The Domination of French in England

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The Domination of French in England The Norman Conquest. Toward the close of the Old English period an event occurred which had a greater effect on the English language than any other in the course of its history. This event was the Norman Conquest in 1066. What the language would have been like if William the Conqueror had not succeeded in making good his claim to the English throne can only be a matter of conjecture. It would probably have pursued much the same course as the other Germanic languages, retaining perhaps more of its inflections and preserving a preponderantly Germanic vocabulary..., and incorporating words from other languages much less freely. In particular it would have lacked the greater part of that enormous number of French words which today make English seem, on the side of vocabulary, almost as much a Romance as a Germanic language. The Norman Conquest changed the whole course of the English language. An event of such far-reaching consequences must be considered in some detail. The Origin of Normandy. On the northern coast of France directly across from England is a district extending some seventy-five miles back from the Channel and known as Normandy. It derives its name from the bands of Northmen who settled there in the ninth and tenth centuries, at the same time as similar bands were settling in the north and east of England. The Seine offered a convenient channel for penetration into the country, and the settlements of Danes in this region furnish a close parallel to those around the Humber. A generation after Alfred reached an agreement with the Northmen in England, a somewhat similar understanding was reached between Rollo, the leader of the Danes in Normandy, and Charles the Simple, king of France. In 912 the right of the Northmen to occupy this part of France was recognized; Rollo acknowledged the French king as his overlord and
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