Re: Is English a creole? (was: Indo-European Studies)

Glynis Baguley (
Mon, 7 Aug 1995 16:31:07 GMT

In article <> (James Walker) writes:
> In <3vheci$>, (Anthea F Gupta) writes:
> >Glynis Baguley ( wrote:
> > [...]

> >: Is this known for certain? Was there really no intermarriage between
> >: the Normans and the English? Why not? This seems somewhat implausible.
> I can't cite specific sources offhand, but check out Thomason and Kaufman
> (1988), which was cited earlier in this thread, and possibly Barbara Strang's
> (1970?) _A History of English_. There was a large social gap between the
> occupying Normans, who constituted the nobility, scholars and clerics, and
> the Anglo-Saxons, who were the farmers, peasants, and soldiers.

I've noted the references, but I still have trouble with the idea that
all the Normans were of high social class, and all the English low.
Did not the invading Normans include some hewers of wood and drawers
of water, or at least rowers of boats and ordinary soldiers? And were
all the English aristocrats slain at the Battle of Hastings? Surely
not. Were all the lowly Normans promptly ennobled, and the English
aristocrats forced to perform menial tasks for the conquerors? It's
very difficult to imagine that there was this neat divide between posh
ruling Normans and vulgar down-trodden English.


{ }
{ Oxford University Computing Services }