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Flashcards in Making of Middle English Deck (58):

What major event made English borrow Norman French vocabulary and pronunciation?

The Battle of Hastings.


What are the 5 processes that indicate Norman French pronunciation borrowings over Central French (Paris) pronunciation in English?

- NF pronunciation of Germanic [gw] as [ w ].
- NF pronunciation of /q/ as [ kw ].
- Latin [k] before [a], while in CF it became [ ʃ ].
- English maintained the spelling of - s - which was lost in French in the 12th century.
- [ ʤ ]/[ ʧ ] sounds, softened in CF (13th c.) to [ ʒ ]/[ ʃ ].


What are the equivalent sounds in Norman French and Central French for the 5 sound processes?

- Norman French (or Anglo-Norman) [ w ] = Central French [ g ].
- NF /q/ [ kw ] = CF [ k ].
- English kept -s- = CF no -s- replaced by '^'.
- NF [ ʤ ]/[ ʧ ] = CF [ ʒ ]/[ ʃ ].
- NF [ k ] before [ a ] = CF [ ʃ ].


In the early and late borrowings from NF and CF in Middle English, which one is early and which one is late?

Norman French borrowings are earlier loans and Central French borrowings are later loans.


What can help us identify if a loan/borrowing from French occurred later in English?

If the sound resembles French very closely, then it is probably a later borrowing than another one less resembling in sound.


What does the difference between the PdE words of Anglo-Saxon origin "ox, sheep, fowl, calf" and the ones of French/Norman French origin "beef, mutton, poultry, veal" reveal about the status of English and French terms in ME?

The words of AS origin were common uses, as opposed to their synonyms of French origin that were prestigious uses.


What is the historical event characterising the beginning of the Middle English period? What is the exact date?

The invasion of William the Conqueror, who was a Norman from Normandy (France) who spoke Norman French, on september 28th 1066.


Why is English so complex?

Because it is a melting pot of many languages: it is as Norman French as it is Anglo-Saxon, Norse, etc.


What was considered the Land of the Northmen or Normans before conquering England?



Who was Rollo the Dane?

He was a viking who "conquered" Normandy. He didn't actually conquer Normandy; he came to an agreement with Charles the Simple (Norman) = One would conquer one side and the other, the other side (Danelaw).


What is the relation/link between Rollo the Dane and his son Edward?

Rollo the Dane left Normandy to Harold when he died because he didn't want his son Edward to be his successor. However, Edward fought against Harold's troops and won. Then, Edward finally got the power of Normandy (king).


After what battle did Edward get the power? What was it and how long did it last?

The Battle of Hastings: a battle taking place in the town of Hastings in England. It lasted 4 days.


After the famous battle, Edward was crowned King of what countries/counties?

England and Normandy.


Why did Edward influence in such a degree the language spoken in England when he arrived in the picture?

Because he brought his own language (Norman French) in England and all the people who wanted to be someone important started to speak his language = Normand French.


What were the two languages opposing one another in France during the 11th century? Where were they each spoken?

Norman French (spoken by the Northmen or Normans in the North) and Central French (spoken by the people around Paris (central France)).


What became the new name of William of Normandy?

William I of England.


What did William replace in England?

He replaced anyone who had any kind of power in England with someone from his entourage, so someone from Normandy (priests, bishops, abbots, counselors, etc).


What languages did the nobility and the educated class speak after William's conquer?

Latin and Norman French.


In ME, what was the language of legality (legal documents), Church, and the language of education?



In ME, what was the language of the court, of the educated people and of the aristocracy?

Norman French.


In ME, what was the language of the peasants?



Why aren't there many records of written OE?

Because from the 11th to the 14th-15th century (ME), Latin and Norman French were the important languages and English was considered a language not worth keeping and not worth writing because it was the language of the peasants.


What kind of impact did the replacement by William I of all key positions (positions of authority) have? For how long did it impact?

IT had an impact on the language, on society and on culture for 300-400 years.


When did English start to re-emerge?

At the end of the 14th century and the beginning of the 15th century.


During the period of Middle English, why was England considered trilingual?

Because there were 3 languages happening at the same time (Norman French, Latin and English) and they borrow from each other.


Which one of the 3 languages of England (ME) borrowed the most and why?

English is the one to borrow the most because of its position and importance (low position and not important).


Which parts of England is not Anglo-Norman? If they are not AN, what are they?

Wales, Scotland and Ireland = Celtic.


What 3 other countries/counties are Anglo-Norman?

Normandy, Maine and Brittany.


What are the 3 Houses of "royalty" that ruled England (in the right order)?

1- House of Normandy.
2- House of Plantagenet.
3- House of Lancaster.


When William died in 1087, who succeeded him (from the House of Normandy)?

