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The Norman Conquest



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The Norman Conquest
Major Changes in the sound system in Middle English
Old English. General characteristics
2. Old English Phonetics and Grammar
The Norman Conquest
5. Tendencies of New English Language Development
4. Middle English phonetics and grammar
Definition and aims of the course, its connection with phonetics, grammar, stylistics. The lexical system of the language. Syntagmatic and paradigmatic relations.
Lexicology №2. Word-building
Semasiology. Its object and problems
Native words and borrowed words. The source of borrowings and the origin of borrowed words. Ways of borrowing
The phoneme, the allophone. Distinctive features of phonemes. Complementary distribution. Free variations. The functions of the phoneme. Modifications of phoneme in speech: assimilation, accommodation, elision, reduction. Sound insertion
Theories of the nature of the syllable. Syllable formation. The rules of the syllable division. Functions of the syllable. Word stress.
Rhythm, tempo, pausation, tamber. Functions of intonation. Prosodic units: syllable, rhythmic group, intonation group, the utterance. The structure of the intonation group. Types of head, prehead, tail. Utterance stress
The Southern British type of English pronunciation, the Northern regional type of English pronunciation, the Scottish regional type of English pronunciation.
Description of the English verb: the categorical meaning of the verb, its morphological system, syntactic function. The category of tense in different linguistic theories.
The segmental units of morphology as part of the grammatical theory. The notion of morph. Types of morphs. The definition of morpheme.
The subject matter of syntax. The basic syntactic notions: the phrase, the sentence, the suprasegmental construction. Their definitions. The notions of minor and major syntax. The phrase and the sentence. Essential differences
Theories of parts of speech classifications. The principles of syntactico-distributional classification of English words. The three-criteria characterization of grammatical classes of words developed in home linguistics.
The Sentence. Its definition. Classification of sentences
Description of the English verb: the categorical meaning of the verb, its morphological system, syntactic function. The category of tense in different linguistic theories.
The sentence and the text
1. Этапы развития романтизма в Англии
10. William Makepeace Thackeray as a representative of English realism of the 19
Теккерей «Ярмарка Тщеславия»
Теория эстетизма и творчество Уайльда (1854\56 – 1900)
11. Literature of the turn of the centuries Fin de Siecle. Great Britain in the end of the 19
11. Literature of the turn of the centuries Fin de Siecle. Great Britain in the end of the 19
Творчество Дж. Голсуорси//Творчество Т. Харди. John Galsworthy
13. Naturalistic tendencies in the American literature of the turn of the centuries
Предпосылки натурализма
М. Твен основоположник реализма в литературе США
15. Interaction of realism and modernism in the English literature of the first half of the 20
Взаимодействие реализма и модернизма в английской литературе первой половины 20 века
«потерянного поколения» в творчестве Э. Хемигуэя; «американская мечта» в романах Ф. С. Фитцджеральда «Великий Гэтсби и Т. Драйзера «Американская трагедия»
17. The peculiarities of the Faulkner’s artistic world
Особенности художественного мира У
18. The creativity of Ernest Miller Hemingway, peculiarities and evolution of the literary method
Творчество Э
Philosophical novels
2. The poetry of English romanticism (Lake school, John Keats, P. B. Shelley)
Поэзия английского романтизма Озерная школа, Дж. Китс, П. Б
Postmodern literature
20. American literature after the Second World War
Особенности развития литературы США после Второй мировой войны
Becoming Sir Walter Scott. He dies in his house in 1832
George Gordon Byron
Лорд Джордж Гордон Байрон 1788-1824
5. The peculiarities of American Romanticism. American literature in the 20-s of the 19
Пионеров (романы Ф. Купера); тип героя и использование фольклора (новеллы В. Ирвинга); религиозная символика (Мелвилл и Готорн); ключевые идеи трансцендентализма (Р. Эмерсон, Г. Торо)
Двойничества; детективные новеллы; основные стилистические приемы
Charles Dickens (1812-1870)
Victorian literature
English literature
Вальтер Скотт
English literature Walter Scott (1771-1832)
William Wordsworth

The Norman Conquest


The Norman Conquest of 1066 was not such a violent break in English history as people sometimes imagine. There was already strong French influence in England before the Conquest, at any rate at the higher levels of society: Edward the Confessor was half Norman, and his court had close relations with France.

