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Курсовик The Norman Conquest .Linguistic situation in Medieval England after the Norman Conquest


Тип работы: Курсовик. Предмет: Ин. языки. Добавлен: 16.5.2014. Сдан: 2013. Страниц: 72. Уникальность по antiplagiat.ru: < 30%

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1 Language History of the English Language …………………….......... 6
1.1 Linguistic situation in old English and Middle English period.................6
1.1.1. The development of Futhark ………………………… ………….…10
1.1.2 The runic alphabet as an Old Germanic writing tradition…………….12
1.2 Linguistic situation in the Middle English……………………………...14
1.2.1 The Norman Conquest .Linguistic situation in Medieval England after the Norman Conquest……………………………………………………………....15
1.2.2 Dialectal Diversity in the Middle English Period……………………..19
1.3 The role of the printing in the formation of the English language………21
2. Origins of Standard English………………………….……...……………26 2.1Principal Middle English written records as a reflection of ongoing changes in Standardization…………………………………………………………….26 2.1.1 Other sources of borrowings in the Middle English language……… ..31 2.1.2 Changes in Grammar in Middle and Early New English………………32 3. Analysis of the effects of the social structure of English society after the Norman Conquest…………………………………………………………….37 Conclusion…………………………………………………………………….45References…………………………………………………………………….47

The formation of the feudal state in England due to the numerous tribes of the British Isles conquest of German and Scandinavian descent.As the main stages of the development of the English feudal state can be identified:
1) The period of Anglo-Saxon early feudal monarchy in IX-XI centuries.
2) The period of centralized monarchy seigniorial (XI-XII centuries . ) And the civil wars of limiting royal power (XII century).
3) The period of estate- representative monarchy (the second half of the XIII-XV century).
4) The period of absolute monarchy (the end of XV - middle of the XVII century).
In 1066 England was conquered by the Norman Duke William the illegitimate (the Conqueror), landed with a great army, recruited from the Norman knights, and various other adventurers. The establishment of the Norman state domination in England has had a profound influence on its political development . Marching to the feudal land be converted to the united state led by strong monarchs cal power, which at that time was not anywhere on the continent of Europe. [1]
The conquerors were not going to completely ruin the peasantry, since his peasants are not brought to England, and they had to increase the population for the estates of rent and taxes. But the conquest accelerated the enslavement of the peasantry, , contributed to the rapid completion of the process of feudalism , which began in the period prior to the Norman conquest . It was a revolution, in which the number of free farmers has decreased dramatically.
As a result of the conquest established quite complete the form feudal system of land holdings and vassals bonds. This system was largely moved to England from Normandy. The feudal system in England was more perfect, as it moved off the shelf than in France, where it was formed naturally. [1]
Much of the confiscated land from the Anglo-Saxon nobility became part of the royal domain, and the rest was distributed between Norman and Anglo-Saxon lords discontinuous arrays, the individual sections, among other holdings. The conquerors brought with them a strict «Forest Law", which gave the opportunity to declare the royal preserves significant woodlands and severely punished for the violation of their boundaries. Moreover, the king declared himself the supreme owner of all the land and demanded that all free landowners bringing him the oath of allegiance. This oath made ??the feudal vassals of the king of all ranks obliged him primarily military service. The principle of «vassal of my vassal - not my vassal», typical of the continent, in England established. All feudal lords were divided into two major categories: direct vassals of the crown, which are usually were large landowners (earls, barons), and vassals of the second stage (vassals under), consisting of a mass medium and small landowners. A large part of the clergy wore the same services to the king , and that the secular vassals. [1]
Thus, the feudal lords in England gained independence and that those immunities which they enjoyed on the continent. The right of eminent domain to land the king , and gave him the opportunity to redistribute land and to interfere in the relations of landowners , was the affirmation of the principle of the rule of royal justice in relation to the courts of the feudal lords of all ranks .
