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Anglo-Norman, also known as Anglo-Norman French ( nrf, Anglo-Normaund), was a
dialect The term dialect (from , , from the word , 'discourse', from , 'through' and , 'I speak') can refer to either of two distinctly different types of phenomena: * One usage refers to a of a that is a characteristic of a particular group of ...
of
Old Norman FrenchOld Norman, also called Old Northern French or Old Norman French ( fro, Ancien Normant, nrf, Ancien Normaund), was one of many ''langues d'oïl The ''langues d'oïl'' (; ) are a dialect continuum A dialect continuum or dialect chain is a spr ...
that was used in
England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders with to its west and to its north. The lies northwest of England and the to the southwest. England is separated from by the to the east and the to the south. The country cover ...

England
and, to a lesser extent, elsewhere in Great Britain and Ireland during the
Anglo-NormanAnglo-Norman may refer to: *Anglo-Normans The Anglo-Normans ( nrf, Anglo-Normaunds, ang, Engel-Norðmandisca) were the medieval ruling class in England, composed mainly of a combination of ethnic Anglo-Saxons, Normans, Bretons, Flemish people, F ...
period. When
William the Conqueror William I (c. 1028Bates ''William the Conqueror'' p. 33 – 9 September 1087), usually known as William the Conqueror and sometimes William the Bastard, was the first Norman Norman or Normans may refer to: Ethnic and cultural identi ...

William the Conqueror
led the
Norman conquest of England The Norman Conquest (or the Conquest) was the 11th-century invasion and occupation of England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and ...
in 1066, he, his nobles, and many of his followers from
Normandy Normandy (; french: link=no, Normandie ; nrf, Normaundie; from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, ...

Normandy
, but also those from northern and western France, spoke a range of
langues d'oïl The ''langues d'oïl'' (; ) are a dialect continuum A dialect continuum or dialect chain is a series of language varieties spoken across some geographical area such that neighboring varieties are mutually intelligible In linguistics ...
(northern varieties of
Gallo-Romance The Gallo-Romance branch of the Romance languages The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular or Colloquial Latin is a rang ...

Gallo-Romance
). One of these was
Old Norman Old Norman, also called Old Northern French or Old Norman French ( fro, Ancien Normant, nrf, Ancien Normaund), was one of many ''langues d'oïl The ''langues d'oïl'' (; ) are a dialect continuum A dialect continuum or dialect chain is a se ...
, also known as "Old Northern French". Other followers spoke varieties of the
Picard language Picard (, also , ) is a ''langue d'oïl'' of the Romance languages, Romance language family spoken in the northernmost part of France and Hainaut province in Belgium. Administratively, this area is divided between the French Hauts-de-France regi ...
or western registers of general
Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the Latin spok ...
. This amalgam developed into the unique insular dialect now known as Anglo-Norman French, which was commonly used for literary and eventually administrative purposes from the 12th until the 15th century. It is difficult to know much about what was actually spoken, as what is known about the dialect is restricted to what was written, but it is clear that Anglo-Norman was, to a large extent, the spoken language of the higher social strata in medieval England. It was spoken in the law courts, schools, and universities and, in due course, in at least some sections of the gentry and the growing bourgeoisie. Private and commercial correspondence was carried out in Anglo-Norman or Anglo-French from the 13th to the 15th century though its spelling forms were often displaced by continental spellings. Social classes other than the nobility became keen to learn French: manuscripts containing materials for instructing non-native speakers still exist, dating mostly from the late 14th century onwards. Although Anglo-Norman and Anglo-French were eventually eclipsed by modern
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
, they had been used widely enough to influence English vocabulary permanently. Thus, many original
Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic languages ** List of ancient Germanic peoples and tribes * Germanic languages :* Proto-Germanic language, a reconstructed proto-language of ...

Germanic
words, cognates of which can still be found in
Nordic Nordic most commonly refers to: * Nordic countries, written in plural as Nordics, the northwestern European countries, including Scandinavia, Fennoscandia and the List of islands in the Atlantic Ocean#North, North Atlantic * Scandinavia, a cultural ...

