Anglo-Norman language
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Anglo-Norman, also known as Anglo-Norman French ( nrf, Anglo-Normaund) ( French: ), was a
dialect The term dialect (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) arou ...
of Old Norman French that was used in
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 Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. It is separa ...
and, to a lesser extent, elsewhere in Great Britain and Ireland during the Anglo-Norman period. When
William the Conqueror William I; ang, WillelmI (Bates ''William the Conqueror'' p. 33– 9 September 1087), usually known as William the Conqueror and sometimes William the Bastard, was the first House of Normandy, Norman List of English monarchs#House of Norman ...
led the
Norman conquest of England The Norman Conquest (or the Conquest) was the 11th-century invasion and occupation of England by an army made up of thousands of Normans, Norman, Duchy of Brittany, Breton, County of Flanders, Flemish, and Kingdom of France, French troops, ...
in 1066, he, his nobles, and many of his followers from
Normandy Normandy (; french: link=no, Normandie ; nrf, Normaundie, Nouormandie ; from Old French , plural of ''Normant'', originally from the word for "northman" in several Scandinavian languages) is a geographical and cultural region in Northwestern ...
, but also those from northern and western France, spoke a range of langues d'oïl (northern varieties of 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 varieties of the ''langues d'oïl'' native to northern France. It was spoken throughout the region of what is now calle ...
, 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: ) was the language spoken in most of the northern half of France from approximately the 8th to the 14th centuries. Rather than a unified language, Old French was a linkage of Romance dialects, mutually intel ...
. 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, 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. 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 ''Blood Royal, 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 King Charles III. These arms are used by the King in his official capacity as monarch of the United Kingdom. Varian ...
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 monarchy, constitutional form of government by which a hereditary monarchy, hereditary sovereign reigns as the head of state of the United ...
, '' Dieu et mon droit'' ("God and my right"), and the
Order of the Garter The Most Noble Order of the Garter is an order of chivalry founded by Edward III of England in 1348. It is the most senior order of knighthood in the Orders, decorations, and medals of the United Kingdom, British honours system, outranked in ...
, '' Honi soit qui mal y pense'' ("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, Duke of Aquitaine, Aquitaine and Duchy of Gascony, Gascony, Lord of Cyprus, and Count of Poitiers, Co ...
(who spoke Anglo-Norman but cannot be proven to have been able to speak English) 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.


