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The Anglo-Norman Language and its Contexts

The Anglo-Norman Language and its Contexts

Edited by Richard Ingham
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 196
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  • Book Info
    The Anglo-Norman Language and its Contexts
    Book Description:

    The question of the development of Anglo-Norman (the variety of medieval French used in the British Isles), and the role it played in the life of the medieval English kingdom, is currently a major topic of scholarly debate. The essays in this volume examine it from a variety of different perspectives and contexts, though with a concentration on the theme of linguistic contact between Anglo-Norman and English, seeking to situate it more precisely in space and time than has hitherto been the case. Overall they show how Anglo-Norman retained a strong presence in the linguistic life of England until a strikingly late date, and how it constitutes a rich and highly valuable record of the French language in the middle ages. Contributors: Richard Ingham, Anthony Lodge, William Rothwell, David Trotter, Mark Chambers, Louise Sylvester, Anne Curry, Adrian Bell, Adam Chapman, Andy King, David Simpkin, Paul Brand, Jean-Pascal Pouzet, Laura Wright, Eric Haeberli.

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-795-0
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Figures
    (pp. vi-vi)
    (pp. vii-vii)
  5. List of Contributors
    (pp. viii-viii)
  6. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. ix-x)
  7. CHAPTER ONE Anglo-Norman: New Themes, New Contexts
    (pp. 1-7)
    Richard Ingham

    Standard accounts of the Anglo-Norman language still represent it as an emigrant language that flourished in England for a hundred years or so, and thereafter rapidly degenerated, to be replaced by Middle English in all its functions except its use in law. This volume shows that English–French bilingualism remained a central fact of the linguistic life of England well into the late medieval period, and gives detailed consideration to profiling what later Anglo-Norman was like, and how it functioned.

    At the heart of our subject is a challenging paradox: if certain contemporary reports are to be believed, at one...

  8. CHAPTER TWO Later Anglo-Norman as a Contact Variety of French?
    (pp. 8-25)
    Richard Ingham

    Any assessment of the status of French in England in the later medieval period has to contend with a widespread perception that it was not really genuine French. Nineteenth-century editors set the tone, considering it was merely ‘une manière imparfaite de parler français’ (Paris and Bos 1881), ‘le mauvais français qu’on parlait, et surtout qu’on écrivait, en Angleterre’ (Meyer and Toulmin-Smith 1889). Pope (1934) followed suit, declaring that in its later stages Anglo-Norman became a ‘jargon’ barely understood by those who used it. This notion of deviance or incorrectness has generally been associated with the ‘foreign-language’ status of later Anglo-Norman,...

  9. CHAPTER THREE The Sources of Standardisation in French – Written or Spoken?
    (pp. 26-43)
    R. Anthony Lodge

    For sociopolitical reasons Anglo-Norman was related closely to the Norman dialect during the eleventh and twelfth centuries. For commercial reasons it was also closely related to Picard, at least until the end of the thirteenth century. The importance of the Parisian dialect for Anglo-Norman developed only in the thirteenth century, which must be related to the fact that, by this time, Paris had emerged as the largest conurbation in western Europe; the power and wealth concentrated there gave its form of speech unrivalled prestige. Although it took several centuries for Parisian written forms to completely displace regional writing systems in...

  10. CHAPTER FOUR Husbonderie and Manaungerie in Later Medieval England: A Tale of Two Walters
    (pp. 44-51)
    William Rothwell

    Oschinsky (1971) took forward Elizabeth Lamond’s pioneering work on the history of agriculture in later medieval England (Lamond 1890), publishing a fuller study of the material used by her predecessor and adopting the title ‘Walter of Henley’ andTreatises on Estate Management. This new work consisted primarily of four texts of between eleven and sixteen pages each in Anglo-French accompanied by substantial explanatory commentary, all dealing with estate management in rural England in the second half of the thirteenth century, but all of them approaching their task from different perspectives. The earliest of these texts was written for the countess...

  11. CHAPTER FIVE Bridging the Gap: The (Socio)linguistic Evidence of Some Medieval English Bridge Accounts
    (pp. 52-62)
    David Trotter

    Bridges are and were complex constructions, not least because they were often either in or adjacent to water, and because structural failure had spectacular and disastrous consequences. The proximity of water virtually guaranteed a constant maintenance problem. At the same time, bridges were political, military, commercial and economic assets, since they could be used for defensive purposes as well as for the collection of tolls and rents. They are thus relatively well documented. On the one hand there are various ‘high-level’ documents (for example in the Ancient Petitions, SC 8, series in TNA) where, for example, the burgesses of towns...

