Norman Influence On Middle English

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Language, like other important samples of human behavior, slowly but continuously expands from older forms into newer ones. Even more drastic changes were brought by the invasion and conquest of England by the Normans from northwestern France in 1066. Normans who were originally of Viking ancestry by the middle of the 11th century become Frenchified in language and culture. Their language is determined as Norman French – a dialect of Old French. The effects of the Norman Conquest were very deep in the field of language, so immense changes that brought a special name to the period of English after they begin to show themselves from 1100 to 1500 – Middle English. This essay will discuss furthermore about the distinguishing characteristics of…show more content…
Middle English in its later form was recognized English and modern speakers could surely understand a fair amount of it even though there are traps that should be avoided. For example edify meant build and hope meant expect. While some words have disappeared, some vocabulary is still familiar. The spelling of Middle English is more phonetic than that of Modern English and that is the reason the orthography frequently indicates differences in pronunciation from the way we speak nowadays. When A final e was not placed before a vowel, it sounded as a separate syllable which is the phonetic value of the a in Modern English language like in sofa. The consonants were all pronounced; for instance the ‘l‘ in walked or the ‘k’ and ‘gh’ in Knight. A number of vowel changes from about 1350 to 1550 marks the shift from Middle English to Modern English and is usually called the Great Vowel Shift. English readers of Shakespeare are aware that his English is different from ours but it feels that it is close to our kind of…show more content…
The wide range of borrowings has produced a rich store of synonyms from different linguistic sources for example: royal, regal and kingly. English has extensive resources like elegant or academic, everyday, both concrete and abstract etc to satisfy every kind of users and different goals. But when it comes to talk about writing in Middle English it is obvious that the use of English in written documents was overly reduced. English was no longer the dominant language for government and law, so the tendency toward standardization for Anglo-Saxon writing was basically stopped in its paths. There was some English still written, but far less than before. Without schools and monasteries teaching ways of writing Old English or any elementary norms were swept away and people hardly literate in the language so they only tried to spell the words as they sounded, with predictably irregular results. Writing had been used for governmental purposes from the beginning of the Anglo-Saxon era, but for a long time its chief use remained in the church. After the conquest it was used more and more for governmental purposes, centered in the royal court and law
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