ANGLO-NORMAN, also known as ANGLO-NORMAN FRENCH, is a variety of the
Norman language that was used in England and, to a lesser extent,
elsewhere in the
William the Conqueror led the
Norman conquest of 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
Although Anglo-Norman and Anglo-French were eventually eclipsed by modern English , they had been used widely enough to influence English vocabulary permanently. Thus, many original Germanic words, cognates of which can still be found in Nordic , German , and Dutch , have been lost or, as more often occurs, exist alongside synonyms of Anglo-Norman French origin. Grammatically, Anglo-Norman had little lasting impact on English although it is still evident in official and legal terms where the ordinary sequence of noun and adjective is reversed , for example attorney general: the spelling is English but the word order (noun then adjective) is French. Other such examples are heir apparent, court martial, and body politic.
Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom
Dieu et mon droit was first used by Richard I in 1198 and adopted as the royal motto of England in the time of Henry VI . The motto appears below the shield of the Royal Coat of Arms.
* 1 Use and development
* 2 Trilingualism in Medieval England
* 2.1 Language of the king and his court * 2.2 Language of the royal charters and legislation * 2.3 Language of administration and justice * 2.4 Language of the people
* 3 Characteristics * 4 Literature * 5 Influence on English * 6 Influence in Ireland * 7 See also * 8 Notes * 9 References * 10 Bibliography * 11 External links
USE AND DEVELOPMENT
The literature of the Anglo-Norman period forms the reference point
for subsequent literature in the
Norman language , especially in the
19th century Norman literary revival and even into the 20th century in
the case of André Dupont's Épopée cotentine. The languages and
literatures of the
Anglo-Norman was never the main administrative language of England:
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 . 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
* 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
* Le Roy/
La Reyne le veult ("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",
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 .
TRILINGUALISM IN MEDIEVAL ENGLAND
Much of the earliest recorded French is in fact Anglo-Norman French.
Around the same time, as a shift took place in
LANGUAGE OF THE KING AND HIS COURT
From the conquest (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 became more frequent. French became progressively a second language among the upper classes. Moreover, with the Hundred Years\' War and the growing spirit of English nationalism, the status of French diminished.
French was the mother tongue of every
English king from William the
Conqueror until Henry IV (1399–1413). He was the first to take the
oath in English, and his son, Henry V (1413–1422), was the first to
write in English. By the end of the
LANGUAGE OF THE ROYAL CHARTERS AND LEGISLATION
Until the end of the 13th century,
LANGUAGE OF ADMINISTRATION AND JUSTICE
12th century , development of the administrative and
judicial institutions took place. Because the king and the lawyers at
the time normally used Norman French, it also became the language of
these institutions. From the
12th century until the 15th century, the
courts used three languages.
During the 15th century, English became the main spoken language, but
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
As a langue d\'oïl , Anglo-Norman developed collaterally to the central Gallo-Romance dialects which would eventually become Parisian French in terms of grammar , pronunciation and vocabulary . Before the signature of the Ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts in 1539 and long afterward in practice, French was not standardised as an official administrative language of the kingdom of France.
Middle English was heavily influenced by Anglo-Norman and, later, Anglo-French. W. Rothwell has called Anglo-French 'the missing link ' because many etymological 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.
Anglo-Norman morphology and pronunciation 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)
* 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 consonants 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
The palatalization of velar consonants before /a/ that affected the
development of French did not occur in Norman dialects north of the
ENGLISH < NORMAN = FRENCH
cabbage < caboche = chou
candle < caundèle = chandelle
castle < caste(l) = château
cauldron < caudron = chaudron
causeway < cauchie = chaussée
catch < cachi = chasser
wicket < viquet = guichet
plank < planque = planche
pocket < pouquette = poche
fork < fouorque = fourche
garden < gardin = jardin
cattle < *cate(l) = cheptel (Old French chetel)
Other words such as captain, kennel and canvas exemplify how Norman
retained a /k/ sound from
However, Anglo-Norman also acted as a conduit for French words to enter England; for example, challenge clearly displays a form of French origin, rather than the Norman calenge.
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', 'soond', 'roond' respectively (compare the similarly denasalised vowels of modern Norman), but later developed their modern pronunciation in English.
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 /tʃ/ in Medieval French; Modern French has /ʃ/, but English has preserved the older sound (in words like chamber, chain, chase and exchequer).
Similarly, 'j' had an older /dʒ/ sound, which it still has in English and some dialects of modern Norman, but it has developed into /ʒ/ in Modern French.
The word veil retains the /ei/ (as does modern Norman in vaile and laîsi) that in French has been replaced by /wɑː/ voile, loisir.
The word mushroom preserves a hush sibilant in mousseron not recorded in French orthography, 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 sibilant, like the Basque S, which is halfway between a hissing sibilant and a hushing sibilant.
The doublets catch and chase , both derived from Low
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.
Since although a Romance language, Norman contains a significant
amount of lexical material from Norse , some of the words introduced
into 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 flloquet (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
Many expressions used in English today have their origin in
Anglo-Norman (such as the expression before-hand derives from
Anglo-Norman avaunt-main), as do many modern words with interesting
etymologies. Mortgage , for example, literally meant death-wage in
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: forlenc (from furrow,
compare furlong ) in the
See also: Anglo-Norman literature
INFLUENCE ON ENGLISH
About 28% of English vocabulary comes from French, including Anglo-French (green).
The major Norman-French influence on English can still be seen in today's vocabulary. An enormous number of Norman-French loanwords came into the language, and about three-quarters of them are still used today. Very often, the Norman-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-French word was adopted to signify a new reality, such as judge, castle, warranty.
In general, the Norman-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
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 etourdi meaning giddy.
INFLUENCE IN IRELAND
Norman invasion of Ireland 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
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* The Revised Anglo-Norman
* The Anglo-Norman Text Society publishes a wide range of works written in Anglo-Norman * The Anglo-Norman Correspondence Corpus at Birmingham City University * "Psalterium (Psalter of Queen Isabella of England)". World Digital Library (in Anglo-Norman). CS1 maint: Unrecognized language (link )
* v * t * e
CHANNEL ISLAND DIALECTS
HISTORIC AND LEGAL
* GND : 4002048-4 * BNF : cb119556