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Bilingualism and language education in medieval England Richard Ingham School of English, Birmingham City University.

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Presentation on theme: "Bilingualism and language education in medieval England Richard Ingham School of English, Birmingham City University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Bilingualism and language education in medieval England Richard Ingham School of English, Birmingham City University

2 Outline of talk Spelling variation in later Anglo-Norman Spelling variation in later Anglo-Norman Phonological differences between Continental French and Anglo-Norman Phonological differences between Continental French and Anglo-Norman Gender errors? Gender errors? Syntax of later AN Syntax of later AN Critical periods for language learning Critical periods for language learning Pedagogical texts? Pedagogical texts? Conclusion Conclusion

3 Two versions of the same AN letter, written three weeks apart:- Two versions of the same AN letter, written three weeks apart:- (1a) Jeo vous mercy en quaunt qe jeo say et peus des amyables lettres qe vous me maundatus John Felton to Hugh le Despenser 3/12/1324 WSS p. 111 (1b) Jeo vus mercie en quant que jeo say et pus de les amyabelis leteris que vus moy avez maunde John Felton to Hugh le Despenser 25/12/1324WSS p. 115

4 ( 2a) Jeo mettray ma peyne et mun travail de server mun seignur et vous bien et loyamentus John Felton to Hugh le Despenser 3/12/1324 WSS p. 111 (2b)Joe metteray ma peyne et mon travayl de servir nostre seyngur le roy et vus ben et leaument John Felton to Hugh le Despenser 25/12/1324WSS p. 115

5 Around half the word tokens vary in spelling (ignoring grammatical variation) ( 3a) Les bosoignus mun seignur ne purrunt pas bien aler John Felton to Hugh le Despenser 3/12/1324 WSS p. 111 (3b) Les bosongis mons seyngur ne porrount pas ben aler John Felton to Hugh le Despenser 25/12/1324 WSS p. 115

6 Presence or absence of final schwa ceased to be distinctive in AN spelling used for words where schwa not present in cont Fr. spelling used for words where schwa not present in cont Fr. Vines (Vins) Br 76dautre parte (dautre part) Br 80 sa maine (sa main) Br 96 Vines (Vins) Br 76dautre parte (dautre part) Br 80 sa maine (sa main) Br 96 le chaumpe (le chaump) Br 110 son heir de saunke (de sang) PROME Edw II 1316 le chaumpe (le chaump) Br 110 son heir de saunke (de sang) PROME Edw II 1316 en prisone (prison) PROME Edw I en prisone (prison) PROME Edw I

7 AN: what mode of transmission? Insular French spelling and grammar seem to have been too variable to have been taught as school subjects Insular French spelling and grammar seem to have been too variable to have been taught as school subjects Insular French was used as a vehicle language for the teaching of Latin till c Insular French was used as a vehicle language for the teaching of Latin till c. 1350

8 Some phonological characteristics of later AN Schwa did not feature in ME phonology, but distinguished masc and fem. forms of Old French determiner words, e.g. un, une, cel, cele, cest, ceste etc. Schwa did not feature in ME phonology, but distinguished masc and fem. forms of Old French determiner words, e.g. un, une, cel, cele, cest, ceste etc.

9 spelling sometimes dropped from words where schwa was present in Cont Fr.: spelling sometimes dropped from words where schwa was present in Cont Fr.: Tut le mound (monde) Br 76; trent (trente) (30) Br 90; mon per (père) Br 264; en la gard (garde) son cosine PROME Edw I de la fest (feste) de Seint Michel PROME Edw II Tut le mound (monde) Br 76; trent (trente) (30) Br 90; mon per (père) Br 264; en la gard (garde) son cosine PROME Edw I de la fest (feste) de Seint Michel PROME Edw II

10 Apparent gender errors were common in later AN, e.g. missing –e on determiners with feminine nouns:- (4)a en cel prisonBolland 1914: 37 (4)b sicum en acun rivereBritton 404 (4)c par certeyn enchesoun Gippswich, 22

11 Conversely, determiner and adjective forms with final –e can be found with masculine nouns, e.g.: (5)a de ceste trepas Bolland 1914: 12 (5)b de ceste escritLeics 194 (5)c en le haute chemin vers Donestaple Tanquerey 1916: 50

12 Gender errors with son & sa in AN parliament rolls (PROME) 2 errors in c. 2,500 uses, errors in c. 2,500 uses, errors in c. 2,500 uses errors in c. 2,500 uses (Ingham 2007)

13 Gender errors in insular legal French c and c /100 errors on son & sa c /100 errors on son & sa c /50 errors on son; 44/50 errors on sa, c /50 errors on son; 44/50 errors on sa, c (Ingham 2007)

14 Critical periods for language learning Johnson & Newport (1987) showed that nativelike competence in morphosyntax begins to decline from first exposure at age 6. Nativelike if first exposure at ages 3-5. Johnson & Newport (1987) showed that nativelike competence in morphosyntax begins to decline from first exposure at age 6. Nativelike if first exposure at ages 3-5. Age effects for L2 pronunciation begin earlier, c. age 3 in some studies (Bongaerts et al. 1997, Flege 1999). Age effects for L2 pronunciation begin earlier, c. age 3 in some studies (Bongaerts et al. 1997, Flege 1999).

