Re: Norman Vikings

From: Rex H. McTyeire
Message: 1278
Date: 2000-01-31

Orange juice (plus too many cat hairs) resolved: at a cost of only 100,000
Lei (about $5.25) while I slept...picked up and delivered. Where were we?
(Acknowledging also Sabine's comments.) Let me restate my position. The
term: "Norman French" is anachronistic, inappropriate, and inaccurate in the
context of Hastings, as well as the reign of William and sons (the whole
Dynasty if you wish). Nowhere in my position is a denial of Continental
Romance and (later) French linguistic influences on the language of our
keyboards. Looking again at my limited references..I will extend the
position: William's post Hastings reign did more than any other historical
event to solidify and focus the development of the English we know, and
(actually, significantly) reduced the myriad regional influences then
represented in the southern isles...including Romance.

John responded to my earlier statement of that position.:
>...Rollo married a French women,
I can't reference who he married, but the issue is: why do you call her
French? Was she Parisian, or just a river valley girl, speaking a Romance
dialect, as a Celt of the former Carolingian Frankish kingdom of Neustria?
Was everyone north of the Pyrenees and south of German speakers instantly
French as soon as the Roman yoke lifted?

>Danish had disappeared as their language by the time of Emma of >Normandy,
In the aristocracy, probably, at least diplomatically subordinated..
but I think not quite yet in the population at large (of the Norman state).
Norman "patois" still exists, but has been in decline for several centuries
in spite of revival attempts.

> At the battle of Hastings, the Normans fought, not to a Viking bard
> recounting the tales of Sigurd, but rather to Taillefer singing the
> French "Chanson de Rolland".
This one is highly suspect to me this attested by written
documentation from the period, or part of the later romanticisation of the
time by French historical syncretization? (Its stitched in the hem of the
Bayeau tapestry? :-) Folks with my name stood with the Earl of Ross under
The Bruce at Bannockburn, almost three hundred years later, all wishing
Edward II was Longshanks. I can name, off the top of my head, a hundred
people who were there: but I have no idea what songs they sang..or even in
what language.

> It was only Edward I Longshanks who was the
> first monarch who spoke English without a trace of an accent.
Ahh yes..."The Hammer of the Scots"..but a Plantagenet..the first of which
did not take the throne till almost a century after Hastings..and more
accurately Angevin than Norman or French. The English he spoke
would probably not have existed (certainly not so uniformly) without
William's consolidations.

> It probably explains why all the words of feasting (beef, mutton and
> pork) and courtesy, are derived from French rather than a Viking >tongue.
There was more Viking already there than William brought: These words came
much later as a part of the feudal "overstate" and were..French. And would
have been there....with..or without..the events of Hastings.

La Revedere;
Rex H. McTyeire
Bucharest, Romania