The French Influence On The Middle English English Language Essay

The Norman Conquest in 1066 was the beginning of the Gallic invasion in England. For 300 old ages England was ruled by Gallic male monarchs. “ It was non until 1399, with the accession of Henry IV, that England had a swayer whose female parent lingua was English ” ( The Mother Tongue, page 54 ) . During these 300 old ages the linguistic communication of the high society, authorities, jurisprudence, and disposal was Gallic. Presents, in the twenty-first century, English has become a universe linguistic communication. In the Netherlands, more and more English words are used in normal address. The chief field in which English footings are used is the communicating and selling subdivision. However, besides at other topographic points in society Dutch words are replaced by English 1s. The influence of the Gallic linguistic communication on the Middle English vocabulary can hence be compared with the current developments in the Dutch vocabulary.

After the Norman Conquest, the Gallic people, or purely talking Norman French, settled themselves at the highest places in English society. “ Even so, for the common people, life went on. They were about surely non alarmed that their swayers spoke a foreign lingua ” [ The Mother Tongue, page 54 ] . This shows how small communicating there really was between the different categories in society. Because these common people continued to talk English, the linguistic communication survived. “ Common people did non anticipate to talk like their Masterss any more that they expected to populate like them. Norman society had two grades: the French-speaking nobility and the English-speaking peasantry. Not surprisingly, the lingual influence of the Normans tended to concentrate on affairs of tribunal, authorities, manner, and high life. Meanwhile, the English provincial continued to eat, imbibe, work, slumber, and play in English ” [ The Mother Tongue, page 54 ] . With the coming of Gallic words, the bilingualism increased. There were of class Old English words that were replaced by Gallic equivalents, for illustration ‘leod ‘ going ‘people ‘ , but it could be every bit good that an Old English word would co-exist beside a Gallic one, and go a lexical brace like in ‘child ‘ and ‘infant ‘ , and it could besides develop a somewhat different significance, like ‘house ‘ and ‘mansion ‘ [ illustrations are from The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language, page 46 ] .

In modern times, there can be noticed a similar event taking topographic point in the Netherlands. The Dutch linguistic communication is, chiefly in the communicating and commercialism sector, but besides in normal address, pushed away by the English linguistic communication. The Dutch linguistic communication magazine Onze Taal compiled a dossier about the ‘verengelsing ‘ , the increasing usage of English footings, of the Dutch linguistic communication and listed a few points where English vocabulary is increasing. First of all, due to the technological developments proficient English footings come into the linguistic communication. Second, particularly among immature people, English words are popular. E.g. ‘chill ‘ , ‘cool ‘ , ‘relaxed ‘ . The media has a big influence, foreign plans, but besides by giving telecasting plans English names, such as ‘Life and Cooking ‘ , ‘Dancing with the Stars ‘ , etc. The commercialism sector widely uses English mottos, merchandise names, and so on to do a merchandise more appealing to the populace. Third, the usage of English additions due to internationalisation. Communication between companies frequently takes topographic point in English, and higher instruction besides provides more and more categories in English.

Still, the increasing usage of the English vocabulary is wholly voluntarily. It is non ( yet ) the instance that, like the Gallic linguistic communication in the Middle English period, the English linguistic communication is overturning the Dutch. It can besides non be seen as a linguistic communication merely for the high society, it is in most instances considered popular address. Therefore it is non merely used in certain concern Fieldss or the media, besides in day-to-day life English words become normal. Where Dutch people used to state ‘kinderen ‘ ( kids ) they now say ‘kids ‘ . The same goes for ‘shoppen ‘ alternatively of ‘winkelen ‘ and ‘sale ‘ alternatively of ‘uitverkoop ‘ . Other words have become wholly embedded and accepted in the linguistic communication. E.g. ‘interview ‘ and ‘stress ‘ .

When in 1399 the first male monarch with an English female parent lingua, Henry IV, accessed the throne, the suppression of the French has significantly declined. Due to intermarrying between Norman French and English people, their kids spoke two different linguistic communications, and this affected the instruction in Gallic at school. Another of import factor for decline was that the Norman French differed so much signifier Standard French linguistic communication, that the people in France made merriment of them. This resulted in the Norman French deriving pride in the English linguistic communication. “ Norman French, like the Germanic linguas before it, made a permanent impact on English vocabulary. Of the 10,000 words we adopted from Norman French, some three quarters are still in usage [ aˆ¦ ] about all our words associating to law and authorities are of Gallic beginning, as are many of the ranks of nobility [ aˆ¦ ] ” [ The Mother Tongue, page 55 ] . The English linguistic communication survived the Gallic suppression, but had undergone great alterations. In fact, the influence of French had been so big, that some people even speak of a new linguistic communication. The linguistic communication had become richer in vocabulary and the grammar was simpler.

If the English linguistic communication in the twenty-first century will overturn another linguistic communication is of class non certain. The increasing usage of English in the Netherlands, but besides in other states, gives rise to a argument about continuing certain linguistic communications. However, linguistic communication alterations, so non all facets of all linguistic communications can be preserved.

To reason, there are so similarities between the events in both linguistic communications, the replacings of words, in address and in more formal environments. However, the fortunes in which both these events occur differ. The most of import contrast is that the Middle English linguistic communication was suppressed by the Norman French, while in the Dutch linguistic communication, English footings are used wholly voluntarily.

Word count: 968

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