, full knowledge of the island is still lacking according to the Nunavut government; the current level of basic geoscience available for the Southampton region is inadequate to meet current exploration demands. Regional scale mapping of the bedrock geology of Southampton Island has not occurred since 1969. Only the most general of rock distinctions are made on the existing geological map, only a rudimentary understanding of the surficial geology exists. There is no publicly available, regional-scale surficial geochemical data, essential for understanding exploration potential for metals and diamonds, it is separated from the Melville Peninsula by Frozen Strait.

Other waterways surrounding the island include Roes Welcome Sound to the west, Bay of Gods Mercy in the southwest, Fisher Strait in the south, Evans Strait in the southeast, Foxe Channel in the east. Hansine Lake is located in the far north. Bell Peninsula is located in the southeastern part of the island. Mathiasen Mountain, a member of the Porsild Mountains, is the island's highest peak; the island's shape is vaguely similar to that of Newfoundland. East Bay Migratory Bird Sanctuary and Harry Gibbons Migratory Bird Sanctuary are located on the island and are important breeding sites for the lesser snow goose; the island is the site of two Important Bird Areas, the Boas River wetlands in the southwest and East Bay/Native Bay in the southeast. Both host large summer colonies of the lesser snow goose, together comprising over 10% of the world's snow goose population, with Boas River site alone hosting over 500.000 individuals nesting there. Smaller, but important, are the colonies of the brent goose and numerous other polar bird species there.

Southampton Island is one of two main summering grounds known for bowhead whales in Hudson Bay

Academia Catarinense de Letras

The Academia Catarinense de Letras is a Brazilian literary non-profit society, it is the maximum literary authority in the State of Santa Catarina. The ACL is located in the city of Florianópolis, at the Centro Integrado de Cultura Professor Henrique da Silva Fontes. With the objective to promote the literary production and congregate the men of letters in Santa Catarina, the Sociedade Catharinense de Letras was formed on October 30, 1920, from an invitation of José Boiteux; the idea had been initiated twice in the previous decade by the young writer Othon da Gama Lobo d'Eça, but it did not take off. But in May 1921 it had its statutes approved and fourteen founding members occupied their chairs; the Patrons for each chair were chosen, distributed in alphabetical order. In 1924, inspired by the Academia Brasileira de Letras, the society changes its name to Academia Catarinense de Letras. At the time, sixteen of the forty chairs were still vacant. Differently from similar academies, the ACL has accepted women in their ranks from the beginning, with Delminda Silveira being the first member of the chair number 10, Maura de Senna Pereira the first member of chair number 38.

The Academia Catarinense de Letras is composed by forty writers either born in Santa Catarina or that made history in the State. The chairs are lifetime positions, that is, new members can only be chosen after the death of a current member; when a chair is vacant, the Academy organizes an election between the remaining members to choose the new member. Any writer can postulate the chair; the members of the Academy are called "immortals". Website of the Academia Catarinense de Letras