King John of England’s defeat by the French in 1204 led to the territorial fragmentation of the Duchy of Normandy. Henceforth, the Norman mainland, allied to France, and the Channel Islands, allied to England, would find themselves on different sides of an ever-widening linguistic gulf. In
Variation and Change in Mainland and Insular Norman, Mari C. Jones examines the way in which contact between the Norman dialect and its two typologically different superstrates (French and English) provides optimal conditions to study the linguistic mechanisms of ‘dialect contact’ and ‘language contact’. Through the analysis of extensive and original phonological, morphosyntactic and lexical data, set in their historical and sociolinguistic contexts, this fascinating study explores how advergence with its superstrates has led Norman to diverge linguistically within these territories.
Mari C. Jones is Reader in French Linguistics and Language Change at the University of Cambridge and Fellow in Modern and Medieval Languages at Peterhouse, Cambridge. She has published monographs and many articles on the Norman dialect, including
Jersey Norman French (2001) and
The Guernsey Norman French Translations of Thomas Martin (2008).
"The author deserves high commendation for this lucidly written monograph, which must be essential reading for dialectologists and sociolinguists with an interest in France and recommended reading for students whose courses cover such areas. While for some years Jones has been the go-to person with regard to language matters in the Channel Islands, the work extends surefootedly her cutting-edge expertise to mainland Norman, thus firmly establishing her as the leading UK figure in the field of Gallo-Romance dialectology." – Tim Poolley,
London Metropolitan University, in:
French Studies 70/1 (2016)
"This monograph deserves special praise on many accounts. First of all, it is written in a clear, convincing way and presents a wealth of information on Norman French both in Mainland Normandy and the Channel Islands. The book amply illustrates that the author is truly familiar with the sociolinguistic situation in both areas and carried out the fieldwork in an expert fashion. Indeed, it establishes her as the leading authority on Norman French. At the same time, the study can be recommended as a model for students and future linguists who intend to study language variation from a dialectological/sociolinguistic point of view. Last but not least, it makes an outstanding contribution to contact linguistics by comparing a case of 'dialect contact' and 'language contact' in a unique way and clearly succeeds in expanding our general knowledge of language variation and change." – Heinrich Ramisch,
University of Bamberg, on:
Researchers working on mechanisms of language variation and change, language contact and dialect contact, dialectologists working on Norman and on French, students studying language change and French dialectology.