In the historical and legal literature, the problem of the influence of the Norman conquest of England by feudal development is presented in the works of both foreign and domestic experts. It may be noted of AL Mortons , NF Kolesnitskogo , VV Stockmar , etc. [1 ] The authors of the individual chapters focus attention on the historical role of the Norman Conquest.
The early part of the Modern English saw the establishment of the Standard written English we know today. Its standardization was first due to the need of the central government for regular procedures by which to conduct its business, to keep its records and to communicate with the citizens of the land. Standard languages are often the by-products of bureaucracy, developed to meet a specific administrative need, rather than spontaneous developments of the populace or the artifice of writers and scholars .A standard language is spread widely over a the large region, is respected, because people recognize its usefulness and is codified in the sense of having been described so that people know what it is [1].
A standard language has to be described before it is fully standard. The purpose of the paper in question is to retrace development of the Standard English language formation as well as to study linguistic background of its establishment.
The purpose of the research stipulated the arrangement and consecutive solving of the following tasks:
1. to review written records in an early stage of the English language development that is of Old English Period;
2. to inspect the origins of the Standard English language;
3. to analyze linguistic situation in the Middle English Age before the Standardization;
4. to consider the main factors contributing to the Standard English language development;
5. to examine changes in the English language on all levels during its standardization.
The topicality of the paper given can be explained by the following fact: in the course of its history the English language has changed a lot, in other words it has been globalized. Additionally, it gave birth to many regional varieties. And although most people nowadays speak a variety of regional English or an admixture of standard and regional Englishes, and reverse such labels as BBC English or “the Queens English” for what they perceive to be a pure Standard English it is still vitally important to know what the Standard English language represents as such and what is more important to use it to be able to communicate with English speakers of various ethnic backgrounds. The personal contribution to the research work lies in an attempt to integrate fundamental and modern sources on the English language formation to give a contrastive view of the issue.
The following methods were applied in the research:
1. Descriptive analysis;
2. Historical-philological analysis;
3. Comparative analysis.
This work consists of introduction, two chapters, conclusion, list of references and appendixes. The introduction covers topicality, theoretical base of research, as well as, methods of research and the structure of the work.
In the 1st chapter we are concerned with linguistic situation in Old English and Medieval period. The 2nd chapter is dedicated to the changes in the language on phonetic, lexical and grammar levels that later constituted the basis of English Standard. The conclusion colligates the main propositions and ultimate results of the research.
The influence of the Norman Conquest was very high, since England has led to a new stage of its development and has had a tremendous impact not only on the outside of the old of England, but also greatly influenced the literature, politics, legislation.

1. Language History of the English Language
1.1 Linguistic situation in old English and middle English period
The historical development of a language is a continuous uninterrupted process without sudden breaks or rapid transformation. The commonly accepted, traditional periodisation divides English history into three periods: Old English, Middle English, and New English, with boundaries attached to definite dates and historical events affecting the language. OE begins with the Germanic settlement of Britain (5th c.) or with beginning of writing (7th c.) and ends on the Norman Conquest (1066), ME begins with the Norman Conquest and ends on the introduction of printing (1475), which is the start of the Modern or New English;
the New period lasts to the present day. The History of the English language can be subdivided into seven periods. [1 ]
The English language that is spoken today is the direct result of 1066 and the Norman Conquest. Modern English is vastly different from that spoken by the English prior to the Conquest, both in its word-hoard and its grammar. In order to understand what happened, and why, it is necessary to look at both English and Norman French before 1066, and then the Middle English that resulted from their interaction. Old English was a highly inflected member of the West Germanic language family. It had two numbers, three genders, four cases, remnants of dual number and instrumental case, which could give up to 30 inflectional forms for every adjective or pronoun. Its syntax was only partially dependent on word order and has a simple two tense, three mood, four person (three singular, one plural) verb system. The spelling of Old English is strictly phonetic. [1].
As a result of the Viking wars and the subsequent settlement of many speakers of Old Norse, a North Germanic language, the introduction of new words and a simplification of the grammar had already started to take place. This was more marked in those areas in the North, Midlands and East Anglia where the Danes and Norwegians settled in large numbers. Although the two languages were mutually understandable, a modern day comparison would be a Geordie talking to a Cockney with neither making any concession to the other.
