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Foreign Influences on Medieval English


Edited By 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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Wolfgang Viereck (University of Bamberg) - French influences on English surnames 241


French influences on English surnames Wolfgang Viereck, University of Bamberg ABSTRACT The publications dealing with the distributional patterns of English family names in the United Kingdom are anything but numerous and comprehensive. For this task researchers used either different data sets to differing degrees and from different periods in the past or from different cur- rent periods. A concerted action in onomastic research is still lacking. A project on English sur- name geography is being carried out at the University of Bamberg. The first volume appeared in 2007 and work on the second and final volume is nearing completion. The project’s diachronic and synchronic databases and the mapping procedures are briefly described and some examples of surnames of French origin relating to the four major categories of English surnames are treated in this contribution. They often developed variants of various kinds that mirrored changes in the common language that either survived or died out there. KEYWORDS: hereditary English surnames, diachronic and synchronic databases, mapping proce- dures, French influence on English surnames, surnames and dialects, doublets, folk etymology 1. Introductory remarks In his dissertation from 1938, Gösta Tengvik discusses a most important aspect of Old English naming, namely the use of bynames. Already in the Old English period, the main types of additions to a name existed that gradually led to the hereditary family names in the course of the following centuries. At first they were used very rarely, becoming more frequent from the 10th century without, however, becoming the...

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