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 belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around present-day Rome, but through ...
, Greek, Italian,
Arabic Arabic (, ' ; , ' or ) is a Semitic languages, Semitic language spoken primarily across the Arab world.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaboration with Geoffrey Khan, Michael P. Streck, Janet C ...
, 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. It continued to be known as "Norman French" until the end of the 19th century even though, philologically, there was nothing Norman about it. Among important writers of the Anglo-Norman cultural commonwealth is
Marie de France Marie de France (floruit, fl. 1160 to 1215) was a poet, possibly born in what is now France, who lived in England during the late 12th century. She lived and wrote at an unknown court, but she and her work were almost certainly known at the roya ...
. 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 An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster, or collection of isla ...
are sometimes referred to as Anglo-Norman, but that usage is derived from the French name for the islands: ''les 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 is in fact Anglo-Norman French. In Northern
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
at that time, almost nothing was being recorded in the
vernacular A vernacular or vernacular language is in contrast with a "standard language". It 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, n ...
because
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around present-day Rome, but through ...
was the language of the Church and consequently of
education Education is a purposeful activity directed at achieving certain aims, such as transmitting knowledge or fostering skills and character traits. These aims may include the development of understanding, rationality, kindness, and honesty ...
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 ha ...
, 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) is a form of the English language that was spoken after the Norman conquest of England, Norman conquest of 1066, until the late 15th century. The English language underwent distinct variations and developments ...
. The early adoption of Anglo-Norman as a written and literary language probably owes something to this history of
bilingualism Multilingualism is the use of more than one language, either by an individual speaker or by a group of speakers. It is believed that multilingual speakers outnumber monolingual speakers in the world's population. More than half of all ...
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 language, Greek ''chroniká'', from , ''chrónos'' – "time") is a historical account of events arranged in chronology, chronological order, as in a timeline. Typically, equal weight is given for historic ...
s). From around this point onwards, considerable variation begins to be apparent in Anglo-French, which ranges from the very local (and most anglicized) 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 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 a ...
(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 royal family's ties to French culture. 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 The Hundred Years' War (; 1337–1453) was a series of armed conflicts between the kingdoms of Kingdom of England, England and Kingdom of France, France during the Late Middle Ages. It originated from disputed claims to the French Crown, ...
and the growing spirit of English and French nationalism, the status of French diminished. French (specifically
Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French: ) was the language spoken in most of the northern half of France from approximately the 8th to the 14th centuries. Rather than a unified language, Old French was a linkage of Romance dialects, mutually intel ...
) was the mother tongue of every English king from
William the Conqueror William I; ang, WillelmI (Bates ''William the Conqueror'' p. 33– 9 September 1087), usually known as William the Conqueror and sometimes William the Bastard, was the first House of Normandy, Norman List of English monarchs#House of Norman ...
(1066–1087) until Henry IV (1399–1413). Henry IV was the first to take the oath in ( Middle) English, and his son, 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 belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around present-day Rome, but through ...
was the language of all official written documents. Nevertheless, some important documents had their official Norman translation, such as
Magna Carta (Medieval Latin for "Great Charter of Freedoms"), commonly called (also ''Magna Charta''; "Great Charter"), is a royal charter of rights agreed to by King John of England at Runnymede, near Windsor, Berkshire, Windsor, on 15 June 1215. ...
of 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 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 body of government. Generally, a modern parliament has three functions: Representation (politics), representing the Election#Suffrage, electorate, making laws, and overseeing ...
and of legislation in the 15th century, half a century after it had become the language of the king and 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. 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, judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions."The common law is not a brooding omnipres ...
in 1731, almost three centuries after the king ceased speaking primarily French. Anglo-Norman has survived in the political system in the use of certain Anglo-French set phrases in the
Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom, supreme Legislature, legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories. It meets at the Palace of We ...
, where they are written by hand on bills by the Clerk of the Parliaments or Clerk of the House of Commons to endorse them during their progress to becoming law, or spoken aloud by the Clerk of the Parliaments during a gathering of the Lords Commissioners, to indicate the granting of
Royal Assent Royal assent is the method by which a monarch formally approves an act of the legislature, either directly or through an official acting on the monarch's behalf. In some jurisdictions, royal assent is equivalent to promulgation, while in other ...
to legislation. 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''.


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 (jurors) convened to hear evidence and render an impartiality, impartial verdict (a Question of fact, finding of fact on a question) officially submitted to them by a court, or to set a sentence (law), penalty o ...
, 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 (; ; ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is one of the spoken languages of the Israelites and their longest-surviving descendants, ...
script, typically in the form of glosses to the Hebrew scriptures.Fuderman


