June 15, 2024

Middle English (nov 23, 1066 – sep 30, 1450)


Middle English was a form of English developed from late Old English, with significant changes from Old English. What distinguished the two languages where its prononciation and grammar. The development in language occured in conjunction with the Norman invasion in 1066. As a result the frence language influenced the Old English heavenly. French is a form off latin, which resultated with Middle English to have similarites with latin aswell. In the end about 10 000 french words were incorporated into the English language.

After the invasion a Frenchman, "William the conquerer" seized the throne and became king in England. Due to the fact that Frenchmen began settling down in England, social and cultural changes and changes in language and literature occured. The ones most noteworthy were that French was to be used in the royal court and in the law. Another rule that was established was that French couldn't tbe spoken by anyone less than nobility. Only the king and aristocrates were allowed to speak french, to showcase its superiority. The adjustment went on for more than 300 years. Finally, the last noteworthy changes were the advancement in literary genres. Because new ones emerged and the likes of chivalric romances, religious songs, folk ballads, drama, morality and miracle plays were all introduced into the English cultural, given that the Frenchmen were more advanced in literature than England.

Added to timeline:

19 Feb 2019


nov 23, 1066
sep 30, 1450
~ 384 years