Dynamic modelling of medieval language contact: The case of Anglo-Norman and Middle English

Percillier, Michael

URL: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/335444136...
Additional URL: https://www.academia.edu/40194518/Dynamic_modellin...
Document Type: Conference or workshop publication
Year of publication: 2019
Book title: Diachrone Migrationslinguistik: Mehrsprachigkeit in historischen Sprachkontaktsituationen : Akten des XXXV. Romanistentages in Zürich (08. bis 12. Oktober 2017)
The title of a journal, publication series: Sprache, Mehrsprachigkeit und sozialer Wandel
Volume: 34
Page range: 79-99
Conference title: XXXV. Romanistentag des DRV
Location of the conference venue: Zürich, Switzerland
Date of the conference: 08.-12.10.2017
Publisher: Schöntag, Roger
Place of publication: Berlin
Publishing house: Peter Lang
ISBN: 978-3-631-79771-6 , 978-3-631-79858-4
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Humanities > Anglistik IV - Anglistische Linguistik/Diachronie (Trips 2006-)
Subject: 400 Language, linguistics
Abstract: This chapter describes the first application of the Dynamic Model of contact of Edgard W. Schneider to the medieval contact situation between Anglo-Norman (AN) and Middle English (ME), which lasted from the Norman Invasion (1066) until approximately 1500, and investigates structural changes that occurred during this period, both contact-induced and innovative. Specifically, the emergence of an insular variety of Old French (OF) called Anglo-French (AF) that is distinct from continental OF (cOF), as well as the transfer of linguistic features from OF into ME, are discussed within this framework. By way of a pilot study investigating the copying of the verbal prefixes a-, en-, es-, changes in productivity and function are explained by the model’s dynamic and granular nature. The model distinguishes between various speech communities, categorising them as settler strands or indigenous strands (STL and IDG respectively). Although the Dynamic Model was originally formulated for colonial and postcolonial varieties of English, it is shown that the application to the medieval contact situation is justified given the parallels between colonial settings and the social situation in England after the Norman Conquest, which was characterised by the elite status of AN as the migratory STL. The verbal prefixes under investigation underwent changes in productivity in AF. This emergent productivity pattern appears in ME, where a-, en- entered the feature pool, but only en- proceeded to become productive in ME as it could attach to native verbs to make them transitive, e.g. deuen (’to shed dew or rain’) and endeuen (’to bedew, to cover with dew’). The present chapter demonstrates how the Dynamic Model can be applicable to further contexts than its original scope, and may provide a framework to explain contact-induced developments in both the migrating and local languages, as well as for distinguishing varying degrees of influence in different contact situations.

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