The language had four major dialects: Northumbrian, Mercian, West Saxon, and Kentish. As the kings of Wessex (West Saxons) gradually emerged as kings of all England, West Saxon dominated the written form of the language. As such, it gradually became less reflective of the spoken language, especially in the Danelaw. By 1100 English had changed sufficiently to be classed as a new version of English, descended from, but quite different to, Old English. [1 ]
Middle English had five major dialects, Northern, West Midland, East Midland, South Westerm and Kentish. It was characterised by the extreme loss of inflections, almost complete standardisation of the plural to s and the introduction of a large number of Norman French and Low German words. The French came, of course, from the French speakers who now controlled the government, the law and the church. The Low German from the large number of Flemish the Normans had first hired as mercenaries and then used to settle those parts of the country they had harried and depopulated. [1]
So, how had the changes come about? When the Norse had settled in England they brought with them a language that was from the same linguistic family, and indeed enabled them to be understood by their English neighbours. The culture was also similar, not surprising considering that the original English had come from Scania, Denmark and the North Sea coast bordering Denmark. In addition the new comers supplemented, rather than replaced, both the aristocracy and the commons. As a result assimilation was very quick and easy even before the fighting stopped. The Normans brought with them an alien culture and language. Add to this their social status as the new ruling class, and it is no shock to find that assimilation was slower, and the new society and language that emerged was so radically changed from that which they found when they arrived uninvited in 1066. [2 ]
English, which had been a written language since the conversion to Christianity, was rapidly dropped as the language for royal and legal charters and proclamations, not reappearing until Simon De Montforts Parliament issued the Provisions of Oxford in 1258. The replacement language was usually Latin, though often duplicated in French. French was the language of the royal court, the legal system and the church. The use of French was reinforced by the fact that many of the new aristocracy and religious houses had extensive holdings in France. This state of affairs changed slightly in 1204 when King John lost Normandy, but did not really end until after the English were finally expelled from France at the end of the Hundred Years War in 1453. [2].
The result of English disappearing as a written language was the removal of any restraints on language development. This assisted the simplification of the grammar as the folk strove to find the simplest way to communicate with people who did not speak English as their first language. The process that had started with the compromises needed to allow English and Norse to understand each other better gathered speed as the Anglo-Scandinavians sought to communicate with both their linguistic cousins, the Flems, and the alien Normans and French. This development was not dissimilar to that of Vulgar Latin as it changed into the various Romance languages as mentioned earlier. By the time the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle stopped being written at its last stronghold in Peterborough in 1154, its West Saxon English was already obsolete. [2 ]
The ruling classes spoke French, as did the many merchants that flocked to England following the Conquest. Those that dealt with them, or had ambitions to join them, had to learn at least some of the language. However, it cannot be assumed that the ruling classes and the merchants did not quickly come to at least understand English if not speak it. It would have been very difficult to oversee an estate or buy and sell unless you could communicate, though it was noted at the time that there was a flourishing job market for translators. This may have sufficed for many of those who arrived with William the Bastard, but surely not for their children, brought up by an English wet nurse and with English servants. It is hard to imagine that those children did not absorb the language at the same time as they supped the milk. It should also be borne in mind that many of the Normans married English wives, often the widows or daughters of the previous English landholder. In such a household both parties would need to learn at least a smattering of the others native language. At a lower level, the need to learn at least simplified English was essential. Many a Norman or Frenchman was granted a holding (which he would re-name a manor) as reward for services rendered during the Conquest. With a totally English workforce and possibly an English wife and no French speakers for miles learning English would have been the number one priority. [2 ]
From documentary evidence we know that by 1160 an English knight had to retain a Norman to teach his son French. Around 1175 a noble woman warns her husband of danger in English, not French as might have been expected. In 1191 one of four knights in a legal dispute cannot speak French when appearing at a court where the proceedings were still conducted in that language. By 1200 phrase books teach French as a foreign language are being produced. In the same year the poet Bruts The Owl and the Nightingale appears and signals the rebirth of English (now Middle English) as a literary language. [2]
It hardly can be argued that the Norman Conquest was not only a great event in British political history but also the greatest single event in the history of the English language. Its earliest effect was a drastic change in the linguistic situation.