15 Advanced L2 learners vs. native speakers Even very advanced, highly proficient learners of French made some errors on subtle syntactic rules in Coppieters (1987) Even very advanced, highly proficient learners of French made some errors on subtle syntactic rules in Coppieters (1987) The critical period effect is pervasive in L2 acquisition, and therefore typically found in the morphosyntactic competence of even advanced nonnative speakers. (DeKeyser 2000: 506) The critical period effect is pervasive in L2 acquisition, and therefore typically found in the morphosyntactic competence of even advanced nonnative speakers. (DeKeyser 2000: 506)

16 Old French syntax I Old French had syntactic rules not affecting communication of content: word order rules regarding position of subject; synonymy of:- Old French had syntactic rules not affecting communication of content: word order rules regarding position of subject; synonymy of:- Li rois (Subj) apelet lescuyer (Obj) Lescuyer (Obj) apelet li rois (Subj) Li rois (Subj) apelet lescuyer (Obj) Lescuyer (Obj) apelet li rois (Subj) Or apelet li rois lescuyer Or apelet li rois lescuyer (Marchello-Nizia 1995)

17 Verb second In a clause beginning with an adverbial expression, the subject followed the verb, e.g.: (6a) Or apele li rois un escuier (6a) Or apele li rois un escuier (6b) Maintenant apele li rois un escuier (6b) Maintenant apele li rois un escuier *Or li rois apele un escuier *Or li rois apele un escuier *Maintenant li rois apele un escuier *Maintenant li rois apele un escuier

18 Old French syntax II A clitic (weak form) Object pronoun had to follow the verb in an infinitive clause: A clitic (weak form) Object pronoun had to follow the verb in an infinitive clause: (7) Por veoir le (*por le veoir) (7) Por veoir le (*por le veoir) (Buridant 2000: 354) (Buridant 2000: 354) But a clitic object pronoun preceded the auxiliary in an auxilated clause (8) Il le puet veoir (*il puet le veer) (8) Il le puet veoir (*il puet le veer)

19 Loss of verb second in Middle French Asymmetry around 1300 between XVS after a preposed direct object (13a) and XSV after an initial adverbial (13b):- Asymmetry around 1300 between XVS after a preposed direct object (13a) and XSV after an initial adverbial (13b):- (9)a Grant partie des prisonniers envoia le roy a ParisGCF VII 93 (c.1300) (9)b En cel an meismes messires Jacques roys dArragon tint son parlement… GCF VII 48 (c.1300)

20 TABLE 2: Frequency of VS versus SV order with full NP subjects in AN chronicles, c VS % SV %Total VS % SV %TotalTime Adverbials Preposed Objects

21 TABLE 2: Frequency of VS versus SV order with pronoun subjects in AN chronicles, c VS % SV % Total VS % SV % TotalTime adverbials Preposed Objects

22 AN clitic object pronouns with infinitives, pre-1320 (10)a...ke jeo asuase par deboneirete de treiter les en amurHIII 2,m321 (1268) (10)a...ke jeo asuase par deboneirete de treiter les en amurHIII 2,m321 (1268) (10)b. Len a mester de prendre le Sen c. 41(c. 1280) (10)b. Len a mester de prendre le Sen c. 41(c. 1280)

23 AN clitic object pronouns with infinitives, post-1320 (11)a...qe ascun sentremet de les faire entrerLC II 62 (1334) (11)a...qe ascun sentremet de les faire entrerLC II 62 (1334) (11)b. …de ensi le faire Lanc. p. 29 (c. 1354) (11)b. …de ensi le faire Lanc. p. 29 (c. 1354)

24 Frequencies of clitic object pronouns in AN non-finite clauses clitic preverbal 1 (4%)36 (61%) clitic postverbal27 (96%)23 (39%) Total2859

25 Frequencies of strong form pronouns in infinitive clauses, strong form Preverbal17 (85%)39 (89%) strong form postverbal 3 (15%) 5 (11%) Total20 44

26 What evidence of pedagogical texts? Rothwell (1976) argued that by the mid 13 th century there was a public wishing to learn French as a foreign language and that this need was satisfied by the use of pedagogical texts: Rothwell (1976) argued that by the mid 13 th century there was a public wishing to learn French as a foreign language and that this need was satisfied by the use of pedagogical texts:

27 Glosses, spelling and grammatical treatises, vocabulary manual (esp. Bibbesworths Tretiz de langage) these works functioned as manuals of different kinds to promote the teaching of French (Rothwell 1976: 463).

