Sunday, June 13, 2021

French Influence on English Language

The French influence on English , French Influence on English Language PDF started its course with the Norman Conquest of 1066 AD. William of Normandy defeated England within the Battle of Hastings and therefore the governance of England fell into the hands of the French. The upper class influenced not just the socio-political aspects of England but also its language. The French influence was found in both vocabulary and grammar of English. The extent of French influence on the vocabulary of English could also be studied under different categories.


French Influence on English Vocabulary

The French influence on English  Words associated with governance and politics: Old English words “king” and “queen” remained in English, but nearly all other words associated with governance and administration were borrowed from French. for instance , crown, state, government, reign, realm, sovereign, power, minister, council, authority, parliament, people, nation etc.

Words associated with Feudalism: Feudalism, as a form of government was an integral a part of French influence as an entire . Therefore, there was an outsized intake of related words like prince, peer, court, courteous, noble, honour, glory, heraldry etc.

Military Words: Since governance of a nation is integrally connected to management of military forces, an outsized number of words associated with the military affairs were borrowed from French. for instance , war, peace, battle, siege, army, navy, officer, lieutenant, soldier. Words like challenge, danger, escape etc, which were borrowed as purely military words, are now utilized in general sense outside the military context too The French influence on English.

Law Terms: a bit like the soldiers , governance is intimately connected to law and order of a nation. Therefore, the French influence was felt during this sphere widely. Words like justice, judge, jury, suit, plaintiff, defendant, plead, summon, attorney, session, crime have all been borrowed from French. Some words, borrowed from French have gone into common use and now belong to lifestyle . The French influence on English  for instance , marry, marriage, prove, false, heir etc.

French influence

Ecclesiastical Terms: As ecclesiastical matters were also chiefly under the control of the upper crust , we discover an excellent number of French words connected to the church like religion, service, trinity, saviour, angel, saint, abbey, cloister, altar, clergy, friar, miracle, preach, pray, sermon Some words introduced as ecclesiastical words now belong to common vocabulary, e.g., rule, lesson, save, tempt, blame, order, nature etc.

Words concerning abstract ideas: Since the clergymen were influenced by French influence, they used French words to denote abstract ideas associated with morality and philosophy. for instance , virtue, vice, charity, duty, conscience, grace, cruel, chaste, covet, desire, jealous, pity, discipline, mercy, etc.

Words denoting social interactions and positions: an excellent number of words, borrowed as a results of French influence, point to the relations between the Normans and therefore the English, also as their regular interactions. for instance , sir, madam, master, mistress, command, obey, rich, poor, poverty, money, interest, cash, rent, servant etc.

Words denoting kinship : All the present sorts of family relationship outside the immediate household have French names. for instance , uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, cousin, etc.

Words associated with food and cooking: Since the French were noted for his or her culinary skills, English readily adopted many French words associated with cooking. as an example , sauce, boil, fry, roast, toast, pastry, soup, jelly Interestingly, names of the animals were English, but once they were served as food, they were called by French names. the subsequent table shows this interesting phenomenon:

The French influence on English  This list is an indicator of a social reality. While the care of the live animals was the responsibility of poorer English folk , their meat was enjoyed by the French high- class masters.

Likewise, the standard meal “breakfast” is an English word, while the fancier meals like dinner, feast etc are French.

Words associated with leisure and entertainment: Since the French masters had longer and means to enjoy finer lifestyle and modes of entertainment, many French words were haunted from French during this context. for instance , joy, pleasure, ease, comfort, delight, flowers, fruits, leisure, chase, leash, falcon, scent, track, cards, dice, partner, trump, ace, deuce, sport, etc.

Words associated with dress and fashion: because the French led the style within the middle ages, an excellent many words of French origin, associated with this sphere, are found in English. for instance , apparel, dress, costume, garment, fashion, luxury, adorn etc.

Words associated with art and architecture: The French were known for his or her artistic supremacy. The Englishmen learnt an excellent deal from the French during this matter.  The French influence on English  A large-scale borrowing may be a proof of French Influence on English art and architecture. as an example , general words like art, beauty, colour, image, design, figure, ornament, paint and technical words like arch, tower, pillar, vault, porch, column, palace, castle etc were borrowed from French. The artisans who pursued humble professions had English names, such as, baker, miller, smith, weaver, shoemaker, fisherman, shepherd However, the artisans who catered to the fashionable gentry had French names: tailor, carpenter, butcher, mason, painter etc. Humble furniture like “stool” is English, while decorative furniture (chair, table) has French names.

The French influence on English  Everyday expressions: French influence is additionally seen just in case of exclamatory words like alas, certes, sure, adieu, also as in everyday expressions like air, beast, age, change, cheer, cover, cry, large, latter, letter, place, point, turn This happened mostly because the ruled poorer sections of society loved to imitate the French masters in their regular conversation.


