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blog migration

The Anglo-Norman Dictionary blog has now been incorporated in its entirety into the main AND website:
Recent posts

Linguistic Ecology: Language Change as Social Fact

A guest blogpost by Dr. Emily Reed (University of Sheffield), who visited the Anglo-Norman Dictionary project in February-March 2020 through an AHRC bursary ‘Language shift […] is a social fact with linguistic implications’  (Thomason and Kaufman 1988: 212). Language is a tool that we use to produce meaning. As such, it can only do what we enable it to do. Indeed, when wielded with skill, language can invest its user with much power. It can alter the usual course of events, it can change minds, and it can build a speaker’s reputation. A speaker can do this by playing to concepts that carry social currency: ‘politeness’, ‘aesthetics’, ‘eloquence’. Such labels might carry additional significances and consequences. For instance, ‘eloquence’ may be perceived as a marker of class, and depending on the listener, that may prejudice them in the speaker’s favour (or not). Of course, language is also the possession of the listener(s), who engage in a discursive back-and-forth with the speaker

The Anglo-Norman Prose 'Brut' Tradition

The Anglo-Norman Prose Brut Tradition [A guest blog post by Dr. Trevor Russell Smith, who visited the Anglo-Norman Dictionary project in 2018 and 2019 through a AHRC bursary]  Latin was the standard language in which one wrote historical literature in England through the fifteenth century, although chronicles, annals, histories, and poems on contemporary and past events were sometimes written in the vernacular. The fourteenth century is commonly seen as the point in which the vernacular of choice shifted from Anglo-Norman French to Middle English. While the latter has received a huge amount of attention over the past few centuries, in no small part due to nationalism and it being more justifiably studied in the classroom, Anglo Norman has been neglected. This is immediately evident when one seeks to examine the historical literature written in the fourteenth century, this supposed transitional period. Gransden, in her widely used reference work, discusses many Latin texts

An introduction to concordances (now with added violence)

Edward Mills is a PhD student at the University of Exeter, and — like David, our previous author — was a recipient of a bursary from the AND and the Arts and Humanities Research Council to support research at the Dictionary’s offices. In this guest blog post, he offers an insight into how he spent his two weeks. ———— E quant l’ enfant fust de set anz, si le manderent a Joce de Dynan pur aprendre e noryr, quar Joce fust chevaler de bone aprise. And when the child was seven years old, they gave him to Joce of Dinan to be taught and brought up, since Joce was a knight of great learning. 1 London, British Library, MS Royal 12 C XII (fol. 36r). Spot the reference to ‘aprendre e noryr’! You’re seven years old. You didn’t sleep well last night — even an aristocratic family like yours, after all, isn’t immune from the winter chill — and you shiver slightly as you rise and go to rub the sleep from your eyes. Then you remember what your father told you the previous e