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Foreign Influences on Medieval English

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Jacek Fisiak and Magdalena Bator

The volume is a selection of papers presented at the International Conference on Foreign Influences on Medieval English held in Warsaw on 12-13 December 2009 and organized by the School of English at the Warsaw Division of the Academy of Management in Łódź (Wyższa Szkoła Przedsiębiorczości i Zarządzania). The papers cover a wide range of topics concerning the impact of Latin, Scandinavian, French and Celtic on Old and Middle English from orthography, morphology and syntax to lexical semantics and onomastics.

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Hans-Jürgen Diller (Ruhr-Universität Bochum) - Why ANGER and JOY? Were TENE and BLISS not good enough? 213

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Why ANGER and JOY? Were TNE and BLISS not good enough? Hans-Jürgen Diller, Ruhr-Universität Bochum ABSTRACT Joy (from Old French) and anger (from Old Norse) are clearly cases of “Foreign influence on Medieval English”. But equally clearly the concepts which they represent were already represented in the Old English lexicon, as blisse (joy) and t ona or wræþþu (anger, wrath). It seems reasonable to ask why the native words were replaced by foreign ones. To answer this question evidence has been collected from the quotations in MED online , probably the most comprehensive and balanced representation of Middle English. The tokens found are analysed according to word formation patterns and syntactic contexts. The sense development of ANGER and its family from ‘sadness’ to ‘anger, irritation’ is traced and explained in terms of the socio-psychological concepts of ‘goal frustration’ and ‘status violation’. The establishment of both ANGER and JOY in the English emotion vocabulary testifies to a growing importance of the contrast between the human subject as experiencer and the conditions of the subject’s experience. KEYWORDS: anger, t ne, joy, bliss/bless, context, emotions, loanwords, Middle English Dictionary online, parts of speech, semipelagianism, word formation We regard our emotions as perhaps the most fundamental part of our psychological makeup – certainly much more fundamental than concepts. And anger and joy are clearly among the most fundamental. Darwin ([1872] 1998) has taught us to recognize emotions in our animal cousins, but the idea that animals might form concepts still seems strange to...

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