Assimilation of French Words

Resemblance in words: during a few cases, a French word was easily assimilated in English because it happened to resemble a corresponding Old English word of the common Germanic origin. this is often seen just in case of words like rich, choice, island, main, nephew, etc.

The French influence on English  Resemblance in grammar: In grammar, both languages had certain similarities. This led to easy assimilation of certain words. for instance , use, user, grief, grieve, etc.

Synonyms: The Englishmen had the habit of using French words side by side with their native synonyms. In some cases, the native word is nearer to the guts of the state and more common than French synonyms which are more literary and have finer meanings. as an example , native words like hut, help, begin, feed, hinder and hearty are more readily used than French words cottage, aid, commence, nourish and cordial respectively. In some cases, the native word became more literary (For example, deed, dale) than French equivalents (action, valley).

French Influence on English Grammar

The French influence on English  A few instances where French influence is seen on English grammar could also be listed as follows:

Earlier, the inflection “es” was used for genitive singular of a couple of nouns to denote possession. the style of expressing the genitive by using “of” may be a results of French influence.

Substantives and adjectives were always appropriated within the accusative . within the plural, Old French had nominative with none ending and accusative in “s” ending. English popular instinct associated the latter form with the native plural ending in “es”.

A tendency was seen to make English verbs from the stem of the French present plural of some verbs. for instance , the French verbs were finir and punir. The French plurals of those verbs were finnisons and punissons, both containing “s”. English people adopted this “s” ending and began using the verbs “finish” and “punish”.

In some cases, French verbs were assimilated as verbs. as an example , French infinitive verb “diner” (to dine) changed to English noun “dinner”. Even new verb was formed from this new noun. Now we've the verb “dine” coming from “dinner”. Similarly, we've English words remainder(noun) giving rise to “remain (new verb) and user (noun) giving rise to use (new verb).

The French influence on English  In some cases, French infinitive ending “r” in verbs wasn't modified and accepted because it is as verbs. for instance , surrender, tender, render, etc.


French Influence on Accent and Pronunciation

The extent in which the French influenced the accentuation and pronunciation of English words may be studied under the following heads:

Sound changes:

The long “i” sound in French has become “ai” in English: fine, price

The long “u” sound in French has become “ou” in English: spouse, tower

The long “a” sound in French has become “e” in English: grace, change

The long “e” sound in French has become “i” in English: beast


Accent changes:

The French influence on English  Many French words, accented on the final syllable, is now accented on first syllable after they are borrowed into English. This happened because of value stressing, where the first syllable is felt as psychologically most important, because of contrast stressing or because of rhythm stressing.

French Influence and Hybridism

A hybrid is a composite word formed of elements from different languages. With the introduction of the French words, the first traces of hybridism were visible in English. Examples of hybrids are:

Native prefix+ French word: over + power = overpower

French prefix+ Native word: re + birth = rebirth

French word+ Native ending: colour +less = colourless

Native word+ French ending: trust + ee = trustee


Old French Loans Versus New French Loans (Norman vs Parisian)

The French language has undergone considerable changes since Norman conquest. Therefore, these changes are reflected in comparison between the French words borrowed during and just after the Norman conquest and those borrowed much later from Paris or central France. Some of these changes are listed below The French influence on English :

Norman French “k” sound was changed into Parisian French “ch”. The word “catch” came from Norman French while “chase” came from Parisian French.

Norman French “ch” sound was changed to Parisian “s” sound. Words like “chase”, “launch” “Charles” etc came from Norman French while “champagne”, “charlotte”, “chauffer” came from later Parisian French.

Norman French “w” was changed to “g” in Parisian French. Words like “warden”, “wage” came from Norman French while “guardian”, “gage” came from Parisian French.

In many cases, “g” of Norman French has changed to “j” in Parisian French. While “gaol” is older Norman borrowing, it is also denoted as “jail” with “j” of Parisian French.

Some early French loan words have been curiously reshaped into the recent forms. For instance, Old French “viage”, “leal”, “flaute” has been reshaped into “voyage”, “loyal” and “flute” respectively. In some cases, some early French words have changed their meaning in both French and English together. For instance, Middle English “douter”, from Old French “douter” meant “to fear”. Now, in both the languages the meaning has changed (doubt).

The Extent of French Influence Down The Ages

The importation of French words, which started with the Norman Conquest, has continued up to the present day. At first, there were two separate class of people, speaking two kinds of languages. Then, through linguistic assimilation, English emerged as the standard language. Early in the thirteenth Century France, as a high seat of culture and education, exercised a great influence on the language of England, a tendency that continued from the middle ages down to the eighteenth century. The French influence on English Even in the Twentieth Century, because of wartime alliance between England and France, the process of borrowing from French has continued.