Nordic
,
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
, and
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
, have been lost or, as more often occurs, exist alongside synonyms of Anglo-Norman French origin. Anglo-Norman had little lasting impact on English grammar, as opposed to vocabulary, although it is still evident in official and legal terms where the ordinary sequence of noun and adjective is reversed, as seen in phrases such as ''attorney general, heir apparent, court martial, envoy extraordinary'' and ''body politic.'' The
royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom The royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom, or the royal arms for short, is the arms of dominion of the British monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II. These arms are used by the Queen in her official capacity as monarch of the United Kingdom. Var ...

royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom
still features in French the mottos of both the
British Monarch The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents A precedent is a principle or rule established ...
, ''
Dieu et mon droit#REDIRECT Dieu et mon droit (, fro, Deu et mon droit), meaning "God and my right", is the motto of the Monarch of the United Kingdom The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional mon ...

Dieu et mon droit
'' ("God and my right"), and the
Order of the Garter (Shame on him who thinks evil of it) , eligibility = , criteria = At Her Majesty's pleasure , status = Currently constituted , founder = Edward III Edward III (13 November 131221 June 1377), also known as Edward ...
, ''
Honi soit qui mal y pense (, , ) is a maxim Maxim or Maksim may refer to: Entertainment *Maxim (magazine), ''Maxim'' (magazine), an international men's magazine ** Maxim (Australia), ''Maxim'' (Australia), the Australian edition ** Maxim (India), ''Maxim'' (India), ...
'' ("Shamed be he who thinks evil of it"). ''Dieu et mon droit'' was first used by
Richard I Richard I (8 September 1157 – 6 April 1199) was King of England from 1189 until his death in 1199. He also ruled as Duke of Normandy In the Middle Ages, the Duke of Normandy was the ruler of the Duchy of Normandy in north-western Kin ...

Richard I
(who spoke French but not English) in 1198 and adopted as the royal motto of England in the time of
Henry VIHenry VI may refer to: * Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor (1165–1197) * Henry VI, Count Palatine of the Rhine (ruled 1212–1214) * Henry VI, Count of Luxembourg (crowned 1281, died 1288) * Henry VI the Older (before 1345 – 1393) * Henry VI, Count o ...

Henry VI
. The motto appears below the shield of the Royal Coat of Arms.


Use and development

Anglo-Norman was never the main administrative language of England: Latin was the major language of record in legal and other official documents for most of the medieval period. However, from the late 12th century to the early 15th century, Anglo-Norman French and Anglo-French were much used in law reports, charters, ordinances, official correspondence, and trade at all levels; they were the language of the King, his court and the upper class. There is evidence, too, that foreign words (
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an appa ...

Latin
,
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
,
Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional Italian, regional variants of the ...

Italian
,
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
,
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
) often entered English via Anglo-Norman. The language of later documents adopted some of the changes ongoing in continental French and lost many of its original dialectal characteristics, so ''Anglo-French'' remained (in at least some respects and at least at some social levels) part of the dialect continuum of modern French, often with distinctive spellings. Over time, the use of Anglo-French expanded into the fields of law, administration, commerce, and science, in all of which a rich documentary legacy survives, indicative of the vitality and importance of the language. By the late 15th century, however, what remained of insular French had become heavily anglicised: see
Law French Law French ( nrf, Louai Français, enm, Lawe Frensch) is an archaic language originally based on Old Norman Old Norman, also called Old Northern French or Old Norman French ( fro, Ancien Normant, nrf, Ancien Normaund), was one of many ''langu ...
. It continued to be known as "Norman French" until the end of the 19th century even though, philologically, there was nothing Norman about it. One notable survival of influence on the political system is the use of certain Anglo-French set phrases in the
Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the of the , the and the . It alone possesses and thereby ultimate power over all other political bodies in the UK and the overseas territories. Parliament is but has three parts, consisting of the ...
for some endorsements to bills and the granting of Royal Assent to legislation. These set phrases include: *''Soit baille aux Communes'' ("Let it be sent to the Commons", on a bill sent by the House of Lords to the House of Commons) *''A ceste Bille (avecque une amendement/avecque des amendemens) les Communes sont assentus'' ("To this Bill (with an amendment/with amendments) the Commons have assented", on a bill passed by the House of Commons and returned to the House of Lords) *''A cette amendement/ces amendemens les Seigneurs sont assentus'' ("To this amendment/these amendments the Lords have assented", on an amended bill returned by the House of Commons to the House of Lords, where the amendments were accepted) *''Ceste Bille est remise aux Communes avecque une Raison/des Raisons'' ("This Bill is returned to the Commons with a reason/with reasons", when the House of Lords disagrees with amendments made by the House of Commons) *''Le Roy/
La Reyne le veult#REDIRECT Los Angeles {{Redirect category shell, {{R from initialism {{R mentioned in hatnote {{R with history {{R printworthy ...
'' ("The King/Queen wills it", Royal Assent for a public bill) *''Le Roy/La Reyne remercie ses bons sujets, accepte leur benevolence et ainsi le veult'' ("The King/Queen thanks his/her good subjects, accepts their bounty, and wills it so", Royal Assent for a supply bill) *''Soit fait comme il est désiré'' ("Let it be done as it is desired", Royal Assent for a private bill) *''Le Roy/La Reyne s'avisera'' ("The King/Queen will consider it", if Royal Assent is withheld) The exact spelling of these phrases has varied over the years; for example, ''s'avisera'' has been spelled as ''s'uvisera'' and ''s'advisera'', and ''Reyne'' as ''Raine''. Among important writers of the Anglo-Norman cultural commonwealth is
Marie de France Marie de France ( fl. 1160 to 1215) was a poet A poet is a person who creates poetry. Poets may describe themselves as such or be described as such by others. A poet may simply be a writer of poetry, or may perform their art to an audience. ...

