the Normans 诺曼人

Chaucer  乔叟(英国作家)

Clark and Eschholz (人名)
Now let's come to the Middle English. In 1066 William the Conqueror, the Duke of Normandy, which is part of modern France, invaded and conquered England. The new conquerors called the Normans brought with them a kind of French, which became the language of the Royal Court, and the ruling and business classes. For a period there was a kind of linguistic class division, where the lower classes spoke English and the upper classes spoke French. In the 14th century English became dominant in Britain again, but with many French words added. This language is called Middle English. It was the language of the great poet Chaucer. Middle English was still a Germanic language but it is different from Old English in many ways. Grammar and the sound system changed a good deal. People started to rely more on word order and structure words to express their meaning rather than the use of case system. "This can be called as a simplification but it is not exactly. Languages don't become simpler, they merely exchange one kind of complexity for another", Clark and Eschholz says. Middle English would still be difficult for native English speakers to understand today. Following up is the early Modern English. Towards the end of Middle English, English underwent a couple of sound changes. One change was the elimination of a vowel sound in certain unstressed positions at the end of the words. The change was important because it affected thousands of words and gave a different aspect to the whole language.
现在,让我们谈谈中世纪英语。1066年,诺曼底公爵——征服者威廉(诺曼底是如今法国的一部分)入侵并征服了英格兰。新征服者是诺曼人,他们说法语,随后法语变成了宫廷、统治阶级和商业阶层的语言。这一时期出现了语言阶级分化,下层人说英语,上层社会说法语。14世纪,英语在英国重新兴起,但融入了大量法语词,这种语言就是中世纪英语。著名诗人乔叟就用这种语言写作。中世纪英语仍然属于日耳曼语系,但其与古英语不同。语法和语音系统发生了很大变化,人们开始更多地依赖词序和结构词来表达自己的意思。正如克拉克和艾斯霍尔茨所说:“这不完全是古英语的简化。语言没有变得简单,只是与另一难点做了互换”。如今,以英语为母语的人理解中世纪英语还是很困难。 接下来是早期近代英语。中世纪英语末期,英语经历了语音变化。其中之一就是消除了词尾非重读位置的一个元音字母。这个变化非常重要,因为它影响了上千英语词汇,使这门语言有了不同的内涵。