Old English-Origin Words in a Set Of Medieval Latin Accounts





multingualism, lexical borrowing, Medieval Latin, Old English-origin words, late medieval England


For a long time, texts in Medieval Latin were poorly regarded for their linguistic hybridity: alongside Classical/post-Classical Latin lexemes, there were many words coming from the vernaculars (in the case of late medieval England, Anglo-French and Middle English) embedded in them. This traditional and restrictive view was superseded by a more nuanced conception of multilingualism, which appreciates the value of this kind of written evidence for our understanding of the multilingual dynamics of medieval texts. The present investigation uses a case study, the Account Rolls of the Abbey of Durham [1278-1538] (Fowler 1898-1901; henceforth, Durham Account Rolls), one of the largest edited and published collections of accounts in Medieval Latin, to discuss broader issues such as how to classify the vernacular lexical items present in medieval multilingual texts (are they borrowings, code-switches, or something else?) and to what extent this vocabulary can be deemed to be integrated/unintegrated into Medieval Latin. Since there are multiple underlying languages in the vernacular vocabulary of the Durham Account Rolls, this article will concentrate on the Old English-origin lexis in these accounts and its relation to Latin and French. An overview of 263 simplex (one-element) Old English-origin forms in the Durham Account Rolls proved to be a source of both basic-level terms and more specialised terminology. Finally, some examples from the most representative semantic domains (equipment, farming, animals, and materials) will be given.


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How to Cite

Roig-Marín, A. (2022). Old English-Origin Words in a Set Of Medieval Latin Accounts. Journal of English Studies, 20, 219–235. https://doi.org/10.18172/jes.5521