Marie de France
. The languages and literature of the
Channel Islands The Channel Islands ( nrf, Îles d'la Manche; french: îles Anglo-Normandes or ''îles de la Manche'') are an archipelago in the English Channel, off the French coast of Normandy. They include two Crown Dependencies: the Jersey, Bailiwick of ...

Channel Islands
are sometimes referred to as Anglo-Norman, but that usage is derived from the French name for the islands: ''îles anglo-normandes''. The variety of French spoken in the islands is Norman and not the Anglo-Norman of medieval England.


Trilingualism in Medieval England

Much of the earliest recorded
French
French
is in fact Anglo-Norman French. In Northern
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Western Europe and Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Ame ...

France
at that time, almost nothing was being recorded in the
vernacular A vernacular or vernacular language refers to the language or dialect that is spoken by people that are inhabiting a particular country or region. The vernacular is typically the native language A first language, native tongue, native langua ...
because
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an appa ...
was the language of the
Church Church may refer to: Religion * Church (building) A church building, church house, or simply church, is a building used for Christian worship services and other Christian religious activities. The term is used to refer to the physical build ...
and consequently of
education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, value (ethics), values, morals, beliefs, habits, and personal development. Educational methods include teaching, training, storytelling, discussion ...
and
historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historians in developing history as an academic discipline, and by extension is any body of historical work on a particular subject. The historiography of a specific topic covers how historians hav ...

historiography
, and was thus used for the purpose of records. Latin also remained in use in medieval England by the Church, the royal government and much local administration, as it had been before 1066, in parallel with
Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language spoken after the Norman conquest of England, Norman conquest (1066) until the late 15th century. The English language underwent distinct variations and developments following ...
. The early adoption of Anglo-Norman as a written and literary language probably owes something to this history of
bilingualism in Seattle Seattle ( ) is a port, seaport city on the West Coast of the United States. It is the county seat, seat of King County, Washington, King County, Washington (state), Washington. With a 2020 population of 737,015, it is the la ...
in writing. Around the same time, as a shift took place in France towards using French as a language of record in the mid-13th century, Anglo-Norman French also became a language of record in England though Latin retained its pre-eminence for matters of permanent record (as in written
chronicle A chronicle ( la, chronica, from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its pop ...

chronicle
s). From around this point onwards, considerable variation begins to be apparent in Anglo-French, which ranges from the very local (and most
anglicize Linguistic anglicisation (or anglicization, occasionally anglification, anglifying, or Englishing) is the practice of modifying foreign words, names, and phrases to make them easier to spell, pronounce, or understand in English English usually ...
d) to a level of language which approximates to and is sometimes indistinguishable from varieties of continental French. Thus, typically, local records are rather different from continental French, with diplomatic and international trade documents closest to the emerging continental norm. English remained the vernacular of the common people throughout this period. The resulting virtual trilinguism in spoken and written language was one of medieval Latin, French and Middle English.