The rulers of Normandy had originally been Scandinavian Vikings, who occupied parts of northern France and were eventually recognized by the French crown: in 912, Rollo became the first Duke of Normandy, and accepted the king of France as his overlord. By the middle of the 11th century, however, the Normans had long lost their Scandinavian speech: they spoke French, and were essentially French in culture.

After reigning for 24 years, Edward the Confessor died childless in 1066, with no obvious successor. Although Harold, son of Godwin, was elected to the throne, it was not long before his claim was challenged. William, Duke of Normandy, was a second cousin to the late king and had expected to succeed him. He therefore invaded England and took the throne by force of arms, landing his army at Pevensey Bay in September 1066. Harold was killed at the ensuing Battle of Hastings, and William was crowned King of England on Christmas Day, 1066. The reign of William the Conqueror brought with it enormous changes to the social, political, religious and linguistic fabric of the British isles.

William I died leaving three sons: Robert Curthose, who became Duke of Normandy, William Rufus, who succeeded his father to the English throne, and Henry, later Henry I. Curthose has been characterized as downright incompetent and Rufus as a merciless and detested extortionist and schemer. When William II Rufus died under suspicious circumstances in a hunting accident, his youngest brother Henry I (1100=35) acquired the throne, and eventually also took Normandy from his brother Robert (1106). When Henry I’s only legitimate son, William, died, the only possible successor was his daughter Matilda, who was married to the German emperor, William V. On the death of the emperor, Matilda returned to England and Henry forced his vassals to recognize her as the next ruler of the country. He then married her to Count Geoffrey Plantagenet of Anjou. She bore him a son, the future Henry II, thus establishing the Angevin dynasty.

After Henry’s death in 1135, Stephen of Blois, the son of William the Conqueror’s daughter, was favoured by the English over Matilda and the future Henry II; he reigned until his death in 1154.

Henry II succeeded Stephen, becoming Duke of Poitou, Normandy and Aquitaine (through his marriage to Eleanor the ex-wife of the French king, Louis VII). His entire reign was spent defending his French property against the King of France. Thus, until the reign of King John all kings of England were essentially continental.

By diplomacy Henry II subjected the Welsh, Scottish and Irish to his sovereignty, and he married his third-eldest son Geoffrey to the heiress of Brittany. The counts of Auvergne and Toulouse also surrendered in the south of France, and Henry became the most powerful ruler in Europe. However, by the end of his life, henry’s sons were conspiring with Philip of France against him. Philip’s goal was the destruction of the Angevin Empire. Richard I succeeded Henry II in 1189 and reigned for ten years. Though he is renowned as the Lionheart, he was in fact a miserable statesman and administrator, who spoke little or no English and spent only six months in total on English soil. When he died without heirs in 1199 the barons and nobles supported his brother John, who was duly crowned king, while Philip of France supported the claim of Arthur of Brittany. King john (1199-1216) was the least successful member of the Angevin dynasty, a complete failure both at war and at home. When he eloped with the daughter of one of Philip’s vassals, he eventually had to forfeit his fiefdoms to Philip, and at the end of the war with France in 1205 he had lost all possessions in northern France. Philip had taken all the Angevin Empire except Aquitaine itself, and the english barons (with lands on both sides of the channel) were also forced to forfeit lands to Philip and therefore became exclusively ‘English’ for the first time. The loss of land incurred the wrath of the baronage and in 1215 the Magna Carta was signed.

This marked the end of the period of northern French domination and the beginning of southern French domination and the French language dominated in England until the reign of Edward I (1272-1307), the first king for generations to have a good command of English.

