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what type of launguage did the normans speak?
They spoke a dialect of French known as Norman French. The Normans were Vikings who settled in northern France about a century before 1066 and learned French, but with a certain amount of Viking influence. [ One of the differences between Norman and Standard French was in the gw sound at the beginning of words. In Norman, this was pronounced w, but in the rest of France as gw (later g). The word "warranty" in English comes from the word in Norman French. We also borrowed the same word from Standard French as "guarantee". Other pairs of words that we borrowed both from Norman and Standard
French are "ward"/"guard", "warden"/"guardian", "war"/"guerre". Another difference was the palatalization of velar consonants before 'a' in Standard French, so that we borrowed "candle" from Norman French, but "chandelier" from Standard French. Other pairs are "castle"/"chateau", "catch"/"chase", "cattle"/"chattel". There were also vowel differences, so that we have the Norman French "round", but the Standard French "rondel". Here is a website with a selection of English words borrowed from Norman French: Another good web site is: NOTE: The Normans were NOT from Britain as a previous answer states. They were from Denmark. The Bretons were from Britain. Two completely different groups of people. Also, Anglo-Norman and Anglo-Saxon did not "merge" to become Middle English. Middle English is a natural development out of Old English (Anglo-Saxon) with an infusion o Norman vocabulary. ]
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Asked 10/4/2012 9:26:21 AM
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