Seminar One

Introduction and Multilingualism in Theory and Practice


  1. Busby, Keith, ‘“Neither Flesh nor Fish, nor Good Red Herring”: The Case of Anglo-Norman Literature’, in Studies in Honour of Hans-Erich Keller: Medieval French and Occitan Literature and Romance Linguistics, ed. Rupert T. Pickens (Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, 1993), pp. 399-417. A useful concise overview of the history and nature of the French literature of England.
  2. Trotter, David, ‘Language Contact and Lexicography: The Case of Anglo-Norman’, in The Origins and Development of Emigrant Languages: Proceedings from the Second Rasmus Rask Colloquium, Odense University, November 1994, ed. Hans R.Nielsen and Lene Schøsler, Odense: Odense University Press, 1996), pp. 21-39. Trenchant and concise account of the status of Anglo-Norman, discussion of appropriate paradigms for Anglo-Norman and for relating it to other languages in Britain and elsewhere. (on Walsh E res)
  3. Michael Clanchy, From Memory to Written Record, 2nd edition, Oxford, Blackwell, 1993). The whole of this classic study is relevant, but we think it will be most helpful if you begin with its second half and read the sections on The Literate Mentality, Languages of Record, and Literate and Illiterate (pp. 185-252) with this week’s topics in mind (Hearing and Seeing and Trusting Writing, also in Part II are relevant for next week: Part I will be helpful as we move further into documentary culture later in the course). (on Walsh reserve: if the 1993 edition is out, it is still worth looking at the 1979 edition which is on reserve as a back-up).

Note: this reading is best done in the order listed above if possible. If you do not have time for the three Clanchy chapters before the seminar, read them as soon as you can after the seminar. For those with time, there are further articles on reserve from the Rask Colloquium listed above under 2: they are: Douglas Kibbee, ‘Emigrant Languages and Acculturation: The Case of Anglo-Norman’; Thera de Jong, ‘Anglo-French in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries: Continental or Insular Dialect?’ and W. Rothwell, ‘Adding Insult to Injury: The English Who Curse in Borrowed French’. All well worth it if you can.


As sample images and textualizations of multilingual medieval texts, we will hear and see short samples from insular texts, including

  1. Walter Bibbesworth’s early fourteenth century guide to learning French for Middle English speakers, the Tretiz de Langage
  2. one or more macaronic lyrics (depending on time)
  3. a macaronic instructional work (the Distichs of Cato)
  4. Saluz et solaz, a macaronic treatise on erotic spiritual love and the regulation of the religious life