For 200 years after the Norman Conquest, French remained the language of ordinary intercourse among the upper classes in England. At first those who spoke French were those of Norman origin, but soon through intermarriage and association with the ruling class numerous people of English extraction must have found it to their advantage to learn the new language, and before long the distinction between those who spoke French and those who spoke English was not ethnic but largely social. The language of the masses remained English. The most important factor in the continued use of French by the English upper class until the beginning of the thirteenth century was the close connection that existed through all these years between England and the continent.

French Literature at the English Court


How completely French was the English court at this time is clearly shown by the literature produced for royal and noble patronage. In the reign of Henry II Wace wrote his celebrated Roman de Brut and presented it to the queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine. It is a legendary history of Britain, in which the exploits of King Arthur occupy a prominent place, and was certain to interest a royal family anxious to know something about the history of the country over which it had come to rule. Works of devotion and edification, saints lives, allegories, chronicles, and romances of Horn, Havelock, Tristan, and other heroes poured forth in the course of the twelfth century. It is indicative of the firm roots that French culture had taken on English soil that so important a body of literature in the French language could be written in or for England, much of it under the direct patronage of the Court.

The Reestablishment of English, 1200 – 1500


As long as England held its continental territory and the nobility of England were united to the continent by ties of property and kindred, a real reason existed for the continued use of French among the governing class in the island. If the English had permanently retained control over the two-thirds of France that they once held, French might have remained permanently in use in England. But shortly after 1200 conditions changed. The first link in the chain binding England to the continent was broken in 1204 when king John lost Normandy. One of the important consequences of the event was that it brought to a head the question of whether many of the nobility owed their allegiance to England or to France. After the Norman Conquest a large number held lands in both countries. For the most part such families were compelled to give up one or the other.

At the very time when the Norman nobility was losing its continental connections and had been led to identify invasion of foreigners, this time mostly from the south of France. The invasion began in the reign of King John, whose wife was from the neighborhood of Poitou. His son Henry III was wholly French in his tastes and connections. Not only was he French on his mother’s side, but he was related through his wife to the French king, St. Louis. As a result of Henry’s French connections foreigners poured into England during his reign (1216-1272).

Opposition to the foreigners became the principal ground for national feeling and drove the barons and the middle class together in a common cause. The practical outcome of the opposition was the Provisions of Oxford (1258) and their aftermath, the Baron’s war (1258-1265). Twice during these years the foreigners were driven from England, and when peace was finally restored and a little later Edward I (1272-1307) came to the throne, England became conscious of its unity, when the governmental officials were for the most part English, and when the king, in a summons to Parliament (1295), could attempt to stir up the feelings of his subjects against the king of France by claiming that it was “his detestable purpose, which God forbid, to wipe out the English tongue.

English and French in the Thirteenth Century


In the 13th century the upper classes continued for the most part to speak French, as they had done in the previous century, but the reasons for doing so were not the same. Instead of being a mother tongue inherited from Norman ancestors, French became, as the century wore on, a cultivated tongue supported by social custom and by business and administrative convention. Meanwhile English made steady advances. By the middle of the century, when the separation of the English nobles from their interests in France had been about completed, English was becoming a matter of general use among the upper classes. It is at this time that the adoption of French words into the English language assumes large proportions. The transference of words occurs when those who know French and have been accustomed to use it try to express themselves in English. It is at this time also that the literature intended for polite circles begins to be made over from French into English. There is evidence that by the close of the century some children of the nobility spoke English as their mother tongue and had to be taught French through the medium of manuals equipped with English glosses.

