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Migrants in Medieval England, c. 500-c. 1500$
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W. Mark Ormrod, Joanna Story, and Elizabeth M. Tyler

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266724

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266724.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 12 April 2021

Language Contact in Early Medieval Britain: Settlement, Interaction, and Acculturation

Language Contact in Early Medieval Britain: Settlement, Interaction, and Acculturation

Chapter:
(p.62) 3 Language Contact in Early Medieval Britain: Settlement, Interaction, and Acculturation
Source:
Migrants in Medieval England, c. 500-c. 1500
Author(s):

Martin Findell

Philip A. Shaw

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266724.003.0003

This chapter explores language contact in early medieval Britain, focusing on the methodological problems involved in studying historical language contact in situations where records of the languages involved are sparse. Two case studies then look at linguistic evidence for contact situations, one addressing the uses of the term wealh in Old English and especially in the Laws of Ine, while the other explores the influence of Latin on the development of Old English spelling. The first case study argues that the term wealh in early Old English (as in Continental Germanic) usage identified groups and individuals as Roman, as distinct from the identification with Celtic languages that developed later in the period. The second case study shows how spellings of the reflex of pre-Old English *[ɡɡj] developed through the engagement of Old English speakers with Latin, demonstrating the interactions between developments in the spoken and written language.

Keywords:   Old English, Celtic languages, Latin, Orthography, Lexicology, Language contact, Law-codes

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