Essay about Effect of the Normans on Middle English

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Effect of the Normans on Middle English

The year 1066 had a resounding impact on the course of English history. William the First, Duke of Normandy, conquered England and took it as a stronghold in his reign. The French rule over England lasted for several centuries and brought about innumerable changes to the English state, language, culture and lifestyle. William imported French rulers to take over English government and religious posts. The French were not only the new aristocracy in England, but the new society. The English amended their language and their culture in an effort to more resemble the French and to communicate with their new lords. The English language was more changed by the Norman Conquest than by any other event in
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Diphthongs are two vowel sounds which are pronounced as one. Diphthong Old French Old English /eu/ neveu neveu (nephew) /au/ cause cause /Ui/ bouillir boille (boil) point point / i/ noyse noise choisir chois (choice) The new English diphthongs were not exactly like they were in French - they were modified by existing English vowels to create brand new diphthongs. The stress pattern of Old French words differed from that of Old English words, and often both stress patterns were present. Germanic languages, such as English, tends to place primary stress on the first syllable, unless that syllable is an unstressed prefix. French, on the other hand, prefers to stress the heavy syllable (one containing a coda) closest to the end of the word. Middle English loans from French often retained their native stress pattern, however, in Present-Day English, the majority of these borrowed words have conformed to the Germanic pattern. Lexicon Irrefutably, the largest influence that the Normans had on the English language was on its vocabulary. From the time William usurped the English throne until the end of the Middle English period, our language was inundated with French vocabulary terms. In fact, of the 2,650 words in the epic English poem "Sir Gawaine and the Green Knight," at least 750 are estimated to be…