Language of the king and his court

From the time of the
Norman Conquest The Norman Conquest (or the Conquest) was the 11th-century invasion and occupation of England by an army made up of thousands of Normans, Duchy of Brittany, Bretons, County of Flanders, Flemish, and men from other Kingdom of France, French ...
(1066) until the end of the 14th century, French was the language of the king and his court. During this period, marriages with French princesses reinforced the French status in the royal family. Nevertheless, during the 13th century, intermarriages with
English nobility The British nobility is made up of the peerage of the United Kingdom The Peerage of the United Kingdom comprises most peerages created in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland after the Acts of Union 1800, Acts of Union in 1801, when ...
became more frequent. French became progressively a second language among the upper classes. Moreover, with the
Hundred Years' War The Hundred Years’ War (french: link=yes, La guerre de Cent Ans; 1337–1453) was a series of armed conflicts between the kingdoms of and during the . It originated from disputed claims to the between the English and the French roy ...
and the growing spirit of English and French nationalism, the status of French diminished. French was the mother tongue of every
English king This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England begins with Alfred the Great, who initially ruled Kingdom of Wessex, Wessex, one of the heptarchy, seven Anglo-Saxon kingdoms which later made up modern England. Alfred styled himself King ...
from
William the Conqueror William I (c. 1028Bates ''William the Conqueror'' p. 33 – 9 September 1087), usually known as William the Conqueror and sometimes William the Bastard, was the first Norman Norman or Normans may refer to: Ethnic and cultural identi ...

William the Conqueror
(1066–1087) until
Henry IVHenry IV may refer to: People * Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor (1050–1106), King of The Romans and Holy Roman Emperor * Henry IV, Duke of Limburg (1195–1247) * Henry IV, Duke of Brabant (1251/1252–1272) * Henryk IV Probus (c. 1258–1290), Duke ...

Henry IV
(1399–1413). Henry IV was the first to take the oath in English, and his son,
Henry VHenry V may refer to: People * Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor (1081–1125) * Henry V, Count Palatine of the Rhine (1173–1227) * Henry V, Count of Luxembourg (1216–1281) * Henry V, Duke of Legnica (c.  1248 – 1296) * Henry V of Iron (c. 1319 ...

Henry V
(1413–1422), was the first to write in English. By the end of the 15th century, French became the second language of a cultivated elite.Lusignan, Serge. ''La langue des rois au Moyen Âge: Le français en France et en Angleterre''. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 2004.


Language of the royal charters and legislation

Until the end of the 13th century,
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an appa ...

Latin
was the language of all official written documents. Nevertheless, some important documents had their official Norman translation, such as the
Magna Carta (Medieval Latin for "Great Charter of Freedoms"), commonly called (also ''Magna Charta''; "Great Charter"), is a Royal charter, royal charter of rights agreed to by King John of England at Runnymede, near Windsor, Berkshire, Windsor, on ...

Magna Carta
signed in 1215. The first official document written in Anglo-Norman was a statute promulgated by the king in 1275. Thus, from the 13th century, Anglo-Norman became used in official documents, such as those that were marked by the private seal of the king whereas the documents sealed by the
Lord Chancellor The Lord Chancellor, formally the Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, is the highest-ranking among the Great Officers of State In the United Kingdom, the Great Officers of State are traditional ministers of The Crown who either inheri ...
were written in Latin until the end of the Middle Ages. English became the language of
Parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of ...

Parliament
and of legislation in the 15th century, half a century after it had become the language of the king and of most of the English nobility.


Language of administration and justice

During the 12th century, development of the administrative and judicial institutions took place. Because the king and the lawyers at the time normally used French, it also became the language of these institutions. From the 12th century until the 15th century, the courts used three languages: Latin for writing, French as the main oral language during trials, and English in less formal exchanges between the judge, the lawyer, the complainant or the witnesses. The judge gave his sentence orally in Norman, which was then written in Latin. Only in the lowest level of the manorial courts were trials entirely in English. During the 15th century, English became the main spoken language, but Latin and French continued to be exclusively used in official legal documents until the beginning of the 18th century. Nevertheless, the French language used in England changed from the end of the 15th century into
Law French Law French ( nrf, Louai Français, enm, Lawe Frensch) is an archaic language originally based on Old Norman Old Norman, also called Old Northern French or Old Norman French ( fro, Ancien Normant, nrf, Ancien Normaund), was one of many ''langu ...
. This variety of French was a technical language, with a specific vocabulary, where English words were used to describe everyday experience, and French grammatical rules and morphology gradually declined, with confusion of genders and the adding of ''-s'' to form all plurals. Law French was banished from the courts of the
common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law Case law is the collection of past legal decisions written by courts and similar tribunal A tribunal, generally, is any person or institution with authority ...
in 1731, almost three centuries after the king ceased speaking primarily French.


