Re: Dialect Continuums

From: tgpedersen
Message: 16888
Date: 2002-11-26

--- In cybalist@..., "Richard Wordingham" <richard.wordingham@...>
wrote:
> --- In cybalist@..., "tgpedersen" <tgpedersen@...> wrote:
> > --- In cybalist@..., "Richard Wordingham"
> <richard.wordingham@...>
> > wrote:
> > >--- In cybalist@..., "tgpedersen" <tgpedersen@...> wrote:
>
> > > > BTW: For several hundred years the now North French coast
from
> > the
> > > > present Belgian border to Boulogne and beyond was Germanic-
> > > speaking.
> > > > That means from Hengist and Horsa on there was an unbroken
> > > > AngloSaxon - North German dialect continuum.
>
> > ... Also I'd imagine
> > (but you would know that better) that William and his successor
> > discouraged cross-channel trafic for other than his own gang.
>
> Alas, I have little knowledge of this matter. All I can say is
that:
> (a) William I's father-in-law was Count of Flanders (Baldwin VI?)
as
> well as, I think, a descendant of Alfred the Great.
> (b) The tax on trade with Flanders was, later at least, an
important
> revenue source.
> (c) I don't recall any Flemish threat to Norman rule.
>
> Richard.

Flanders was never an organised state that might threaten anybody,
rather a loose collection af city states, riven by internal disputes
betwen French-speaking taxers and Flemish taxees, merchants the
latter, a situation that continues to this day.
Also the situation in 500-1000 in that area would be a Germanic-
speaking colonizing upper class and Old French speaking locals.
Somehow the Germanic dialect became the language of trade of the
area, if it wasn't already from the beginning
I was thinking that perhaps a similar situation had arisen to that in
Denmark at the time: for fiscal purposes, certain towns were given
the right to have a market, which was was then forbidden everywhere
else. That meant that off-the-beach travelling to foreign lands to
trade was henceforth by definition smuggling and state-threatening
behavior. Perhaps that's the origin of the 'flavor' of what smugling
was in English folklore? In that situation you wouldn't want import
the latest speech fads from Flanders into your conversation.
Also, because of geography, the good and "safe" (from the French and
other taxers) harbors were further to the North (Bruges, Antwerp,
finally Amsterdam). But note that Dunquerque (Duinkerk, D√ľnkirchen)
unlike most Northern French towns has its own name in English, a sure
sign it was once important.

Torsten