How might English have developed without French?

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How might English have developed without French?

Post by Archived Topic » Fri Nov 26, 2004 10:26 am

Is it possible to speculate as to what the English language would look like if there had been no Norman Conquest? Would English be a more inflected language like German or less so like Dutch or the Scandinavian languages? Would English have become the lingua franca as it is nowadays? Did the flexibility of her language help England spread her power over the world?
Submitted by Jose Carlos Barbosa (Niteroi - Brazil)
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How might English have developed without French?

Post by Archived Reply » Fri Nov 26, 2004 10:39 am

JCarlos, The inflection problem, I wont touch, but it might be informative to consider the real events following "the Divine Wind" on another 'Island Nation' as to its "sway" on neighboring states. 'japanese' is not a widely known and used language, SO I think you are correct in suggesting that 'english' would not be as strong as it is if not for the Normans. I would venture that 'chinese' is most qualified to be called a "trade language" in the orient. I would suspect we would be speaking a "romance" strain of language more like latin-spanish than we do.
2k4dec22wed16:30,lneil

Reply from Louis Bussey (Boise - U.S.A.)
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How might English have developed without French?

Post by Archived Reply » Fri Nov 26, 2004 10:53 am

Erm...could you try to EXPLAIN this in English?
WHAT?
Could you try to answer this in some terms that anyone might understand?
Ken?
WofOz?
Leighton?
Dale?
(No forget the last one)
Is it time for Eroll to return?
Rob
Reply from Rob Masters (Thailand - Thailand)
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How might English have developed without French?

Post by Archived Reply » Fri Nov 26, 2004 11:06 am

Jose Carlos Barbosa, As for whether English would be a more inflected language like German, or less so like Dutch or Scandinavian, I will not address. However, as to its de Facto power as a trade language throughout the world, it might be instructive to compare it with another Island Nation that was not conquered, and was left to continue with its isolation from other nations. Although it conquered and occupied large amounts of oriental real-estate, its language is not noted for being a major trade language in the orient. I think that you are correct in your supposition of different consequences if the Norman conquest had not occurred. The fact that IMO, Chinese is the most used trade language in the orient, would indicate to me, that French or Spanish would be more likely the English equivalent in Europe.
GAD! That was boring.
Rob, if you can't slow up to lip sync speed for my brand of density, then to heck with you.
2k4dec29wed20:47,lneil

Reply from Louis Bussey (Boise - U.S.A.)
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How might English have developed without French?

Post by Archived Reply » Fri Nov 26, 2004 11:20 am

Jose Carlos,
The case system (and the attendant inflection of the language) had largely broken down in the Low German languages (including Anglo Saxon) long before the Norman invasion. As far as the socio-political implications on the British empire and the world as a whole are concerned, I suspect that we would all be under Dutch rule if the structural simplicity of a language were any guide to the power of the parent nation of the language.
Phil W. 31 December, 2004
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How might English have developed without French?

Post by mongrowl » Sun Jan 02, 2005 7:17 am

OK, point taken, but I suspect that [ eaze of use ] as the primary criteria for ascendency is too facile. I say this to test out the new system with my first post on it.
2k5jan02sun00:16,lneil
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