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Українські рефератиРусские рефератыКниги
НазваThe Literature of the Norman period (12th-13th centuries) (реферат)
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РозділІноземна мова, реферати англійською, німецькою
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Тип документуРеферат
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THE LITERATURE

 

OF THE NORMAN PERIOD

 

(12th — 13th centuries)

 

The Norman Conquest. When King Alfred died, fighting with the Danes

soon began again. Parties of the Norsemen sailed round Scotland and over

to Ireland. Others sailed south across the Channel to France. They

conquered the north of France and settled there. In the next hundred

years they came to be called Normans, and their country Normandy.

 

In the middle of the 11th century the internal feuds among the

Anglo-Saxon earls invited a foreign conquest. The Normans did not miss

their chance. In the year 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, crossed the

Channel and defeated the English at Hastings ['heistirjz] in a great

battle. Within five years William the Conqueror became complete master

of the whole of England. The lands of most of the Anglo-Saxon

aristocracy were given to the Norman barons, and they introduced their

feudal laws to compel the peasants to work for them. The English became

an oppressed nation.

 

William the Conqueror could not speak a word of English. He and his

barons spoke the Norman dialect of the French language; but the

Anglo-Saxon dialects were not suppressed. During the following 200 years

communication went on in three languages:

 

1) at the monasteries learning went on in Latin;

 

2) Norman-French was the language of the ruling class and was spoken at

court and in official institutions;

 

3) the common people held firmly to their mother tongue. In spite of

this, however, the language changed so much in the course of time that

we must speak about it. How the Language Changed.

 

1) Many French words came into the language. Under the influence of

French the pronunciation of the people changed. Some French words could

not be pronounced by the Anglo-Saxons, so some of the Norman-French

sounds were substituted by more familiar sounds from Old English. There

appeared many new long vowels (diphthongs) in their native language.

This newly formed pronunciation was nearing that of Modern English.

 

2) The spelling did not correspond to the pronunciation. The Norman

scribes brought to England their Latin traditions. The Anglo-Saxon

letters p, р for the sounds [0] and [р] were runes. The Normans replaced

these letters by the Latin t + h=th.

 

3) What was particularly new was the use of French suffixes with words

of Anglo-Saxon origin. For instance, the noun-forming suf-1 fixes -ment

(government, agreement) and -age (courage, marriage), giving an abstract

meaning to the noun, and the adjective-forming suffix -able (admirable,

capable) were used to form new words. Examples of such hybrids, as they

are called, are:

 

fulfilment bondage readable

 

bewilderment cottage unbearable

 

bewitchment stoppage drinkable

 

4) The French prefix dis- was used to make up words of negative meaning:

distrust, distaste.

 

5) The indefinite article was coming into use.

 

6) The struggle for supremacy between French and old English words went

on in the following way:

 

a) If the French word meant a thing or idea for which there was no name

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