Characteristics

As a '' langue d'oïl'', Anglo-Norman developed collaterally to the central
Gallo-Romance The Gallo-Romance branch of the Romance languages The Romance languages, sometimes referred to as Latin languages or Neo-Latin languages, are the various modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin. They are the only extant subgroup of ...
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 2,165,423 residents in 2019 in an area of more than 105 km² (41 sq mi), ma ...
ian French in terms of
grammar In linguistics, the grammar of a natural language is its set of structure, structural constraints on speakers' or writers' composition of clause (linguistics), clauses, phrases, and words. The term can also refer to the study of such constraint ...
,
pronunciation Pronunciation is the way in which a word or a language is spoken. This may refer to generally agreed-upon sequences of sounds used in speaking a given word or language in a specific dialect ("correct pronunciation") or simply the way a particular ...
and
vocabulary A vocabulary is a set of familiar words within a person's language. A vocabulary, usually developed with age, serves as a useful and fundamental tool for communication and learning, acquiring knowledge. Acquiring an extensive vocabulary is one ...
. 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 signed into law by Francis I of France on August 10, 1539, in the city of Villers-Cotterêts and the oldest French legis ...
'' 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) is a form of the English language that was spoken after the Norman conquest of England, Norman conquest of 1066, until the late 15th century. The English language underwent distinct variations and developments ...
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 lexemes from the lexicon of one or more specific languages, often arranged Alphabetical order, alphabetically (or by radical-and-stroke sorting, radical and stroke for ideographic languages), which may include inf ...
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), study of the shapes or forms of artifacts *Morphology (astronomy) Galaxy morphological classification is a system used by astronomers ...
and
phonology Phonology is the branch of linguistics that studies how languages or dialects systematically organize their sounds or, for sign languages, their constituent parts of signs. The term can also refer specifically to the sound or sign system of a ...
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 consonants place of articulation, articulated with the back part of the tongue (the dorsum) against the soft palate, the back part of the roof of the mouth (known also as the Soft palate, velum). Since the velar region of the roof of ...
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. English has therefore inherited words that retain a velar
plosive In phonetics, a plosive, also known as an occlusive or simply a stop, is a pulmonic consonant in which the vocal tract is manner of articulation, blocked so that all airstream mechanism, airflow ceases. The occlusion may be made with the tongu ...
where French has a
fricative A fricative is a consonant 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 ba ...
: 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 Sibilants are fricative consonants of higher amplitude and pitch, made by directing a stream of air with the tongue towards the teeth. Examples of sibilants are the consonants at the beginning of the English words ''sip'', ''zip'', ''ship'', ...
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 sibilant, like the Basque ''s'', which is halfway between a hissing sibilant and a hushing sibilant. The doublets '' catch'' and ''
chase Chase or CHASE may refer to: Businesses * 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 Co ...
'' 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 languages, North Germanic dialects before their final divergence into separate Nordic languages. Old Norse was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and t ...
. 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 ; non, víkingr is the modern name given to seafaring people originally from Scandinavia (present-day Denmark, Norway and Sweden), who from the late 8th to the late 11th centuries raided, pirated, traded and se ...
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 (), in civil law (legal system), civil law jurisdicions known also as a hypothec loan, is a loan used either by purchasers of real property to raise funds to buy real estate, or by existing property owners ...
'', 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 people affected by them to ''not'' be in public places or on roads within a certain time frame, typically in the evening and ...
'' (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 in imperial units and United States customary units equal to one eighth of a mile, equivalent to 660 feet, 220 yards, 40 rods, 10 chains or approximately 201 metre The metre (British English, Br ...
'') in the
Cotentin Peninsula The Cotentin Peninsula (, ; nrf, Cotentîn ), also known as the Cherbourg Peninsula, is a peninsula in Normandy that forms part of the northwest coast of France. It extends north-westward into the English Channel, towards Great Britain. To its w ...
and Bessin, and a general use of the word ''
acre The acre is a Unit of measurement, unit of land area used in the Imperial units, imperial and United States customary units#Units of area, US customary systems. It is traditionally defined as the area of one Chain (unit), chain by one furlong ( ...
'' (instead of French ''arpent'') for land measurement in Normandy until
metrication Metrication or metrification is the act or process of converting to the metric system of measurement. All over the world, countries have transitioned from local and traditional units of measurement to the metric system. This process began in Fr ...
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 hybridisation between Norse and Anglo-Saxon The Anglo-Saxons were a Cultural identity, cultural group who inhabited England in the Early Middle Ages. They traced their origins to settl ...
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 language, Norman: ''Normaunds''; french: Normands; la, Nortmanni/Normanni) were a population arising in the medieval Duchy of Normandy from the intermingling between Norsemen, Norse Viking settlers and indigenous West Fran ...
invaded England,
Anglo-Saxon literature Old English literature refers to poetry and prose written in Old English in early medieval England, from the 7th century to the decades after the Norman conquest of England, Norman Conquest of 1066, a period often termed Anglo-Saxon England. Th ...
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 Benedic ...
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 languages, West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family, with its earliest forms spoken by the inhabita ...
. 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 Dynasty, royal house which originated from the lands of County of Anjou, Anjou in France. The family held the English throne from 1154 (with the accession of Henry II of England, Henry II at the end of the An ...
kings encouraged this Anglo-Norman literature. 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, author, and civil servant best known for ''The Canterbury Tales''. He has been called the "father of English literature", or, alternatively, the "father of English poetry". He wa ...
. 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 at least partly assimilated from one language (the donor language) into another language. This is in contrast to cognates, which are words in two or more languages that are similar because the ...
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, ''cow'' (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.