Language of the people

Though the great mass of ordinary people spoke Middle English, French, because of its prestigious status, spread as a second language, encouraged by its long-standing use in the school system as a medium of instruction through which Latin was taught. In the courts, the members of the
jury A jury is a sworn body of people (the jurors) convened to render an impartial Impartiality (also called evenhandedness or fair-mindedness) is a principle of justice holding that decisions should be based on objectivity (philosophy), objective ...

jury
, who represented the population, had to know French in order to understand the plea of the lawyer. French was used by the merchant middle class as a language of business communication, especially when it traded with the continent, and several churches used French to communicate with lay people. A small but important number of documents survive associated with the Jews of medieval England, some featuring Anglo-French written in
Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as one of the spoken languages of the Israelites and their longest-survivi ...
script, typically in the form of glosses to the Hebrew scriptures.Fuderman


Characteristics

As a ''
langue d'oïl Langue is a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional laws to which it is subordin ...
'', Anglo-Norman developed collaterally to the central
Gallo-Romance The Gallo-Romance branch of the Romance languages The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular or Colloquial Latin is a rang ...
dialects which would eventually become
Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,175,601 residents , in an area of more than . Since the 17th century, Paris ha ...

Paris
ian French in terms of
grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the ...
,
pronunciation Pronunciation is the way in which a word or a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent answer to the painful d ...
and
vocabulary A vocabulary is a set of familiar words In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed la ...
. Before the signature of the ''
Ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts The Ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts (french: Ordonnance de Villers-Cotterêts) is an extensive piece of reform legislation Legislation is the process or product of enrolling, enacting, or promulgating Promulgation is the formal proclamation ...
'' in 1539 and long afterward in practice, French was not standardised as an official administrative language of the kingdom of France.
Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language spoken after the Norman conquest of England, Norman conquest (1066) until the late 15th century. The English language underwent distinct variations and developments following ...
was heavily influenced by Anglo-Norman and, later, Anglo-French. W. Rothwell has called Anglo-French 'the missing link' because many etymological
dictionaries A dictionary is a listing of lexeme A lexeme () is a unit of lexical meaning that underlies a set of words that are related through inflection In linguistic morphology Morphology, from the Greek and meaning "study of shape", may refe ...

dictionaries
seem to ignore the contribution of that language in English and because Anglo-Norman and Anglo-French can explain the transmission of words from French into English and fill the void left by the absence of documentary records of English (in the main) between 1066 and c. 1380. Modern French has changed dramatically compared to the Anglo-Norman period. For example, Anglo-Norman legal documents use the phrase "del Rey" (''of the king''). This is identical to modern Spanish but different from the modern French "du Roi". Anglo-Norman
morphology Morphology, from the Greek and meaning "study of shape", may refer to: Disciplines *Morphology (archaeology) In archaeology, morphology is the study of the shape of Artifact (archaeology), artefacts and ecofacts. Morphology is a major consid ...
and
phonology Phonology is a branch of linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of lan ...

phonology
can be deduced from its heritage in English. Mostly, it is done in comparison with continental Central French. English has many doublets as a result of this contrast: * ''warranty – guarantee'' * ''warden – guardian'' * ''catch – chase'' (see below) Compare also: * ''wage'' (Anglo-Norman) – ''gage'' (French) * ''wait'' – ''guetter'' (French, Old French ''guaitier'') * ''war'' (from Anglo-Norman ''werre'') – ''guerre'' (French) * ''wicket'' (Anglo-Norman) – ''guichet'' (French, from Norman) The palatalization of
velar consonant Velars are consonant In articulatory phonetics The field of articulatory phonetics is a subfield of phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of sign languages, the e ...
s before the front vowel produced different results in Norman to the central ''langue d'oïl'' dialects that developed into French. English therefore, for example, has ''fashion'' from Norman ''féchoun'' as opposed to Modern French ''façon'' (both developing from Latin ''factio, factiōnem''). In contrast, the palatalization of velar consonants before that affected the development of French did not occur in Norman dialects north of the
Joret line The Joret line (french: ligne Joret) is an isogloss used in the linguistics of the . Dialects north and west of the line have preserved Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular or Colloquial Latin is a range of informal sociolects of La ...
. English has therefore inherited words that retain a velar
plosive In phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of ev ...