The Norman Conquerors of England had originally come from Scandinavia. About one hundred and fifty years before they seized the valley of the Scine and settled in what was known as Normandy. They were swiftly assimilated by the French and in the 11th century came to Britain as French speakers and bearers of French culture. They spoke the Northern dialect of French, which differed in some points from Central, Parisian.
French. Their tongue in Britain is often referred to as `Anglo-French or `Anglo-Norman, but may just as well be called French, since we are less concerned here with the distinction of French dialects than with the continuous French influence upon English, both in the Norman period of history and a long while after the Anglo-Norman language had ceased to exist.
In the early 13th century, as a result of lengthy and inefficient wars with France King John Lackland lost the French provinces, including the dukedom of Normandy. Among other consequences the loss of the lands in France cut off the Normans in Britain from France, which speeded up the decline of the Anglo-French language. . [3]
The most immediate consequence of the Norman domination in Britain is to be seen in the wide use of the French language in many spheres of life. For almost three hundred years French was the official language of administration: it was the language of the kings court, the law courts, the church, the army and the castle. It was also everyday language of many nobles, of the higher clergy and of many townspeople in the South. The intellectual life, literature and education were in the hands of French-speaking people; French, alongside Latin, was the language of writing. Teaching was largely conducted in French and boys at school were taught to translate their Latin into French instead of English [3].
As A. Baugh states, England never stopped being an English-speaking country. The bulk of the population held fast to their own tongue: the lower classes in the towns, and especially in the country-side, those who lived in the Midlands and up north, continued to speak English and looked upon French as foreign and hostile. Since most of the people were illiterate, the English language was almost exclusively used for spoken communication.At first the two languages existed side by side without mingling. Then, slowly and quickly, they began to permeate each other. The Norman barons and the French town-dwellers had to pick up English words to make themselves understood while the English began to use French words in current speech. A good knowledge of French would mark a person of higher standing giving him a certain social prestige probably many people become bilingual and had a fair command of both languages [3].
Undoubtedly, these peculiar linguistic conditions could not remain static. The struggle between French and English was bound to end in the complete victory of English, for English was the living language of the entire people, while French was restricted to certain social spheres and to writing. Yet the final victory was still a long way off. In the 13th century only a few steps were made in that direction. The earliest sign of the official recognition of English by the Norman hinges was the famous Proclamation issued by Henry III in 1258 to the councilors in Parliament. It was written in three languages: French, Latin and English.The three hundred years of the domination of French affected English more than any other foreign influence before or after. The early French borrowings reflect accurately the spheres of Norman influence upon English life; later borrowings can be attributed to the continued cultural, economic and political contacts between the countries. The French influence added new features to the regional and social differentiation of the language. New words, coming from French, could not be adopted simultaneously by all the speakers of English; they were first used in some varieties of the language, namely in the regional dialects of Southern England and in the speech if the upper classes, but were unknown in the other varieties of the language [3].

1.1.1 The development of Futhark
The earliest form of German writing is commonly believed to be connected to the early Germanic runes. Old English was first written in the runic alphabet which was called Futhark. It was named after the first six letters. The reason for the unique sequences of characters in the futhark is unknown. It is proposed that this sequence was the result of some mnemonic device which is no longer retrievable, but which may have left some slight echo in the runic poems preserved in the medieval manuscripts [4].
