Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Viking Age - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Viking Age - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "The long-term linguistic effect of the Viking settlements in England was threefold: over a thousand words eventually became part of Standard English; a large number of places in England have Danish names; and many English personal names are of Scandinavian origin.[3]

Words that entered the English language by this route include landing, score, beck, fellow, take, busting, and steersman.[3]

The vast majority of loan words do not begin to appear in documents until the early twelfth century; these include many modern words which use sk- sounds, such as skirt, sky, and skin; other words appearing in written sources at this time include again, awkward, birth, cake, dregs, fog, freckles, gasp, law, neck, ransack, root, scowl, sister, seat, sly, smile, want, weak, and window.[3] Some of the words that came into use by this route are among the most common in English, such as both, same, get, and give. The system of personal pronouns was affected, with they, them, and their replacing the earlier forms. Old Norse even influenced the verb to be; the replacement of sindon by are is almost certainly Scandinavian in origin, as is the third-person-singular ending -s in the present tense of verbs.[3]

There are over 1,500 Scandinavian place names in England, mainly in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire (within the former boundaries of the Danelaw): over 600 end in -by, the Scandinavian word for "farm" or "town"—for example Grimsby, Naseby, and Whitby;[4] many others end in -thorpe ("village"), -thwaite ("clearing"), and -toft ("homestead").[3]

The distribution of family names showing Scandinavian influence is still, as an analysis of names ending in -son reveals, concentrated in the north and east, corresponding to areas of former Viking settlement. Early medieval records indicate that over 60% of personal names in Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire showed Scandinavian influence.[3]


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

BBC - Legacies - Immigration and Emigration - Wales - South West Wales - The Flemish colonists in Wales - Article Page 3

BBC - Legacies - Immigration and Emigration - Wales - South West Wales - The Flemish colonists in Wales - Article Page 3: "The influx of Flemings into south Pembrokeshire was so great that the Welsh language was eradicated and Flemish gradually gave way to English as the dominant language. However, it was a dialect spoken with a strong and distinctive accent and with a large vocabulary of words not commonly found elsewhere.

The South Pembrokeshire Accent

The distinctive qualities of the English spoken in south Pembrokeshire was noted by George Owen in 1603 ‘‘… the most parte of the countrey speacketh Englishe and in yt noe use of the Welshe. The names of the people are mere Englishe eche familye followinge the Englishe fashion in surnames. Their buildings are Englishe like in town reddes and villages and not in severall and lone houses. Their dyett is as the Englishe people uses as the common foode is beefe … These reasons and alsoe for that most of the anciente gentlemen came thither out of England … might verye fittlye procure it the name of Little England beyonde Wales.”

In 1930, P.V.Harris wrote that, 'in many ways the dialect of South Pembrokeshire is the most fascinating in Britain, and owing to the country's remoteness, perhaps the least adulterated in recent years. Many of the words are pre-Chaucerian which have fallen into disuse elsewhere.

Some examples of dialect words recorded by Harris in 1930 are:

Budger' , A butcher,
'Catamouse' , the bat,
'Catchypawl' , the tadpole,
'Frost Candles' ,Icicles,
'Sea-parrot' , the puffin.