plosive
where French has a
fricative Fricatives are consonants manner of articulation, produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two Place of articulation, articulators close together. These may be the lower lip against the upper teeth, in the case of ; the bac ...
: Some loans were palatalized later in English, as in the case of ''challenge'' (< Old Norman , Middle English , later ; Old French ). There were also vowel differences: Compare Anglo-Norman ''profound'' with Parisian French ''profond'', ''soun'' sound with ''son'', ''round'' with ''rond''. The former words were originally pronounced something like 'profoond', 'soon', 'roond' respectively (compare the similarly denasalised vowels of modern Norman), but later developed their modern pronunciation in English. The word ''veil'' retains the (as does modern Norman in ''vaile'' and ''laîsi'') that in French has been replaced by ''voile'', ''loisir''. Since many words established in Anglo-Norman from French via the intermediary of Norman were not subject to the processes of sound change that continued in parts of the continent, English sometimes preserves earlier pronunciations. For example, ''ch'' used to be in Medieval French, where Modern French has , but English has preserved the older sound (in words like ''chamber, chain, chase'' and ''exchequer''). Similarly, ''j'' had an older sound, which it still has in English and some dialects of modern Norman, but it has developed into in Modern French. The word ''mushroom'' preserves a hush
sibilant In phonetics Phonetics is a branch of that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of s, the equivalent aspects of sign. Phoneticians—linguists who specialize in phonetics—study the physical properties of speech. Th ...
not recorded in French ''mousseron'', as does ''cushion'' for ''coussin''. Conversely, the pronunciation of the word ''sugar'' resembles Norman ''chucre'' even if the spelling is closer to French ''sucre''. It is possible that the original sound was an
apical Apical means "pertaining to an Apex (disambiguation), apex". It may refer to: *Apical ancestor, refers to the last common ancestor of an entire group, such as a species (biology) or a clan (anthropology) *Apical (anatomy), an anatomical term of loc ...
sibilant, like the
Basque Basque may refer to: * Basques The Basques ( or ; eu, euskaldunak ; es, vascos ; french: basques ) are a Southern European ethnic group, characterised by the Basque language, a Basque culture, common culture and shared genetic ancestry to th ...
''s'', which is halfway between a hissing sibilant and a hushing sibilant. The doublets '' catch'' and ''
chase Chase may refer to: Business * Chase Bank, a national bank based in New York City, New York * Chase Aircraft (1943–1954), a defunct American aircraft manufacturing company * Chase Coaches, a defunct bus operator in England * Chase Corporation (1 ...
'' are both derived from Low Latin ''*captiare''. ''Catch'' demonstrates a Norman development while ''chase'' is the French equivalent imported with a different meaning. Distinctions in meaning between Anglo-Norman and French have led to many '' faux amis'' (words having similar form but different meanings) in Modern English and Modern French. Although it is a Romance language, Norman contains a significant amount of lexical material from
Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germanic dialects before their final divergence into separate Nordic languages. Old Norse was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia Scandinavia; : ''Skades ...
. Because of this, some of the words introduced to England as part of Anglo-Norman were of Germanic origin. Indeed, sometimes one can identify cognates such as ''flock'' (Germanic in English existing prior to the Conquest) and ''floquet'' (Germanic in Norman). The case of the word ''mug'' demonstrates that in instances, Anglo-Norman may have reinforced certain Scandinavian elements already present in English. ''Mug'' had been introduced into northern English dialects by
Viking Vikings—"pirate", non, víkingr is the modern name given to seafaring people primarily from Scandinavia Scandinavia; Sami Places * Sápmi, a cultural region in Northern Europe * Sami, Burkina Faso, a district of the Banwa Pro ...

Viking
settlement. The same word had been established in Normandy by the Normans (Norsemen) and was then brought over after the Conquest and established firstly in southern English dialects. It is, therefore, argued that the word ''mug'' in English shows some of the complicated Germanic heritage of Anglo-Norman. Many expressions used in English today have their origin in Anglo-Norman (such as the expression ''before-hand'', which derives from Anglo-Norman ''avaunt-main''), as do many modern words with interesting etymologies. ''
Mortgage A mortgage loan or simply mortgage () is a loan In finance, a loan is the lending of money by one or more individuals, organizations, or other entities to other individuals, organizations etc. The recipient (i.e., the borrower) incurs a ...
'', for example, literally meant ''death-wage'' in Anglo-Norman. ''
Curfew A curfew is a government order specifying a time during which certain regulations apply. Typically, curfews order all peoples affected by them to ''not'' be in public places or on roads within a certain time frame, typically in the evening an ...

