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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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Magdalena Bator (Academy of Management [SWSPiZ], Warsaw) - French culinary vocabulary in the 14th-century English 287


French culinary vocabulary in the 14th-century English Magdalena Bator, Academy of Management [SWSPiZ], Warsaw ABSTRACT After the Norman Conquest, the French influence on Middle English increased. Various studies show estimated percentage of the French borrowings present in English. However, all of these studies were based on a small sample of language, e.g., Jespersen (1978 [1905]) drew his conclusions from a sample of one thousand words; Mossé (1943) analysed only the letter ‘A’ in the OED. The present research is a pilot study aiming at the analysis of the extent to which vocabulary of French origin was present in Middle English, with respect to various semantic fields. In the paper we will concentrate on the semantic field FOOD in the 14th c. The study will be based on Curye on Inglysch (English culinary manuscripts of the 14th century), edited by Hieatt and Butler (1985). We would like to examine both the nature of the borrowed words and their relation to the native vocabulary. KEYWORDS: food; French influence; loanword; rivalry 1. Introduction The Norman Conquest initiated the process of significant influx of French loanwords into the English lexicon. Scholars, however, agree with Jespersen (1978: 87) that “the linguistic influence did not begin immediately after the conquest.” The early scholars estimated that the percentage of the French element in English in particular periods was small (see Table 1): Table 1. The number of French loanword in English at various periods (see Jespersen 1978 [1905]). Jespersen Koszal Baugh Herdan Dekeyser before 1050 2 – 2...

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