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Encyclopedia > Anglo Norman language
Norman
Normand
Spoken in: Channel Islands and historically in England
Total speakers:
Language family: Indo-European
 Italic
  Romance
   Italo-Western
    Western
     Gallo-Iberian
      Gallo-Romance
       Gallo-Rhaetian
        Oïl
         Norman 
Writing system: Latin (French variant)
Language codes
ISO 639-1: none
ISO 639-2: roa
ISO/DIS 639-3: none 

The Anglo-Norman language is the name given to the variety of the Norman language spoken by the Anglo-Normans, the descendants of the Normans who ruled the Kingdom of England following the conquest by William of Normandy in 1066. This langue d'oïl became the official language of England and later developed into the unique insular dialect now known as the Anglo-Norman language. The Channel Islands are a group of islands off the coast of Normandy, France, in the English Channel. ... Royal motto (French): Dieu et mon droit (Translated: God and my right) Englands location (dark green) within the United Kingdom (light green), with the Republic of Ireland (blue) to its west Languages None official English de facto Capital None official London de facto Largest city London Area – Total Ranked... Current distribution of Human Language Families Most languages are known to belong to language families. ... The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred languages and dialects (443 according to the SIL estimate), including most of the major languages of Europe, as well as many in Southwest Asia, Central Asia and Southern Asia. ... The Italic subfamily is a member of the Centum branch of the Indo-European language family. ... Romance languages in the world: Blue – French; Green – Spanish; Orange – Portuguese; Yellow – Italian; Red – Romanian The Romance languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family, comprise all languages that descended from Latin, the language of the Roman Empire. ... Italo-Western is the largest sub-group of Romance languages. ... Gallo-Romance languages Gallo-Italian languages Lombard Piedmontese Emilian-Romagnol Venetian Ligurian Gallo-Rhaetian languages Oïl languages(including French) Burgundian Champenois Franc-Comtois French Gallo Lorrain Norman Anglo-Norman Channel Island Norman Auregnais Dgèrnésiais Jèrriais Sercquiais Picard Poitevin-Saintongeais Walloon Rhaetian languages Friulian Ladin Romansh *Franco... The Gallo-Romance branch of Romance languages includes French, Oïl languages, Catalan, and Occitan, among other languages. ... The langue doïl language family in linguistics comprises Romance languages originating in territories now occupied by northern France, part of Belgium and the Channel Islands. ... Writing Systems of the World today A Specimen of typeset fonts and languages, by William Caslon, letter founder; from the 1728 Cyclopaedia. ... The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most widely used alphabetic writing system in the world today. ... The French alphabet is based on the Latin alphabet. ... ISO 639-1 is the first part of the ISO 639 international-standard language-code family. ... ISO 639-2:1998 Codes for the representation of names of languages — Part 2: Alpha-3 code Twenty-two of the languages have two three-letter codes: a code for bibliographic use (ISO 639-2/B) a code for terminological use (ISO 639-2/T). ... ISO 639-3 is in process of development as an international standard for language codes. ... The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is a system of phonetic notation devised by linguists to accurately and uniquely represent each of the wide variety of sounds (phones or phonemes) used in spoken human language. ... Phonetics (from the Greek word φωνή, phone = sound/voice) is the study of sounds (voice). ... Due to technical limitations, some web browsers may not display some special characters in this article. ... This is a concise version of the International Phonetic Alphabet for English sounds. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... A variety of a language is a form that differs from other forms of the language systematically and coherently. ... The Norman language is a Romance language, one of the Oïl languages. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... The Normans (adapted from the name Northmen or Norsemen) were a mixture of the indigenous people of France and the Viking invaders under the leadership of Hrolf Ganger, who adopted the French name Rollo and swore allegiance to the king of France (Charles the Simple). ... The Flag of England The Kingdom of England was a kingdom located in Western Europe, in the southern part of the island of Great Britain. ... Bayeux Tapestry depicting events leading to the Battle of Hastings The Norman Conquest of England was the conquest of the Kingdom of England by William the Conqueror (Duke of Normandy), in 1066 at the Battle of Hastings and the subsequent Norman control of England. ... William of Normandy (French: Guillaume de Normandie; c. ... Events January 6 - Harold II is crowned September 20 - Battle of Fulford September 25 - Battle of Stamford Bridge September 29 - William of Normandy lands in England at Pevensey. ... The langue doïl language family in linguistics comprises Romance languages originating in territories now occupied by northern France, part of Belgium and the Channel Islands. ... Royal motto (French): Dieu et mon droit (Translated: God and my right) Englands location (dark green) within the United Kingdom (light green), with the Republic of Ireland (blue) to its west Languages None official English de facto Capital None official London de facto Largest city London Area – Total Ranked...