Curfew
'' (fr. '' couvre-feu'') meant ''cover-fire'', referring to the time in the evening when all fires had to be covered to prevent the spread of fire within communities with timber buildings. The word ''glamour'' is derived from Anglo-Norman ''grammeire'', the same word which gives us modern ''grammar''; ''glamour'' meant first "book learning" and then the most glamorous form of book learning, "magic" or "magic spell" in Medieval times. The influence of Anglo-Norman was very asymmetric: very little influence from English was carried over into the continental possessions of the Anglo-Norman kings. Some administrative terms survived in some parts of mainland Normandy: (from ''furrow'', compare ''
furlong A furlong is a measure of distance Distance is a numerical measurement ' Measurement is the number, numerical quantification (science), quantification of the variable and attribute (research), attributes of an object or event, which can be ...

furlong
'') in the
Cotentin Peninsula The Cotentin Peninsula (, ; nrf, Cotentîn ), also known as the Cherbourg Peninsula, is a peninsula in Normandy Normandy (; french: link=no, Normandie ; nrf, Normaundie; from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( ...

Cotentin Peninsula
and
Bessin The Bessin is an area in Normandy Normandy (; french: link=no, Normandie ; nrf, Normaundie; from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the ...
, and a general use of the word ''
acre The acre is a unit Unit may refer to: Arts and entertainment * UNIT, a fictional military organization in the science fiction television series ''Doctor Who'' * Unit of action, a discrete piece of action (or beat) in a theatrical presentation ...

acre
'' for
land measurement Surveying or land surveying is the technique, profession, art, and science of determining the terrestrial or three-dimensional positions of points and the distances and angles between them. A land surveying professional is called a land surveyo ...
in Normandy until
metrication Metrication or metrification is the act or process of converting to a metric METRIC (Mapping EvapoTranspiration at high Resolution with Internalized Calibration) is a computer model Computer simulation is the process of mathematical model ...

metrication
in the 19th century, but these words are probably linguistic traces of Saxon or
Anglo-Scandinavian ''Anglo-Scandinavian'' is an academic term referring to the archaeological and historical periods during the 8th to 13th centuries in which there was migration to - and occupation of - the British Isles by North Germanic peoples, Scandinavians gene ...
settlements between the 4th and the 10th centuries in Normandy. Otherwise the direct influence of English in mainland Norman (such as ''smogler'' "to smuggle") is from direct contact with English in later centuries, rather than Anglo-Norman.


Literature

When the
Normans The Normans (Norman Norman or Normans may refer to: Ethnic and cultural identity * The Normans The Normans (Norman language, Norman: ''Normaunds''; french: Normands; la, Nortmanni/Normanni) were inhabitants of the early medieval Duchy of N ...

Normans
invaded England,
Anglo-Saxon literature Old English literature, or Anglo-Saxon literature, encompasses literature written in Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germ ...
had reached a very high level of development. The important
Benedictine The Benedictines, officially the Order of Saint Benedict ( la, Ordo Sancti Benedicti, abbreviated as OSB), are a Christian monasticism, monastic Religious order (Catholic), religious order of the Catholic Church following the Rule of Saint Be ...
monasteries both wrote chronicles and guarded other works in
Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language ...
. However, with the arrival of the Norman, Anglo-Saxon literature came to an end and literature written in Britain was in Latin or Anglo-Norman. The
Plantagenet The House of Plantagenet () was a royal house which originated from the lands of Anjou in France. The name Plantagenet is used by modern historians to identify four distinct royal houses: the Angevins, who were also counts of Anjou; the ma ...

Plantagenet
kings encouraged this
Anglo-Norman literature Anglo-Norman literature is literature composed in the Anglo-Norman language developed during the period 1066–1204 when the Duchy of Normandy and the Kingdom of England were united in the Anglo-Norman England, Anglo-Norman realm. Introduction The ...
. Nevertheless, from the beginning of the 14th century, some authors chose to write in English, such as
Geoffrey Chaucer Geoffrey Chaucer (; – 25 October 1400) was an English poet and author. Widely considered the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and coll ...

Geoffrey Chaucer
. The authors of that period were influenced by the works of contemporary French writers whose language was prestigious. Chaucer is considered to be the father of the English language and the creator of English as a literary language.