Provincial character of French in England


One factor against the continued use of French in England was the circumstance that Anglo-French was not ‘good’ French. In the Middle Ages there were four principal dialects of French spoken in France: Norman, Picard (in the north-east), Burgundian (in the east), and the Central French of Paris. At the date of the Norman Conquest and for some time after, each enjoyed a certain local prestige, but with the rapid rise of the Capetian power in the thirteenth century the linguistic supremacy of Paris followed upon its political ascendancy. The French introduced into England was possibly a mixture of various northern dialectal features, but with Norman predominating, and under the influence of English linguistic tendencies, it gradually developed into smth quite different from any of the continental dialects. The difference was noticed quite early, and before long the French of England drew a smile from continental speakers.

The Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453)

The active interference of France in England’s efforts to control Scotland led Edward III finally to put forth a claim to the French throne and to invade France. Although this protracted war turned people’s attention to the continent, and the various expeditions might have tended to keep the French language in use, it seems to have had no such effect, but rather the opposite. During all this time it was impossible to forget that French was the language of an enemy country, and the Hundred Years’ War is probably to be reckoned as one of the causes contributing to the disuse of French.

The Rise of the Middle Class


A feature of some importance in helping English to recover its former prestige is the improvement in the condition of the mass of the people and the rise of a substantial middle class. The importance of a language is largely determined by the importance of the people who speak it. During the latter part of the Middle English period the condition of the labouring classes was rapidly improving. Among the rural population villeinage was dying out. Fixed moneypayments were gradually substituted for the days’ work due the lord of the manor, and the status of the villein more nearly resembled that of the free tenants.

In the summer of 1348 there appeared in the southwest of England the first cases of a disease that in its contagiousness and fatality exceeded anything previously known. It spread rapidly over the rest of the country, reaching its height in 1349. The death rate during the plague approximated 30 percent.

As in most epidemics, the rich suffered less than the poor. The poor could not shut themselves up in their castles or retreat to a secluded manor. The mortality was accordingly greatest among the lower social orders, and the result was a serious shortage of labour. This is evident in the immediate rise in wages. Villeins frequently made their escape, and many cotters left the land in search of the high wages commanded by independent workers. Those who were left behind felt more acutely the burden of their condition, and a general spirit of discontent arose, which culminated in the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381. The effect of the Black Death was to increase the economic importance of the labouring class and with it the importance of the English language which they spoke.

At this time another important group rose – the craftsmen and the merchant class. By 1250 there had grown up in England about 200 towns with populations of from 1000 to 5000, some, like London or York, were larger. These towns became free, self-governing communities, electing their own officers, assessing taxes in their own way, collecting them and paying them to the king in a lump sum, trying their own cases, and regulating their commercial affairs as they saw fit. In each town arose an independent, sometimes a wealthy and powerful class, standing halfway between the rural peasant and the hereditary aristocracy.

The 14th century sees the definitive triumph of English. French was now rapidly ceasing to be the mother-tongue even of the nobility, and those who wanted to speak French had to learn it. Literature, even the most courtly literature, was written more and more in English, and in the second half of the century there was a great literary upsurge, with Chauser as its major figure. English was also used more and more in administration. In 1362 the king’s speech at the opening of Parliament was made in English, and in the same year an act was passed making English the official language of the law-courts instead of French, though their records were to be kept in Latin.

The greatest stronghold of French in England was perhaps the king’s court, but when Henry IV seized the throne in 1399, England, for the first time since the Norman Conquest, acquired a king whose mother tongue was English. In the 15th century the retreat of French became a rout.

The Middle English Dialects


One of the striking characteristics of ME is its great variety in the different parts of England. The language differed almost from county to county, and noticeable variations are sometimes observable between different parts of the same county. The features characteristic of a given dialect do not all cover the same territory, some extend into adjoining districts or may be characteristic also of another dialect. Consequently it is rather difficult to decide how many dialectal divisions should be recognized and to mark off with any exactness their respective boundaries. In a rough way, it is customary to distinguish four principal dialects of ME: Northern, East Midland, West Midland, and Southern.