Anglo-Norman was the spoken language of the Norman nobility and was also used in the courts, to compile official documents, to write literature, and for commercial purposes. The lower classes were keen on learning Anglo-Norman; some early textbooks for non-native speakers still exist. The Lords and Barons prove their Nobility by hanging their Banners and exposing their Coats-of-arms at the door of the Lodge of the Heralds. ...


The name is something of a misnomer: the specifically Norman traits of the language found in England are neither overwhelmingly dominant, nor are they the only dialectal elements which are discernible in documents written in French in England. Moreover, the use of so specific a label tends to lead to unsustainable assumptions about the variety's unity and homogeneity. It is far safer to think in terms of a range of speakers from various dialectal backgrounds, by no means all Norman; since their speech is of course not recorded, the diversity of it (both regional and social) is equally unattested. Look up Misnomer in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up Homogeneous in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The Norman language is a Romance language, one of the Oïl languages. ...


Use and development

The written records from the conquest onwards display certain striking features. In the first place, they are early: the first medieval French literature appears in England in this langue d'oïl, and some of the first non-literary documents in Old French (charters, etc.) are also in Anglo-Norman. The most likely explanation for this is that there was a long-standing insular tradition of vernacular writing of religious, literary and historical texts, which the newly-arrived Normans adopted. The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times. ... French literature is, generally speaking, literature written in the French language, particularly by citizens of France; it may also refer to literature written by people living in France who speak other traditional non-French languages. ... A document contains information. ... Old French is a term sometimes used to refer to the langue doïl, the continuum of varieties of Romance language spoken in territories corresponding roughly to the northern half of modern France and parts of Belgium and Switzerland during the period roughly from 1000 to 1300 A.D...


Among important writers of the Anglo-Norman cultural commonwealth are the Jersey-born poet, Wace, and Marie de France. 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 Channel Islands are sometimes still referred to as Anglo-Norman. Wace (c. ... Marie de France (Marie of France) was a poet evidently born in France and living in England during the late 12th century. ... Anglo-Norman literature is literature composed in the Anglo-Norman language developed during the period 1066-1204 when the Duchy of Normandy and England were united in the Anglo-Norman realm. ... The Norman language is a Romance language, one of the Oïl languages. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999 in the... The Channel Islands are a group of islands off the coast of Normandy, France, in the English Channel. ...


Over time, the use of Anglo-Norman expanded further into the fields of law, administration, commerce, and science, in all of which a rich documentary legacy survives.


One notable survival of influence on the political system is the use of Anglo-Norman phrases in the granting of Royal Assent to legislation in the United Kingdom. It is also used in Parliament for some endorsements to bills: The granting of Royal Assent is the formal method by which the Sovereign of the United Kingdom, or the Sovereigns representative in Commonwealth Realms, completes the process of the enactment of legislation by formally assenting to an Act of Parliament. ... The Houses of Parliament, seen over Westminster Bridge The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative institution in the United Kingdom and British overseas territories (it alone has parliamentary sovereignty). ...

  • "soit baillé aux communes" (a bill sent by the House of Lords to the House of Commons)
  • "A ceste Bille les Seigneurs sont assentus" (a Commons bill agreed by the Lords)
  • "A ceste Bille avecque des amendements les Seigneurs sont assentus" (a Commons Bill amended by the Lords)
  • "Ceste Bille est remise aux Seigneurs avecque des raisons" (a Commons bill amended by the Lords, sent back by the Commons when they disagree with the Lords' amendments)
  • "La Reyne le veult" (Royal Assent for a public bill)
  • "La Reyne remercie ses bon sujets, accepte leur bénévolence, et ainsi le veult (Royal Assent for a supply bill)
  • "Soit fait comme il est desiré" (Royal Assent for a private bill)

But in parallel with the development of Anglo-Norman as a "language of record" (Michael Clanchy's term), the language became less and less of a true vernacular, and increasingly an acquired, second language. In many cases, of course, it was only imperfectly acquired, and it is these texts which have fuelled the idea that all later Anglo-Norman is little more than a degenerate jargon. This article is about the British House of Lords. ... The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. ...


How far this is from the truth may easily be seen from the wide range of documents well into the 15th century in which Anglo-Norman is used for complex administrative matters and indeed affairs of state, at home and abroad. At an international level, many Anglo-Norman diplomatic documents are virtually indistinguishable from the products of the Paris Chancery - a fact which (together with the substantial evidence of the use of Anglo-Norman in Gascony) rather undermines the notion, still current, that the insular variety of French was cut off from its continental roots after the loss of continental Normandy in 1204. (14th century - 15th century - 16th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 15th century was that century which lasted from 1401 to 1500. ... Gascony (French: Gascogne, pronounced  ; Gascon: Gasconha, pronounced ) is an area of southwest France that constituted a royal province prior to the French Revolution. ... Mont Saint Michel, one of the famous symbols of Normandy. ... // Events February - Byzantine emperor Alexius IV is overthrown in a revolution, and Alexius V is proclaimed emperor. ...


