This volume brings together eleven studies on the history of language and writing in the North Sea area, with focus on contacts and interchanges through time. Its range spans from the investigation of pre-Germanic place-names to present-day Shetland; the materials studied include glosses, legal and trade documents as well as place names and modern dialects. The volume is unique in its combination of linguistics and place-name studies with literacy studies, which allows for a very dynamic picture of the history of language contact and texts in the North Sea area. Different approaches come together to illuminate a major insight: the omnipresence of multilingualism as a context for language development and a formative characteristic of literacy. Among the contributors are experts on English, Nordic and German language history. The book will be of interest to a wide range of scholars and students working on the history of Northern European languages, literacy studies and language contact.
1. Preface & Acknowledgments; 2. Editors' introduction; 3. Part I. The evidence of place-names; 4. Celts in Scandinavian Scotland and Anglo-Saxon England: Place-names and language contact reconsidered (by Hough, Carole); 5. The colonisation of England by Germanic tribes on the basis of place-names (by Udolph, Jurgen); 6. Ancient toponyms in south-west Norway: Origin and formation (by Saerheim, Inge); 7. Part II. Code selection in written texts; 8. On vernacular literacy in late medieval Norway (by Hagland, Jan Ragnar); 9. Four languages, one text type: The neighbours' books of Bryggen 1529-1936 (by Nesse, Agnete); 10. On variation and change in London medieval mixed-language business documents (by Wright, Laura); 11. Part III. Linguistic developments and contact situations; 12. Old English-Late British language contact and the English progressive (by Killie, Kristin); 13. The Old English origins of the Northern Subject Rule: Evidence from the Lindisfarne gloss to the Gospels of John and Mark (by Cole, Marcelle); 14. For Heaven's sake: The Scandinavian contribution to a semantic field in Old and Middle English (by DiSciacca, Claudia); 15. North Sea timber trade terminology in the Early Modern period: The cargo inventory for the White Lamb revisited (by Lorvik, Marjorie); 16. 'Nornomania' in the research on language in the Northern Isles (by Melchers, Gunnel); 17. Index of subjects, terms & languages
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