Accessibility statement

English as a North Germanic language

Wednesday 1 February 2012, 11.15AM to 12.15pm

Speaker(s): Joseph Emonds (Tomas Bata University)

This paper argues that the roots of Middle English (and therefore Modern English) are North Germanic under heavy influence from Old English, rather than the other way around, as generally assumed, and that the fusion of the two languages dates back not to early Scandinavian settlement in England, but about 200 years later, especially the 12th c. during the full impact of the Norman Conquest. Using examples of large numbers of daily life and grammaticalised vocabulary, we demonstrate that the nature of Scandinavian words incorporated into Middle/Modern English is distinct from and more central than later French loans and reflects a deep and typologically significant impact of Scandinavian on Middle/Modern English. Then we discuss several syntactic properties (e.g. word order, P-stranding, infinitival and directional particles, passive participles and case inflections) to show that with respect to all these characteristics Middle/Modern English groups with North Germanic and not with West Germanic.

This is joint work with Jan Terje Faarlund (University of Oslo). A previous version, by Emonds only, has appeared in Theories and Practice, Roman Trusnik, ed., Tomas Bata University Press, Zlin, 2011.

Location: C/A/128 (Chemistry)

Admission: Everyone