During the 10th century, the English language spoken in northern and eastern England began to change under the influence of Old Norse. These changes resulted in a north-south linguistic divide which still exists today. In this episode we examine how modern linguists use sound changes to identify Norse words in Modern English. We also examine English-Norse synonyms derived from common Germanic root words.
In the early 10th century, King Alfred’s children and grandchildren conquered the Viking region known as the Danelaw. This brought all of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms under the rule of a single monarch. That monarch was Aethelstan who became the first King of England. The conquest of the Danelaw was also a family affair. So we explore the etymology of Modern English words related to family and family relations.