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Author Topic: Norman Words Article on BBC  (Read 8417 times)

David Cowley

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Norman Words Article on BBC
« on: August 04, 2010, 01:32:54 PM »
See this link:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-10776581

They go over the uptake of many Norman names and words. There's a readers' comments section - you can use this to say what you think of what the Normans did for us!

Linden

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Re: Norman Words Article on BBC
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2010, 11:46:37 PM »
What is it that the BBC has about the Normans?  Even next week's program on Anglo-Saxon Art is being advertised as part of their "Norman" series! ::)  As to the rather biased list of supposedly representative ??? names of Anglo-Saxons and Normans - if one picks the right examples, one can 'prove' almost anything.
Cræft biþ betere ðonne æhta

peter horn

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Re: Norman Words Article on BBC
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2010, 09:09:37 AM »
What is it that the BBC has about the Normans?  Even next week's program on Anglo-Saxon Art is being advertised as part of their "Norman" series! ::)  As to the rather biased list of supposedly representative ??? names of Anglo-Saxons and Normans - if one picks the right examples, one can 'prove' almost anything.


Quite right.
The article about the Normans betrays great ignorance about the Anglo-Saxons
Peter

David Cowley

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Re: Norman Words Article on BBC
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2010, 12:47:20 PM »
I noted the programme made use of some English manuscript book illustrations, which you'd take to be Norman if not aware otherwise. Didn't stick it till the end though ...

There is something in the names factor maybe that helps explain how many writers seem to come across as somehow implying that the Normans were 'us' against 'them'; those names like William, Robert and suchlike are sadly more familiar and may be to many folk more 'English' than what our own OE names were, sadly. Calling the English the 'Saxons' tends to have the same effect - as we know the 'Saxon' terms were only really applied in more restricted ways: such as West/ South/ East Saxons; the overall land was Englaland and the people and tongue Englisc.

Iohannes

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Re: Norman Words Article on BBC
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2010, 11:26:41 AM »
This article mixes facts with clichées and biased opinions, as usual. I was particularly struck by this passage:

Quote
But it was then the seeds were sown for the English language as it is today, including names.

In my opinion, Norman French never sowed anything that resulted in the English language as it is today. Again in agricultural terms, its contact with OE resulted in a sort of grafting. The English language, from its ASFJ roots to the modern language, may be compared to a trunk. Norman French is a sort of new branch which grafted itself on the English trunk, and has been very productive in new fruits, some of which replaced withered OE fruits, and some of which simply ripened up alongside their nearly equivalent OE fruits and enriched and diversified the crop of the tree (i e the English vocabulary and, partly, grammar and syntax). But the main structure of the language was and remains ASFJ. The interlinguistic contact between NF and OE might be defined as a sort of interbreeding, too. But most of the genetic code of the language is and remains Germanic.

Karen Carlson

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Re: Norman Words Article on BBC
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2010, 04:49:11 PM »
Very apt metaphorical picture of the situation, Iohannes! :D

Karen

Iohannes

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Re: Norman Words Article on BBC
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2010, 06:19:00 PM »
Thanks Karen! I'm persuaded linguistics obeys to laws that are similar to those of biology and of evolutionism. And, of course with the due differences, I mostly agree with Schleicher's theory of the family tree of languages.