On the other hand, Geoffrey Chaucer suggests that significant differences existed between the French of England and the French of France; introducing the character of the Prioress in the General Prologue of The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer writes: Chaucer: Illustration from Cassells History of England, circa 1902. ... A priory is an ecclesistical circonscription run by a prior. ... The first lines from the General Prologue in the opening folio of the Hengwrt manuscript. ... Canterbury Tales Woodcut 1484 The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories written by Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century (two of them in prose, the rest in verse). ...

And Frenche she spake ful fayre and fetisly,
After the scole of Stratford atte Bowe,
For Frenche of Paris was to hire unknowe.

Yet as well as continuing as a written language of record for all sorts of purposes right through the Middle Ages (and in the case of Law French, beyond), in a determinedly multilingual context, it is clear that Anglo-Norman must also have penetrated sufficiently into all social classes to ensure numerous borrowings into various English dialects. On the one hand the bulk of the Anglo-Norman influence on the lexis of English can probably be attributed to the trilingual scribes in charge of records of all sorts from the late thirteenth century onwards; on the other, there is a layer of vocabulary (of lower status) not so readily explained by this process. Bow, historically Stratford-le-Bow [1], is a place in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. ... Law French is an archaic language based on Norman and Anglo-Norman. ... A dialect (from the Greek word διάλεκτος, dialektos) is a variety of a language used by people from a particular geographic area. ... A multilingual person or a polyglot is someone with a high degree of proficiency in several languages. ... Illustration of a 15th century scribe This is about scribe, the profession. ...


Characteristics

As a langue d'oïl, Anglo-Norman had developed collaterally to the central Gallo-Romance dialects that would eventually become Parisian French, in terms of grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary - it being also important to remember that before the 15th century French had not been standardised as an official administrative language of the kingdom of France. Middle English was heavily influenced by Anglo-Norman; most words of Romance origin in English are derived from Anglo-Norman rather than continental Parisian French. Some etymologists have called Anglo-Norman 'the missing link' because many etymological dictionaries seem to ignore the contribution of that language in English. The Gallo-Romance branch of Romance languages includes French, Oïl languages, Catalan, and Occitan, among other languages. ... The Eiffel Tower, the international symbol of the city, with the skyscrapers of La Défense business district 5 km/ 3 mi behind. ... Grammar is the study of rules governing the use of language. ... Pronunciation refers to: the way a word or a language is usually spoken; the manner in which someone utters a word. ... A vocabulary is a set of words known to a person or other entity, or that are part of a specific language. ... (14th century - 15th century - 16th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 15th century was that century which lasted from 1401 to 1500. ... Middle English is the name given by historical linguistics to the diverse forms of the English language spoken between the Norman invasion in 1066 and the mid-to-late 15th century, when the Chancery Standard, a form of London-based English, began to become widespread, a process aided by the... Romance languages in the world: Blue – French; Green – Spanish; Orange – Portuguese; Yellow – Italian; Red – Romanian The Romance languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family, comprise all languages that descended from Latin, the language of the Roman Empire. ... Title card. ... A dictionary is a list of words with their definitions, a list of characters with their glyphs, or a list of words with corresponding words in other languages. ...


Although English survived and eventually eclipsed Anglo-Norman, the latter had been sufficiently widespread as to permanently change English. This is why English has lost many original Germanic characteristics that are still strong in German and Dutch.


Anglo-Norman morphology and pronunciation can be deduced from its heritage in English. Mostly this is done in comparison with continental French. English has many doublets as a result of this contrast: Morphology is a subdiscipline of linguistics that studies word structure. ... A doublet is one of two or more words in a language that share a common root word, but may have traveled into a language through different routes. ...

  • warranty - guarantee
  • ward - guard
  • warden - guardian

Compare also:

  • wage (Anglo-Norman) - gage (French)
  • wait - guetter (French)
  • war (from AN werre) - guerre (French)
  • wicket (Anglo-Norman) - guichet (French)

The palatalization of velar consonants before 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. Palatalization means pronouncing a sound nearer to the hard palate, making it more like a palatal consonant; this is towards the front of the mouth for a velar or uvular consonant, but towards the back of the mouth for a front (e. ...


