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English and Galician in the Middle Ages: A Sociohistorical Survey

English and Galician in the Middle Ages: A Sociohistorical Survey

By Begoña Crespo García

Revista Alicantina de Estudios Inglese, No.17 (2004)

Introduction: It is the aim of this paper to offer a new perspective on the analysis of English and Galician by comparing the sociolinguistic situation of these languages in the Middle Ages. The paper will be organised into four sections: section 1 will depict the common history of both communities in the Middle Ages, referring particularly to their contacts with Norman/ French and Castilian, respectively. Section 2 will be devoted to the divergent evolution of both languages detailing the behaviour of the main social strata. In order to complete the sociolinguistic analysis, section 3 will explore the effects of bilingualism and diglossia on English and Castilian as a means to illustrate the great infl uence external factors can exert on the corresponding linguistic community. Finally, section 4 will summarise the conclusions reached in the light of the proposals previously mentioned.

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