29. The Anglo-Norman Dictionary (AND)
Dr Geert De Wilde, Dr Heather Pagan
Our team of researchers work on the ongoing revision of a dictionary of Anglo-Norman – the French language as it was used in the British Isles during the medieval period (1066-1500).
During that period, Anglo-Norman also had a huge influence on English vocabulary, and as such the findings of the AND team have direct relevance for the study of the history of English language: It has been estimated that as much as 50% of the word stock of Modern English is derived from Anglo-Norman, including every-day words such as ‘beef’, ‘flower ‘boil’, ‘noon’, ‘present’ or ‘rock’.
The AND is a freely accessible on-line resource. One of the texts analysed for the creation of the dictionary is a 1320 survey of Aberystwyth Castle – the ruins of which remain one of the main features of present-day Aberystwyth.
This fourteenth-century document points out that the roof of the private rooms of the king and queen, and the passageway linking them, needed repairing (‘la chaumbre le roi et la chaumbre la reyne e le alé parentre soient refaites’) and that the bridge to the outer bailey, decayed by rot, had collapsed and needed urgent rebuilding (‘le pount del forein baillie q’est tot descheu par poresture covient q’il soit fait en haste’).
Dr Geert De Wilde
Dr Heather Pagan