Anglo-Norman, Medieval Latin, and Words of Germanic Origin

David Trotter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter examines words of Germanic origin found in the DMLBS and considers them especially with respect to the relationship between three languages of medieval Britain: namely Medieval Latin, Middle English, and Anglo-Norman French. A detailed examination of numerous examples reveals complex routes of transmission of items from Germanic sources which demand consideration of multiple sources over many centuries. In particular, because of the way the vernaculars developed and the nature of the extant evidence, it is often the case that the earliest evidence for an English or French word is found in a Latin word. The circuitous and overlapping interaction and contact between these languages can be seen very clearly in the example of warda, and the discussion shows, by reference to the theory of etimologia prossima and etimologia remota, how the Latin word must be analysed with regard both to etymology and semantics in order to reveal the different layers of influence at different stages of the word’s development in this multilingual society.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLatin in Medieval Britain
EditorsRichard Ashdowne, Carolinne White
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherBritish Academy
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780191851476
ISBN (Print)9780197266083
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2007


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