The Old Germanic runic alphabet consisted of twenty-four letters. In England at least thirty runes were used to reflect the old English phonological changes. It can be written both horizontally in either direction. The arrangement of runic characters differs greatly from the order of letters in all other European alphabets.The name of each rune was associated with a certain word in the Old English language. Therefore the runes can stand for these words. Besides, each rune could stand for the initial sound of the corresponding word. Thus if we read only initial letters in the words for which the runes stand in the above mentioned six stanzas, we get Futhark [4].
This alphabet was used in northern Europe - in Scandinavia, present-day Germany, and the British Isles - and it has been preserved in about 4,000 inscriptions and in a few manuscripts. It dates from around the 3rd century AD. No one knows exactly where the alphabet came from, but it seems to be a development of one of the alphabets of southern Europe, probably by the Roman, which runes resemble closely [4].
The runic alphabet is a specifically Germanic alphabet, not to be found in the languages of other groups. The letters are angular; straight lines are preferred, curved lines avoided; this is due to the fact that the runic inscriptions were cut in hard material: stone, wood or bone. The shapes of some letters resemble to those of Greek or Latin, others have not been traced to any known alphabet, and the order of the runes is certainly original [4].
An early offshoot of Futhark was employed by Goths, and so it is known as Gothic Runes. It was used until 500 CE when it was replaced by the Greek-based Gothic alphabet. One theory concerning the origin of Futhark states that the Goths were the inventors of Futhark, but there is insufficient supporting evidence to prove this theory. In England, the Anglo-Saxons brought Futhark from continental Europe in the 5th century CE and modified it into the thirty-three-letter Futharc to accommodate sound changes that were occurring in Old English, the language spoken by the Anglo-Saxons. Even the name `Futhorc is evidence to a phonological change where the long [a] vowel in Old English evolved into a later [o] vowel. [4].
Even though Futhark continued to thrive as a writing system, it started to decline with the spread of the Latin alphabet. In England, Anglo-Saxon Futharc started to be replaced by the Latin alphabet by the 9th century, and did not survive much more past the Norman Conquest of 1066. Futhark continued to be used in Scandinavia for centuries longer, but by 1600 CE, it had become nothing more than curiosities among scholars and antiquarians [4].
It is commonly accepted that the Middle English period has a much richer documentation than is found in Old English. This is partly a result of the post-conquest political situation. The newly centralized monarchy commissioned national and local surveys, beginning with the Domesday Book and there is a marked increase in the number of public and private documents - mandates, charters, contracts, tax-rolls, and other administrative or judicial papers. However, the early material is of limited value to those interested in the linguistic history of English because it is largely written in Latin or French, and the only relevant data which can be extracted relate to English and personal names. Most religious publication falls into the same category, with Latin maintaining its presence throughout the period as the official language of the Church [4]
A major difference from Оld English is the absence of a continuing tradition of historical writing in the native language, as in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle - a function which Latin supplanted, and which was not revived until the 15th century. In the early period, we can see a great deal of religious prose writing, in the form of homilies, tracts, lives of the Saints, and the other aids to devotion and meditation. Sometimes a text was written with a specific readership in mind; the Ancrene Rewle `Anchorites Guide, for example, was compiled by a spiritual director for three noblewomen who had abandoned the world to live as anchoresses. During the 14th century, there is a marked increase in the number of translated writings from French and Latin, and of the texts for teaching these languages. Guild records, proclaims, proverbs, dialogues, allegories, and the letters illustrate the diverse range of new styles and genres. Towards the end of the century, the translations of the Bible inspired by John Wycliff appear amid considerable controversy, and the associated movement produces many manuscripts. Finally, in the 1430es, there is a vast output in English from the office of the London Chancery scribes, which strongly influenced the development of the standard written language [4].
Poetry presents a puzzle. The Anglo-Saxon poetic tradition apparently dies out in the 11th century, to reappear patchily in the 13th. A lengthy poetic history of Britain is known as Lagamons Brut as we have mentioned above, one of the earliest to survive from Middle English, and in the 14th century come the important texts of Piers Plowman and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. What is surprising in that the alliterative Old English style is still present in all these works, despite an apparent break in poetic continuity of at least a hundred years. The conund........

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