History english

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King Alfred the Great of Wessex played a very significant role in the linguistic evolution of the English language. He organized a defence of Wessex :
⇨ Strategy of war (diplomacy)
⇨ Treaty of Wedmore (agreement with the Danes) Danelaw: Division of England
⇨ Recognised the Danish settlement in certain parts of England
⇨ In the Danelaw regions, the Danes coexisted with theAnglo-Saxons and there were very little problems & confrontations.
( The main effect of Alfred the Great was to ensure the long-term dominance of English. It was the beginning of the English nation.
It took a long time for Scandinavians to penetrate England.

We have no idea how many texts were destroyed during that period. Only a few texts are known. During the 11th century, there was themajor process of influence between the Scandinavian languages and English.
Ex. : (Sc.) “they” replaced “hi” (A-S)
(Sc.) “are” replaced “synth” (A-S)
( In the North, Scandinavian influence was the strongest. At the time of settlement, English, Danish, and Norse were quite similar.

From analysing place names, we know there are significant parallels between Scandinavian languages and EnglishEx. : Church >< Kurk (still exist in Scotland)
Place names reflect the distribution of the Scandinavian communities in England
Ex. : (A-S) Manchester >< Lancaster (Sc.)

The extent of Scandinavian influence on England is shown by the English King Canute (11th century), coming from Scandinavia. In the period that followed, Canute married the widow of the previous English King (Ethelred theUnready, because he was badly advised) ( symbol of peaceful settlement. Hostility declined. There was more and more peace and harmony between the Anglo-Saxons and the Scandinavians. When the Scandinavians arrived, it was a very ferocious time; there was a lot of violence of the Danes.

One of the most important event: the Norman Conquest (beginning 1066). Norman French’s influence on English goesback further than that. The Normans were Norsemen; they were Viking inheritance in France. The Norman French influence goes back to Edward the Confessor (1042), not to the battle of Hastings. He had some territories in France and in ENgland, so that they had a very close relationship. Edward had contacts with nobles and dukes of France. This created a confusing political situation (sons Harold &William both claimed France). This led to the battle of Hastings to settle the dispute. Harold was defeated and William became King.
After 1066, Normans took power ( appointment of Norman bishops and the Anglo-Saxons bishops were renvoyés. The Norman people of authority took control over vast amounts of land. They came from Brittany, some of theme were Flemish. Normans consolidated their power,it’s written in the Domesday Book [du:mesdei], in 1086 (survey of the land of England). The Domesday Book is the key document of English history.
Patterns were imposed on English ( it’s a military event with cultural consequences.
Normans retained French as their mother tongue long after their settlement :
⇨ They continued to speak Norman French in England.
⇨ There were some levels ofbilingualism through intermarriage.
⇨ French was the language of the authority, the court, ...
⇨ It took 200 years to have real influence of English.

We have texts from the mid-12th century that contain French loan words.
Ex. : The Peterborough Chronicle (town in the east of England)
( it contains texts which begin to be a bridge between Anglo-Saxon and French
( The word‘justice’ replaced the word ‘rihtminnesse’ (OE)
( ‘Tresor’, then ‘treasure’ replaced ‘gersume’ (Vikings)
Loan words can enter a language slowly or very fast.
( ‘tacco’ : very slowly
( Now we also have Russian words in English (‘perestroika’ and ‘glasnost’) who were introduced very fast

The assimilation of French loan words is part of a whole process of fundamental...
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