Book Series Studies in the Early Middle Ages , vol. 6

Language and History in Viking Age England

Linguistic Relations between Speakers of Old Norse and Old English

Matthew Townend

  • Pages: 248 p.
  • Size:155 x 240 mm
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2002


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  • ISBN: 978-2-503-51292-1
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  • ISBN: 978-2-503-55921-6
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This is the first ever book-length study for the nature and significance of the linguistic contact between speakers of Old Norse and Old English in Viking Age England.

Review(s)

'Matthew Townend's interdisciplinary study is a stimulating and in many ways ground breaking research work. It offers a profound analysis of one of the central issues of Viking Age England: the linguistic relations between and mutual intelligibility of speakers of Old Norse and Old English.' (Susanne Kries, Universität Potsdam).

'The book is lucid, well-argued, thorough, with an extensive bibliography, and is recommended for anyone interested in Viking Age England, linguists, historians, literary specialists, or otherwise." (R. A. Buck in H-Net Reviews (August 2003) < http://www.h-net.msu.edu/reviews/showrev.cgi?path=198291062149503>;).

"This is a skilful and elegant book. One can only hope that historians and archaeologists will make it their new platform for research on England in the Viking Age." (R. North, in: The Medieval Review, 05.01.14)

 

 

Summary

This is the first ever book-length study for the nature and significance of the linguistic contact between speakers of Old Norse and Old English in Viking Age England. It investigates in a wide-ranging and systematic fashion a foundational but under-considered factor in the history and culture of the Vikings in England. The subject is important for late Anglo-Saxon and Viking Age history; for language and literature in the late Anglo-Saxon period; and for the history and development of the English language. The work's primary focus is on Anglo-Norse language contact, with a particular emphasis on the question of possible mutual intelligibility between speakers of the two languages; but since language contact is an emphatically sociolinguistic phenomenon, the work's methodology combines linguistic, literary and historical approaches, and draws for its evidence on texts in Old English, Old Norse and Anglo-Latin, and other forms of linguistic and onomastic material. 'Matthew Townend's interdisciplinary study is a stimulating and in many ways ground breaking research work. It offers a profound analysis of one of the central issues of Viking Age England: the linguistic relations between and mutual intelligibility of speakers of Old Norse and Old English.' [Susanne Kries, Universitaet Potsdam]