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Norse-derived vocabulary in La estorie del evangelie

Pons-Sanz, Sara ORCID: 2021. Norse-derived vocabulary in La estorie del evangelie. Folia Linguistica 55 , pp. 461-491. 10.1515/flin-2021-2032

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While the study of Norse-derived terms in medieval English has benefitted from recent etymological advances (e.g. the Gersum project), the study of their process of integration lags behind. The latter requires the analysis of the dialectal and semantic distribution of the terms, as well as their interactions with other members of their lexico-semantic fields. This paper offers a case study of this approach by presenting the first comprehensive account of the Norse-derived terms included in La estorie del evangelie, an early Middle English poem from south Lincolnshire / north Norfolk. Besides identifying and classifying the Norse loans on the basis of the Gersum typology and the Historical thesaurus of English, the paper examines the different layers of scribal reworking in its seven fourteenth- and fifteenth-century manuscripts from various dialectal areas to separate the Norse-derived terms that can be attributed to the original composition from those that represent later lexical substitutions, thus tracing the terms’ fate into the late Middle English period. This work shows that this understudied text offers valuable information on the interaction between native, Norse and French terms both in the early Middle English period of the original Fenland author and the later period of the surviving copies. Given that the methodology showcased here should not be restricted only to the analysis of Norse-derived terms, the paper’s significance transcends its immediate focus, as it also contributes to our understanding of medieval English lexicology more broadly.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter
ISSN: 0165-4004
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 29 October 2020
Date of Acceptance: 28 October 2020
Last Modified: 07 May 2023 01:12

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