This whole thing about the influence of the Norman dialect of Old French on Middle English reminded me: A little while back, I was reading Mario Pei's The Story Of Language
, one of the chapters of which discussed the evolution of given languages through various sample texts.
Now, when reading the Middle French text by Villons, even I with my limited French vocabulary was able to parse out at least some of the terms, though the jargon got me, but the fragment from Le Chanson de Roland
? Oh, dear. As Pei points out, the character of the sounds themselves
are much more... aggressive
, with a strong Germanic slant and a definite tinge of battle about them. Villons's language was one of cities and merchants, but the Chanson
... that was the language of knights
, real ones, soldiering men with swords and axes and god-knows-what-else riding on horseback to siege fortresses and whatnot. I could practically hear it in my room as I read it.
Anyone else felt like that, when reading something, even if they don't really get it all the way?
edited 12th Dec '11 5:53:47 PM by JHM