The peculiarities that distinguish these dialects are partly matters of pronunciation, partly of vocabulary, partly of inflection. The feature most easily recognized is the ending of the plural, present indicative of verbs. In OE this form always ended in th with some variations of the preceding vowel. In ME this ending was preserved as –eth in the Southern dialect. In the Midland district, however, it was replaced by –en, while in the north it was altered to –es. Thus we have loves in the north, loven in the Midlands, and loveth in the south. Another fairly distinctive form is the present participle before the spread of the ending –ing. In the north we have lovande, in the Midlands lovende, and in the south lovinde. In later ME the ending –ing appears in the midlands and the south. Dialectal differencies are more noticeable between Northern and Southern; the Midland dialect often occupies an intermediate position, tending toward the one or the other in those districts lying nearer to the adjacent dialects. Thus the characteristic forms of the pronoun they in the south were hi, here, (hire, hure), hem, while in the north forms with th- (modern they, their, them) early became predominant. In matters of pronunciation the Northern and Southern dialects sometimes presented notable differences. Thus OE ā, which developed into an ō south of the Humber, was retained in the north, giving us such characteristic forms as Southern stone and home, beside stane and hame in Scotland today. Initial f and s were often voiced in the vox, vorzo e instead of for, from, fox, forso e (forsooth). Similarly ch in the south often corresponds to a k in the north: bench beside benk, or church beside kirk. Such variety was fortunately lessened toward the end of the ME period by the general adoption of a standard written English.

The Rise of Standard English


Out of this variety of local dialects there emerged toward the end of the 14th century a written language that in the course of the 15th won general recognition and has since become the recognized standard in both speech and writing. The part of England that contributed most to the formation of this standard was the East Midland district, and it was the East Midland type of English that became its basis, particularly the dialect of the metropolis, London. Several causes contributed to the attainment of this result.

In the first place, as a Midland dialect the English of this region occupied a middle position between the extreme divergences of the north and south. It was less conservative than the Southern dialect, less radical than the Northern. It represents a kind of compromise, sharing some of the characteristics of both its neighbours.

In the second place, the East Midland district was the largest and most populous of the major dialect areas. The land was more valuable than the hilly country to the north and west, and in agricultural age this advantage was reflected in both the number and the prosperity of the inhabitants.

A third factor was the presence of the universities, Oxford and Cambridge, in this region. The two universities had developed into important intellectual centers.

One more factor is the influence of Chaucer. It was once thought that Chaucer’s importance was paramount among the influences bringing about the adoption of a written standard. Chaucer was a court poet, and his usage may reflect the speech of the court and to a certain extent literary tradition. His influence must be thought of as lending support in general way to the dialect of the region to which he belonged rather than as determining the precise form which Standard English was to take in the century following his death.

The Importance of London English


By far the most influential factor in the rise of Standard English was the importance of London as the capital of England. London was, and still is, the political and commercial centre of England. It was the seat of the court, of the highest judicial tribunals, the focus of the social and intellectual activities of the country. The influence was reciprocal. London English took as well as gave. It began as a Southern and ended as a Midland dialect. By the 15th century the London standard had been accepted, at least in writing, in most parts of the country. With the introduction of printing in 1476 a new influence of great importance in the dissemination of London English came into play. From the beginning London has been the centre of book publishing in England. Caxton, the first English printer, used the current speech of London in his numerous translations, and the books that issued from his press and from the presses of his successors gave a currency to London English that assured more than anything else its rapid adoption. In the 16th century the use of London English had become a matter of precept as well as practice.




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The Norman Conquest iconН. В. Пил Сила позитивного мышления Norman Vincent Peale. The power of positive thinking Пролог, написанный по случаю выхода из печати двухмиллионного экземпляра Введение Что может сделать для вас эта книга
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The Norman Conquest iconН. В. Пил Сила позитивного мышления Norman Vincent Peale. The power of positive thinking Пролог, написанный по случаю выхода из печати двухмиллионного экземпляра Введение Что может сделать для вас эта книга
Когда жизнеспособность ослабевает, попробуйте использовать формулу здоровья
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