Modern English without Norman French influence

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by NomadicSky, Apr 26, 2008.

  1. NomadicSky Banned

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    Any ideas on what English would sound/look like in the 21 century?

    And what would the culture be like?
     
  2. Fellatio Nelson Tal, tywyll a gyda pants ar

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    Quoi?

    ........
     
  3. Susano Banned

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    For starters, it wouldnt be English, but Anglosaxon. English is the result of Anglosaxon-Norman synthesis, without the Norman invasion theres hence no England and no English.
     
  4. Thande Toujours Phrais

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    Well, technically it would be English, because Anglo-Saxon was just called "Englisc" at the time. But that's pedantry ;)

    There was an England (or Englaland) before the Normans, it was just not the same country as the England of 1500 or today.
     
  5. condor Well-Known Member

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    I'd imagine that accents would generally sound a little harsher, probably more akin to a Yorkshire or Geordie accent, and there would probably be more general similarities to the scandinavian languages.

    With any luck people would still use Æs, ðs and a few øs for good measure. I'd be quite disappointed if they didn't.


     
  6. rcduggan 大元帅

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    It would probably remain very similar to the Anglo-Saxon language. There wouldn't be an ~60% French- or Latin-derived vocabulary either.
     
  7. Theodoric Taxman

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    It would be very similar to Frisian, but with a bit more Low German (Saxon) influences.
     
  8. bard32 Banned

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    Probably more like German. The Anglo-Saxons, who'd invaded Britain during the Migration Period, spoke German.
     
  9. Theodoric Taxman

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    Na-ah. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ingvaeonic
    Back then, there was no single 'German', but a dialect continuum. Current German is High-German, while Englisc was more related to Low German (Saxon) and Frisian. Now, if you'd said 'West Germanic' instead of 'German', you would be correct, but you aren't.
     
  10. Hendryk Banned

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    There was a Victorian philologist with an axe to grind, William Barnes, who tried to imagine what Saxon-derived equivalents the English language could use in lieu of French-, Latin- and Greek-descended words. For example, folkdom instead of democracy.
     
  11. Theodoric Taxman

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    Well, there's also the substantial Celtic element, ofcourse. There's a surprisingly large amount of Celtic influences. No wonder the English language has three to four synonyms for every damned word.
     
  12. HueyLong Banned

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    http://www.geocities.com/bajparry/Anglish.html
    http://anglish.wikia.com/wiki/Headside

    French loans words, I think, are going to be unavoidable even without a Norman invasion though, and an eventual turn to Greek and Roman thought will probably affect the sciences.
     
  13. Thande Toujours Phrais

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    You say that like there's any other sort ;)

    Yes, his work (and Dr Johnson's considered anti-French spelling reforms, some of which were adopted in the US) would be of interest here.
     
  14. Thande Toujours Phrais

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    There will be some, but only to the same extent that U.S. English is influenced by Mexican Spanish: the exchange of neighbours, not a full new language being forced down from above and mingling with the original one below.
     
  15. Jasen777 Martyr Without a Cause

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    I recently went to a restaurant, looked at the menu and thought the only thing on it that was written in English was "Enchiladas." (Of course the whole thing was in Spanish).
     
  16. Joseph Solis in Australia Well-Known Member

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    Maybe English would not be called English but Anglo Saxon and there is no Norman French influence, English language would became mutually intelligible to Icelandic or Norwegians.
     
  17. admkenshin Well-Known Member

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    Modern icelandic and norwegian are QUITE unintelligible to each other. Now, this 'anglish' will probably go along the route of norwegian style germanic, (which is called western ancient/rune nordic), and thus drop the definite article (it's called this right?) and instead 'conjugate' the noun, like in scandinavian languages. Then again, the british isles general isolation after people settle down might prevent this.

    Actually I have no idea ^_^;;;
     
  18. Thande Toujours Phrais

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    "Anglo-Saxon" is a modern term. At the time it was just called Englisc, pronounced English, and it would continue to be called that up to the present day if it had never been influenced by French.
     
  19. Atom Future Human

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    The loss of those letters was more to do with the first English printers being Dutch, and not due to French English. Y was sometimes used for ð early on though.
     
  20. Analytical Engine Make America British Again!

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    Hence things like "Ye olde..." ;)