28 Glosses: French used to gloss target Latin words Hoc intercilium, entre les surcils Hoc intercilium, entre les surcils Hic capriarius, qui garde les chevres Hic capriarius, qui garde les chevres Hoc cenaculum, u len manjue Hoc cenaculum, u len manjue (Glasgow Lat-Fr glossary)

29 Orthographia gallica Pope (1934): syntactical phonetics, especially elided forms such as malme, dEngleterre. Pope (1934): syntactical phonetics, especially elided forms such as malme, dEngleterre. But this was a change in progress in mid-C13 continental texts,where unelided spellings can be found such as en non de escange, de blé et de avaigne Oise deeds 1256 (Carolus-Barré, 1964); de elles, 1262, Valenciennes, Béguines, (Doc. Hist. Franc. Vol I), 1273 de autres princes, Relation dambassadeurs, ibid. But this was a change in progress in mid-C13 continental texts,where unelided spellings can be found such as en non de escange, de blé et de avaigne Oise deeds 1256 (Carolus-Barré, 1964); de elles, 1262, Valenciennes, Béguines, (Doc. Hist. Franc. Vol I), 1273 de autres princes, Relation dambassadeurs, ibid.

30 mauveis not malveis Following {/a/e/o/}, /l/ /u/ before a consonant, e.g. in malveis Following {/a/e/o/}, /l/ /u/ before a consonant, e.g. in malveis Spelling forms record the earlier Old French pronounciations, cf eskoltet, mals, voldret (Eulalie). Spelling forms record the earlier Old French pronounciations, cf eskoltet, mals, voldret (Eulalie). ben

31 Bien, not ben Pronounce /i/ before /e/ in words such as bien, mieuz, etc, not before 1st e in tenez, bevez etc. Pronounce /i/ before /e/ in words such as bien, mieuz, etc, not before 1st e in tenez, bevez etc. Again, an area where change had taken place from earlier Old French. Melz (Eulalie l. 16) seule <- saeculum (l. 24), Again, an area where change had taken place from earlier Old French. Melz (Eulalie l. 16) seule <- saeculum (l. 24),

32 Glosses in Bibbesworth The author says nest pas mester tut a descrivere/du fraunceis ki chescun seit dire. The author says nest pas mester tut a descrivere/du fraunceis ki chescun seit dire. The English glosses can hardly have been supplied by the original author, since they ignore this point. Immediately after the above passage, words that Bibbesworths text presents as common knowledge - ventre dos echine, espaul bras, poitrine - are glossed into English, in the Cambs Gg 1.1 ms. used by Rothwell 1990 and Owens The English glosses can hardly have been supplied by the original author, since they ignore this point. Immediately after the above passage, words that Bibbesworths text presents as common knowledge - ventre dos echine, espaul bras, poitrine - are glossed into English, in the Cambs Gg 1.1 ms. used by Rothwell 1990 and Owens 1929.

33 Glosses in Bibbesworth The words not glossed into English in the ms edited by Rothell (1990) include many items squarely within the vocabulary area of activities related to the land: The words not glossed into English in the ms edited by Rothell (1990) include many items squarely within the vocabulary area of activities related to the land: haterel (41) entruit, aubume (202) eschele (238) arure (286) semaus (345) curteller (414) canois (416) pestour (381) pessel (428) vivere (514) aumail (549), enclume (571) navet (656) curtillage (776) blaret (788) feoun (819) chaltil, becheus (855) hurteurs (858) chartil (869) caruer (900) vayour/vaez (909-11) zoke, zouche (924), maillet (927) aguilloun (936). haterel (41) entruit, aubume (202) eschele (238) arure (286) semaus (345) curteller (414) canois (416) pestour (381) pessel (428) vivere (514) aumail (549), enclume (571) navet (656) curtillage (776) blaret (788) feoun (819) chaltil, becheus (855) hurteurs (858) chartil (869) caruer (900) vayour/vaez (909-11) zoke, zouche (924), maillet (927) aguilloun (936).

34 Likewise celer, pieler (950-1) traes (957) gymel (993) relate to house-building but are not glossed. The Bibbesworth ms cannot be presented as a systematic attempt to teach French vocabulary using English as a medium of instruction. Rather, it offers technical vocabulary enhancement in specialised areas to a young bilingual person already having a fairly accomplished ability to comprehend via French.

35 Conclusion Outside aristocratic circles, French was learnt in later medieval England until c as a childhood second language in an institutional context experienced before grammar school: the church school. Outside aristocratic circles, French was learnt in later medieval England until c as a childhood second language in an institutional context experienced before grammar school: the church school.


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