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Re: Norman French?

From:Raymond A. Brown <raybrown@...>
Date:Monday, October 19, 1998, 6:37
At 8:51 pm -0700 18/10/98, Arek Bellagio wrote:
>HI all. I heard the term Norman French the other day.. and I was wondering >if this was a type of 'old English' applied to French. Does anyone know? If >not.. what does it mean?
No - it's the variety of old French spoken by the Normans in the area now called Normandy. It was brought to England by William the Bastard, Duke of Normandy, and his followers in 1066. After defeating the English & having himself crowned king of England, the language became the official language of England for the next three centuries. In the end, the language did not survive and the nobles turned more 7 more to an English whose morphology had been much simplified since the Saxons spoke it & which had acquired quite a bit of Norman French vocabulary, i.e. Middle English. I believe Henry V was the first post-conquest monarch to use English. Meantime Norman French survived, of course, in France. According to Jacques Guy IIRC the French dialect of that area still retained its own peculiarities till this century. Certainly the French patois spoken on the Channel Islands were descended from Norman French. I don't think these patois are spoken any longer, tho I may be mistaken.
>And also, whether or not you know the answer to the other question, does >anyone know a place where I can find some documented information on an older >version of French?
Probably there's some info somewhere on the www - but I don't know of any site. I'll try & find out. Ray.