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

Glynis Baguley (
Wed, 9 Aug 1995 09:16:27 GMT

In article <> (James Walker) writes:
> The Normans did not migrate to England _en masse_. The Normans
> who ruled England were primarily nobility, upper-ranks military and
> scholars. Furthermore, the English nobility at that time was more
> Scandinavian than Anglo-Saxon (I'm going from memory here, but
> I think that the kings of England from about 1020 to 1066 were Danish)
> and were numerically in the minority anyway. I don't see why it's hard
> to accept that, in a feudal society with fairly rigidly-defined social classes,
> there would be little contact between the nobility and the lower classes.
> Read the sources I quoted and the works they reference and maybe
> you'll have less trouble with the idea.

OK, but just one point: Edward the Confessor was half-Norman. I don't
know about the other half. And hadn't Harold Godwinson (who sounds as
likely to have been Anglo-Saxon as Danish) just got back from battling
with the Danes (or some other Scandinavians) when he encountered

I don't have trouble with the idea that the class divisions were
pretty rigid, just with the idea that all the Normans were toffs and
all the English plebs. If that *is* how it was, then there must have
been contact as the Norman nobles employed English people to perform
menial tasks. If it isn't, then the Normans retained their own
servants and so forth, and there wasn't that rigidly stratified class
division. The idea that the Normans were all of a high class but had
no contact with the English oiks doesn't work.

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