Influence on English

The major Norman-French influence on English can still be seen in today's vocabulary. An enormous number of Norman-French and other medieval French
loanwords A loanword (also loan word or loan-word) is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning ...
came into the language, and about three-quarters of them are still used today. Very often, the Norman or French word supplanted the Anglo-Saxon term, or both words would co-exist but with slightly different nuances: for example, ''ox'' (describing the animal) and ''beef'' (describing the meat). In other cases, the Norman or French word was adopted to signify a new reality, such as ''judge'', ''castle'', ''warranty''. In general, the Norman and French borrowings concerned the fields of culture, aristocratic life, politics and religion, and war whereas the English words were used to describe everyday experience. When the Normans arrived in England, their copyists wrote English as they heard it, without realising the peculiarities of the relationship between Anglo-Saxon pronunciation and spelling and so the spelling changed. There appeared different regional Modern-English written dialects, the one that the king chose in the 15th century becoming the standard variety. In some remote areas, agricultural terms used by the rural workers may have been derived from Norman French. An example is the Cumbrian term ''sturdy'' for diseased sheep that walk in circles, derived from ''étourdi'' meaning dizzy. Norman French also had some degree of influence on Frisian and Dutch, due to geographical proximity, albeit nowhere near the degree it did on English. For example, the Frisian words (castle), batterij (battery), (price), (precise), (adventure), (palace), (genie/genius), and (board, plank) are all of Norman French origin.


Influence in Ireland

The
Norman invasion of Ireland The Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland took place during the late 12th century, when Anglo-Normans gradually conquered and acquired large swathes of land from the Irish, which the Kingdom of England then claimed sovereignty over. At the time, Gael ...
took place in the late 12th century and led to Anglo-Norman control of much of the island. Norman-speaking administrators arrived to rule over the
Angevin Empire The Angevin Empire (; french: link=no, Empire Plantagenêt) describes the possessions of the Angevin kings of England The Angevins (; "from Anjou Anjou (, ; ; la, Andegavia) was a French province straddling the lower Loire River. Its cap ...

Angevin Empire
's new territory. Several Norman words became
Gaelic Gaelic is an adjective that means "pertaining to the Gaels". As a noun it refers to the group of languages spoken by the Gaels, or to any one of the languages individually. Gaelic languages are spoken in Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. Whe ...
words, including household terms: (from Norman , "boy"); (, "cloak"); (, "hat"); (, "garden"); and terms relating to justice (Irish , (corporation), (court)). Place-names in Norman are few, but there is
Buttevant Buttevant ( or ''Ecclesia Tumulorum'' in the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. T ...
(from the motto of the Barry family: , "Push to the Fore"), the village of Brittas (from the Norman , "boarding, planking") and the element ''Pallas'' (Irish , from Norman , "boundary fence": compare
palisade A palisade, sometimes called a stakewall or a paling, is typically a fence A fence is a structure that encloses an area, typically outdoors, and is usually constructed from posts that are connected by boards, wire, rails or netting. A fen ...
,
The Pale The Pale (''An Pháil'' in Irish language, Irish) or the English Pale (' or ') was the part of Ireland directly under the control of the English government in the Late Middle Ages. It had been reduced by the late 15th century to an area along ...
). Others exist with English or Irish roots, such as
Castletownroche Castletownroche () is a townland, village, and civil parish in the barony of Fermoy, County Cork County Cork ( ga, Contae Chorcaí) is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChamb ...
, which combines the English ''Castletown'' and the Norman , meaning rock. Only a handful of Hiberno-Norman-French texts survive, most notably the ''The Song of Dermot and the Earl'' (early 13th century) and the Statutes of Kilkenny (1366).


See also

*
Anglo-Norman literature Anglo-Norman literature is literature composed in the Anglo-Norman language developed during the period 1066–1204 when the Duchy of Normandy and the Kingdom of England were united in the Anglo-Norman England, Anglo-Norman realm. Introduction The ...
*Anglo-Norman Text Society *
Law French Law French ( nrf, Louai Français, enm, Lawe Frensch) is an archaic language originally based on Old Norman Old Norman, also called Old Northern French or Old Norman French ( fro, Ancien Normant, nrf, Ancien Normaund), was one of many ''langu ...
*Middle English creole hypothesis *Guernésiais *Jèrriais *Auregnais *Sercquiais


Notes


References

* De Wilde, G. et al. (eds.)
"Anglo-Norman Dictionary"
(= AND), on line

* Kelham, ''Dictionary of the Norman or Old French Language'' (1779) (very outdated) * F. W. Maitland, Pollock and Maitland, ''History of English Law'', 2nd edition: Cambridge 1898, pp. 80–87.


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External links

* , and includes: *
The Revised Anglo-Norman Dictionary (A-Q), with the entries from the first edition, for R-Z
freely available online.
The Anglo-Norman Text Society publishes a wide range of works written in Anglo-Norman
* * {{DEFAULTSORT:Anglo-Norman Language Norman language England in the High Middle Ages, Language Medieval languages Extinct Romance languages Languages of England Languages of Wales Medieval Wales Languages attested from the 12th century 12th-century establishments in Europe Languages extinct in the 15th century 15th-century disestablishments in Europe