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, over which the kings of Kingdom of England, England then claimed sovereignty ...
began in 1169, on the first of May in Bannow Bay, 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: Empire Plantagenêt) describes the possessions of the House of Plantagenet during the 12th and 13th centuries, when they ruled over an area covering roughly half of France, all of England, and parts of Lordship of I ...
's new territory. Several Norman words became Gaelic 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 (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 or defensive wall made from iron or wooden stakes, or tree trunks, and used as a defensive structure or enclosure. Palisades can form a stockade. Etymology ''Palisade'' ...
,
The Pale The Pale (Irish language, Irish: ''An Pháil'') 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 t ...
). Others exist with English or Irish roots, such as Castletownroche, 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 ''The Song of Dermot and the Earl'' (french: Chanson de Dermot et du comte) is an anonymous Anglo-Norman verse chronicle A chronicle ( la, chronica, from Greek language, Greek ''chroniká'', from , ''chrónos'' – "time") is a historical ac ...
'' (early 13th century) and the
Statutes of Kilkenny The Statutes of Kilkenny were a series of thirty-five acts enacted by the Parliament of Ireland The Parliament of Ireland ( ga, Parlaimint na hÉireann) was the legislature of the Lordship of Ireland, and later the Kingdom of Ireland, fr ...
(1366).


See also

* Anglo-Norman literature * Anglo-Norman Text Society *
Influence of French on English The influence of French on English pertains mainly to its lexicon but also to its syntax (linguistics), syntax, grammar, orthography, and pronunciation. Most of the French language, French vocabulary in English language, English entered the languag ...
* Law French * Middle English creole hypothesis * Guernésiais *
Jèrriais (french: Jersiais, also known as the Jersey Language, Jersey French and Jersey Norman French in English) is a Romance languages, Romance language and the traditional language of the Jersey people. It is a form of the Norman language spoken in ...
* Auregnais *
Sercquiais , also known as , Sarkese or Sark-French, is the Norman language, Norman dialect of the Channel Islands, Channel Island of Sark (Bailiwick of Guernsey). Sercquiais is a descendant of the 16th century Jèrriais used by the original colonists, 40 ...


Notes


References

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

. * 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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Aberystwyth: Anglo-Norman Online Hub. *Trotter, David (1994), 'L'anglo-français au Pays de Galles: une enquête préliminaire', Revue de linguistique romane, 58: 461–88. *Trotter, David (1996), 'Language contact and lexicography: the case of Anglo Norman', in Nielsen/Schǿsler (1996), 21–39. *Trotter, David (1997), 'Mossenhor, fet metre aquesta letra en bon francés: Anglo-French in Gascony', in Gregory, Stewart and Trotter, David (eds), De mot en mot: Essays in honour of William Rothwell, Cardiff, 199–222. *Trotter, David (1998b), 'Les néologismes de l'anglo-français et le FEW', Le Moyen Français 39–41, 577–636. *Trotter, David (1998c), 'Some Lexical Gleanings from Anglo-French Gascony', Zeitschrift für romanische Philologie 114, 53–72. *Trotter, David (1998d), 'Translations and loanwords: some Anglo-Norman evidence', In Ellis, R., Tixier, R. and Weitmeier, B. 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External links


The Revised Anglo-Norman Dictionary (A-S), with the entries from the first edition, for T-Z
is freely available online. The site, formerly known as ''The Anglo-Norman hub'', also provides a searchable textbase of more than 70 Anglo-Norman texts, selected publications by the editorial team, a general introduction to Anglo-Norman and a bibliography off all Anglo-Norman primary sources.
The Anglo-Norman Text Society publishes a wide range of works written in Anglo-Norman
* * {{DEFAULTSORT:Anglo-Norman Language Norman language
Language Language is a structured system of communication. The structure of a language is its grammar and the free components are its vocabulary. Languages are the primary means by which humans communicate, and may be conveyed through a variety of met ...
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