The role played by the german and scandinavian tribes on english language — страница 6

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Some indication of their number may be had from the fact that more than 1400 places in England bear Scandinavian names. Most of these are naturally in the north and east of England, the district of the Danelaw, for it was here that the majority of the invaders settled. Most of the new inhabitants were Danes, al­though there were considerable Norwegian settlements in the northwest, especially in what is now Cumberland and Westmore­land, and in a few of the northern counties. The presence of a large Scandinavian element in the population is indicated not merely by place-names but by peculiarities of manorial organ­ization, local government, legal procedure, and the like. Thus we have to do not merely with large bands of marauders, marching and countermarching across

England, carrying hardship and devastation into all parts of the country for upward of two centuries, but with an extensive peaceable settlement by farmers who intermarried with the English, adopted many of their customs, and entered into the everyday life of the community. In the districts where such settlements took place conditions were favorable for an extensive Scandinavian influence on the English language. CHAPTER III The Amalgamation of the Two Races. The amalgamation of the two races was greatly facilitated by the close kinship that existed between them. The problem of the English was not the assimilation of an alien race representing an alien culture and speaking a wholly foreign tongue. The policy of the English kings in the period when they were re-establishing their

control over the Danelaw was to accept as an established fact the mixed population of the district and to devise a modus vivendi for its component elements. In this effort they were aided by the natural adaptability of the Scandinavian. Generations of contact with foreign communities, into which their many enterprises had brought them, had made the Scandinavians a cosmopolitan people. The impression derived from a study of early English institutions is that in spite of certain native customs which the Danes continued to observe they adapted themselves largely to the ways of English life. That many of them early accepted Christianity is attested by the large number of Scandinavian names found not only among monks and abbots, priests and bishops, but also among those who gave land

to monasteries and endowed churches. It would be a great mistake to think of the relation between Anglo-Saxon and Dane, especially in the tenth century, as uniformly hostile. One must distinguish, as we have said, between the predatory bands that continued to traverse the country and the large numbers that were settled peacefully on the land. Alongside the ruins of English towns—Symeon of Durham reports that the city of Carlisle remained uninhabited for two hundred years after its destruction by the Danes—there existed important communities established by the newcomers. They seem to have grouped themselves at first in concentrated centers, parceling out large tracts of land from which the owners had fled, and preferring this form of settlement to too scattered a distribution

in a strange land. Among such centers the Five Boroughs—Lincoln, Stamford, Leicester, Derby, and Nottingham —became important foci of Scandinavian influence. It was but a question of time until these large centers and the multitude of smaller communities where the Northmen gradually settled were absorbed into the general mass of the English population. The Relation of the Two Languages. The relation between the two languages in the district settled by the Danes is a matter of inference rather than exact knowledge. Doubtless the situation was similar to that observable in numerous parts of the world today where people speaking different languages arc found living side by side in the same region. While in some places the Scandi­navians gave up their language early1 there

were certainly com­munities in which Danish or Norse remained for some time the usual language. Up until the time of the Norman Conquest the Scandinavian language in England was constantly being renewed by the steady stream of trade and conquest. In some parts of Scotland Norse was still spoken as late as the seventeen century. In other districts in which the prevailing speech was English there were doubtless many of the newcomers who continued to speak their own language at least as late as 1100 and a considerable number who were to a greater or lesser degree bilingual. The last-named circumstance is rendered more likely by the frequent intermarriage between the two races and by the similarity between the two tongues. The Anglican dialect resembled the language of the