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Medieval Latin, Middle English, or Anglo-Norman? Lexical Choice in the Inventories and Accounts from the Monastic House of Jarrow

Authors
  • Roig-Marín, Amanda1
  • 1 University of Cambridge, Selwyn College, Cambridge, CB3 9DQ, UK , Cambridge (United Kingdom)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Neophilologus
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2018
Volume
103
Issue
2
Pages
239–254
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s11061-018-9574-8
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Traditional lexicographical evidence for the study of multilingualism in medieval England has relied largely—if not exclusively—on vernacular sources, either in Middle English or Anglo-Norman. Meanwhile, only historians and very few philologists have taken advantage of the extensive collections of administrative documents written in Medieval Latin and preserved in archives all around the country. This under-researched documentary material uniquely reveals the complexities of the medieval multilingual world: the synergy between Medieval Latin, Anglo-Norman, and Middle English best materialises on the lexical level of these texts, where a large multilingual repertoire is pragmatically put into action. In this article, I concentrate on one of such unexplored documentary sources, The Inventories and Account Rolls of the Benedictine House or Cell of Jarrow in the County of Durham (1303–1537), and I survey four of the semantic fields representing its basic concerns: materials, tools, animals, and household goods. I discuss the intricate ways in which lexical material from Medieval Latin and the vernaculars converges in these inventories and accounts, and how often contemporary taxonomical efforts are unavailing.

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