Languages Change Over Time (IMAGE) University of Pennsylvania Caption The manuscripts pictured show changes from Old English (Beowulf) through Middle English (Trinity Homilies, Chaucer) to Early Modern English (Shakespeare's First Folio). Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania analyzed the evolution of English using large collections of digitized texts spanning the 12th to the 21st centuries, showing that many language changes can be attributed to random chance alone. Credit (c) Mitchell Newberry 2017 Usage Restrictions In context of reporting, images licensed under CC-BY-NC 4.0 <a target="_blank"href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/">https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/</a>, source images: Beowulf, Cotton manuscript ; Trinity Homilies, Trinity College Cambridge Library, shelf-mark B.14.52, page 51, <a target="_blank"href="http://trin-sites-pub.trin.cam.ac.uk/james/viewpage.php?index=200">http://trin-sites-pub.trin.cam.ac.uk/james/viewpage.php?index=200</a> claimed (c) Master and Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge licensed under CC-BY-NC 4.0; Ellesmere Chaucer, Huntington Library, call number mssEL 26 C 9, page f. 54r, <a target="_blank"href="http://hdl.huntington.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15150coll7/id/2838">http://hdl.huntington.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15150coll7/id/2838</a> ; First Folio, Bodleian Library, Oxford Arch. G c.7., page 227. <a target="_blank"href="http://firstfolio.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/downloads.html%20licensed%20under%20CC%20BY%203.0%20Unported:%20http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/">http://firstfolio.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/downloads.html</a> licensed under CC BY 3.0 Unported: <a target="_blank"href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/">http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/</a> . License Licensed content Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.