  12. CHAPTER SIX From Apareil to Warderobe: Some Observations on Anglo-French in the Middle English Lexis of Cloth and Clothing
    (pp. 63-73)
    Mark Chambers and Louise Sylvester

    The origins of the present project lie in Gale Owen-Crocker’s research into the dress and textiles of the Anglo-Saxon period (Owen-Crocker 2004; Owen-Crocker and Netherton 2005–6). The project is entitled ‘The Lexis of Cloth and Clothing in Britain c. 700–1450: Origins, Identification, Contexts and Change’. As the title suggests, it has a twin focus: dress and textiles; and the vocabulary that existed for them in medieval Britain. What we are interested in is the question of how textiles and garments were named. The vocabulary of the various languages spoken and written in the British Isles is documented in...

  13. CHAPTER SEVEN Languages in the Military Profession in Later Medieval England
    (pp. 74-93)
    Anne Curry, Adrian Bell, Adam Chapman, Andy King and David Simpkin

    From the reign of Edward I onwards, the English were almost constantly involved in warfare both with their near neighbours, the Welsh, Scots and Irish, and with the French and their continental allies. This had a marked effect on the nature of English armies. Under Edward I, the proportion of paid, as opposed to unpaid and feudally provided, troops began to increase substantially. By the 1330s all soldiers serving the English crown, whether at home or abroad, received wages. The escalating need for funds to pay military wages determined the concurrent development of parliament. In their turn, the intensity of...

  14. CHAPTER EIGHT The Language of the English Legal Profession: The Emergence of a Distinctive Legal Lexicon in Insular French
    (pp. 94-101)
    Paul Brand

    The first proto-professional lawyers active in the English common-law courts can be identified in the early thirteenth century and the first fully professional during the reign of Henry III (1216–72), but it is only in the reign of Edward I (1272–1307) that professional lawyers emerge fully into the light of day and enough evidence survives to allow us to talk of the existence of an English ‘legal profession’. That profession was divided from the beginning into two separate groups: serjeants, who were professional specialists in pleading in court for their clients, and attorneys, who were professional specialists in...

  15. CHAPTER NINE Mapping Insular French Texts? Ideas for Localisation and Correlated Dialectology in Manuscript Materials of Medieval England
    (pp. 102-129)
    Jean-Pascal Pouzet

    Chaucer’s Prioress’s ‘Frenssh’, spoken ‘after the scole of Stratford atte Bowe’, has been taken as an icon of insular Francophone degeneracy over time, when judged by the reconstructive standards of the ‘French of France’ – especially the phantom category of ‘Francien’ – applied to the ‘eccentric cousin’. But as the French of England is now reinstated in a continuum of evolution and variability with the dialects of ‘French French’, it may be worth emphasising that for all the irony in the Chaucerian depiction, there is no overt derogatory pronouncement on the French ‘form of speche’ itself: rather, this French is spoken ‘ful...

  16. CHAPTER TEN A Pilot Study on the Singular Definite Articles le and la in Fifteenth-Century London Mixed-Language Business Writing
    (pp. 130-142)
    Laura Wright

    Between the Norman Conquest and the evolution of Standard English in the late fifteenth to early sixteenth centuries, a mixed-language system, incorporating Middle English into a matrix of Medieval Latin and/or Anglo-Norman, was used for the text type of accounts and inventories. The mixture of [Medieval Latin + English] and [Anglo-Norman + English] was ordered in a principled manner – although all of its complexities have yet to be understood. The system changed over time, as is to be expected, and the purpose of this paper is draw attention to the introduction and distribution of the definite article, expressed asle,...

  17. CHAPTER ELEVEN Investigating Anglo-Norman Influence on Late Middle English Syntax
    (pp. 143-163)
    Eric Haeberli

    This paper focuses on some word-order developments in the Middle English period and explores whether these developments might have been influenced by contact with Anglo-Norman and/or Continental French. The issues to be considered are related to what has generally been referred to (somewhat misleadingly) as the Verb Second (V2) phenomenon. As extensively discussed in the literature, Old English exhibits frequent subject–verb inversion when a non-subject is in clause-initial position. Such word orders are reminiscent of the V2 phenomenon as found in all the modern Germanic languages with the exception of present-day English. In the Middle English period, the Old...

  18. CHAPTER TWELVE The Transmission of Later Anglo-Norman: Some Syntactic Evidence
    (pp. 164-182)
    Richard Ingham

    At issue in this article is the linguistic competence of later Anglo-Norman users: whether their output profiles them as L2 speakers whose French was subject to L1 interference, or whether they should be seen as balanced bilinguals whose French was not usually influenced by English. This question matters as regards the status of Anglo-Norman in relation to other varieties of French: many earlier authorities ghettoised Anglo-Norman, considering it with Bruneau (1955) to have been ‘une langue à part’ because of the status it had of a second-language variety. This perspective was also adopted by Kibbee (1996: 7–11), who emphasised...

  19. INDEX
    (pp. 183-184)
  20. Back Matter
    (pp. 185-187)