Many scholars consider the Norman Conquest of England to be the most important event in the history of the English language. The man who directed that conquest was William of Normandy. In this episode, we examine William’s rise from a young Duke to the eve of the Norman Conquest. It was a rise marked by a series of broken promises. Along the way, we will examine more features of Norman French which impacted English. And we will return to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle to see how this history was documented in the Old English language which was soon to be wiped away.
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Great episode, as always! Regarding the discussion about the dropping of the ‘s’ sound in many words in French, I would add that this is marked in the majority of cases in modern French with a circumflex accent on the preceding vowel. So if you look at some of the words you cited, in modern French they are spelled: fête, bête, forêt, hôtel, août.
Thanks! I didn’t discuss that point in the episode because I didn’t want to get too bogged down in French spelling and phonetics. But it is a very important point for those who have a specific interest in French.
All great stuff. Only minor whinges when Mr Stroud sometimes takes American usage as read, although he does try with the more obvious differences.
I know lawyers famously can’t count so I had to smile when he referred to ‘three’ kings of 1066 and then promptly goes on to describe four in the following episode.
Keep up the good work.
What’s an extra king or two among friends? 😉
Well, the reference was to three kings of England. Presumably (I havent listened yet to the next episode) the fourth was Harald Hardrada, who was king of Norway but not of England.
Yes, the one I chuckled at is ‘pants’, which in the UK and,I suspect, most of the former British Empire, are (usually female) underweaŕ. Here in Britain we say ‘trousers’
Love the podcast
Maybe in some parts, but not in Canada, although we do say panties for female underwear. But pants here means trousers. (Very confusing for me as a young child, because my British parents used the word with the British meaning).