The palatalization of velar consonants before /a/ that affected the development of French did not occur in Norman dialects north of the ligne Joret. English has therefore inherited words that retain a velar plosive where French has a fricative: A stop or plosive or occlusive is a consonant sound produced by stopping the airflow in the vocal tract. ... Note: This page contains phonetic information presented in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) using Unicode. ...

English < Norman = French
cabbage < caboche = chou
candle < caundèle = chandelle
castle < caste(l) = château
cauldron < caudron = chaudron
causeway < cauchie = chaussée
catch < cachi = chasser
cater < acater = acheter
wicket < viquet = guichet
plank < pllanque = planche
pocket < pouquette = poche
fork < fouorque = fourche
garden < gardin = jardin

Other words such as captain, kennel, cattle and canvas exemplify how Norman retained a /k/ from Latin that was not retained in French.


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: cf. AN profound with PF profond, soun 'sound' - son, round - rond. The former words were pronounced something like 'profoond', 'soond', 'roond' respectively (compare the similarly denasalised vowels of modern Norman), but they later developed their modern pronunciation in English. A nasal consonant is produced when the velum—that fleshy part of the palate near the back—is lowered, allowing air to escape freely through the nose. ...


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; Modern French has /ʃ/ 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 has developed into /ʒ/ in Modern French.


The words veil and leisure retain the /ei/ (as does modern Norman in vaile and laîsi) that in French has been replaced by /wa:/ 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. A sibilant is a type of fricative or affricate, made by directing a jet of air through a narrow channel towards the sharp edge of the teeth. ...


Distinctions in meaning between AN and PF have led to many faux amis (false friends) in Modern English and Modern French. See List of false friends. False friends are pairs of words in two languages or letters in two alphabets that look or sound similar but differ in meaning. ... See also: false cognate, false friend, list of words, list of reference tables Contents: Top - 0–9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Examples of false friends between English and...


Note the doublets catch and chase, both deriving from Latin captiare. Catch demonstrates the Norman development of the velars, while chase is the French equivalent imported with a different meaning.


An interesting question arises when one considers English vocabulary of Germanic, and specifically Scandinavian, origin. 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 in English. Mug had been introduced into northern English dialects by Viking settlement. The same word had been established in Normandy by the Normans (Norsemen) and was then taken 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. This is the approximate extent of Old Norse and related languages in the early 10th century. ... The term Viking is used to denote the ship-borne explorers, traders and warriors who originated in Norway, Iceland, Denmark and Sweden and raided the coasts of the British Isles and other parts of Europe from the late 8th century to the 11th century. ...


Many expressions used in English today have their origin in Anglo-Norman (e.g. the expression before-hand derives from AN avaunt-main), as do many modern words with interesting etymologies. Mortgage, for example, literally meant death-wage in AN. Curfew meant cover-fire, referring to the time in the evening when all fires had to be covered. The word glamour is derived, unglamorously, from AN grammeire, the same words which gives us modern grammar. Apparently glamour was used with the meaning magic or magic spell in Medieval times. A mortgage is a method of using property as security for the payment of a debt. ... A curfew can be one of the following: An order by the government for certain persons to return home before a certain time. ...


The influence of Anglo-Norman was very much asymmetrical in that very little influence from English was carried over into the continental possessions of the Anglo-Norman realm. Some administrative terms survived in some parts of mainland Normandy: forlenc (from furrow, compare furlong) in the Cotentin peninsula and a general use of the word acre for land measurement in Normandy until metrication in the 19th century. Otherwise the direct influence of English in mainland Norman (such as smogler - to smuggle) is due to direct contact in later centuries with English rather than Anglo-Norman. The 5 furlong (1006 m) post on Epsom Downs A furlong is a measure of distance within Imperial units and U.S. customary units. ... The Cotentin Peninsula juts out into the English Channel from Normandy towards England, forming part of the north-west coast of France. ... An acre is an English unit of area, which is also frequently used in the United States and some Commonwealth countries. ... Metrication or metrification refers to the worldwide institution of the SI metric system as the international standard for physical measurements—a long term series of independent and systematic conversions from the various separate local systems of weights and measures. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Although Anglo-Norman was falling into everyday disuse by the 13th century (Middle English was becoming stronger, as evidenced by Chaucer), it has left an indelible mark on English. Thousands of words, phrases and expressions derived from it. English would have been a very different language without the influence of Anglo-Norman. (12th century - 13th century - 14th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 13th century was that century which lasted from 1201 to 1300. ... Chaucer: Illustration from Cassells History of England, circa 1902 Chanticleer the rooster from an outdoor production of Chanticleer and the Fox at Ashby_de_la_Zouch castle Geoffrey Chaucer (ca. ...


External links

  • The Anglo-Norman hub - a project to produce an AN dictionary. Contains articles and corpus texts.

 
 

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