William II, Henry I and Stephen.


Who were the 8 Kings of the House of Plantagenet (in the right order)?

1- Henry II
2- Richard I
3- John
4- Henry III
5- Edward I
6- Edward II
7- Edward III
8- Richard II.


Who were the 3 Kings of the House of Lancaster (in the right order)?

1- Henry IV
2- Henry V
3- Henry VI.


Who did Henry III marry and why is it significant?

He marries Eleanor of PRovence, sister of Louis the King of France. It is significant because this means that Provence then becomes part of the English Empire.


What actually brings war between England and France?

Kings and Queens of England pretend to be Kings and Queens of France, and vice versa.


What happens in 1204?

King Philip of France seizes estates of barons and knights lining in England. According to him, there should not be more than one master, but people didn't agree.


What happens between 1236 and 1246?

Henry III marries Eleanor of Provence and Provence becomes part of the English Empire.


What happens from 1337 to 1454?

It is the Hundred Years War with France. It ends when St. Joan of Arc comes in the battle and when the English are finally "pushed out" of the territories they hold in France.


What happens in 1348?

The Plague (Black Death) reaches England. It kills around half of the population. People living in the city (monastries, castles, etc), the educated class speaking Latin and Norman French, were more apt to catch the Plague. People livign in the country, in the fields (the peasants speaking English) were less apt to catch the Plague.


What did the Plague bring to English?

An opportunity to re-emerge: Monks were replaced by peasants because peasants survived the Plague. If the Plague didn't happen, then English wouldn't have re-emerged.


What happened in 1381?

Wat Tyler's Rebellion: it was the first speech made in English by a British Monarch since 1066. So, from 1066 to 1381, no British Monarch could speak fluent English, except for Henry I and Henry II.


What does the abolishment of both Danelaws (in England and in France) bring to the language?

IT brings linguistic barriers that start to merge and influences co-existing and co-working.


Why did the prestige dialect move from Winchester (Wessex) to London?

Because William I was crowned in London.


Where is the prestigious dialect of English spoken?

Around London only.


What are 2 major elements of linguistic evidence of Norman French keeping its position of prestige dialect/language?

- DOUBLETS: ox (peasants of English) VS beef (nobility of NF).
- POLITICAL SITUATION: Class Structure, Literature, Church, Administration, Legality, Military, and Fine Shades of Meaning.


What kind of vocabulary elements of Anglo-Saxon origin were left in the lexicon and why?

Basic concepts such as basic activities like "eat" and "work", house elements such as "room" and "house", basic food such as "meat" and "fish" and names of body parts such as "head" and "mouth". The more common a word is, the more it is going to resist change.


What was the most productive way of creating new words in OE and ME that is not so productive in PdE?



After how many centuries did English start to re-assert itself as the prestige dialect of ME?

After 3 centuries of French dominance.


The 4 dialects of ME split into what 5 dialects before merging into what 1 dialect?

-Kentish --> Kentish
-West Saxon --> South Western
-Mercian --> West Midlands & East Midlands
-Northumbiran --> Northern

**All become Middle English.


What is the geographical reason of the dominance of the Mercian Dialect?

It was the one spoken in London.


What is the commercial reason of the dominance of the Mercian dialect?

William Caxton and printing (spoke the dialect of London) and London was a major player in the Financial market.


What is the socio-political reason of the dominance of the Mercian Dialect?

The aristocracy was located in London.


Why is there a re-emergence of English literature at the end of the 15th century?

Because men of letters start to write in English.


Who is Geoffrey Chaucer?

He writes in English, which is the language of the common people. He write in his own dialect like other writers, but Caxton prints them in the dialect of London. Chaucer is the one to give Shakespeare the push to write in English.


What are 5 causes of the re-emergence of English?

- Loss of French territories.
- The Hundred Years War.
- The peasants revolt (the educated, upper class gets replaced by the uneducated class.
- Nobility children were left in the care of the servants (peasants) who only spoke English.
- Wycliff translates the Bible from Latin into vulgar English in the 1300s.


What are 2 vowels lost from OE to ME?

- The ash [ æ ] gets completely lost.
- There is no distinction between long and short vowels with [ : ] or [ - ] = from now on a long vowel gets doubled.


What are 2 consonants lost from OE to ME?

- The wynn [ Þ ] gets replaced by [ w ].
- The thorn [ þ ] is now transcribed [ th ].


What letter is introduced in ME and wasn't a letter in OE?

- The letter / z /.


What was the correspondence between letters and sounds in OE as opposed to ME and what was the exception?

In OE, there was a one to one correspondence between letters and sounds (one letter represents one sound), escept for the insular / g / that could represent more than one sound ( [ g ] but [ ʤ ] when doubled. In ME, this correspondence no longer applies.