|2. Danes : 3. Normans : 4. Weavers : 5. The French||
7. The Mixture
: 8. The Decline
: 9. The Yanks
10. The Three R's
1 : Anglo-SaxonsThe Romano-British regime was overwhelmed
from 400 AD, or thereabouts, by a motley crowd
of "anglo-saxons" from the Netherlands, North
Germany and Jutland.
The basis of the E. Anglian dialect(s) can be
taken, for practical purposes, to be Anglo-Saxon.
2 : DanesEast Anglia later became part of the "Danelaw".
With the intermingling of the earlier Saxon
invaders, the population grew apace : such that,
by the Norman Conquest, it was the most
densely-populated region in all of England.
Village names ending in -by proliferate in
3 : NormansLittle needs to be said, 1066 being
one of the "two memorable dates".
It is obvious that, as the Normans ruled all of
England and e.g. built Norwich Cathedral and
Castle, their influence was great indeed.
4 : WeaversThe 14th Century saw Flemish weavers
encouraged by the Crown (Edward III) to settle.
Cloth was therefore able to be made here,
rather than just shipping E. Anglian wool
across the North Sea.
The once-important town (now village) of
5 : The FrenchThough smaller in numbers than the earlier
refugees/settlers, they had the distinctive
name of "Huguenots".
The impressive-sounding reason
for their hasty departure was -
The Revocation of the Edict of Nantes (17th C.);
and they arrived in the late-1680's.
Their arrival seems to have little in effect in
The combined effects of at least three French
6 : StrangersBy the 16th Century, this term had been coined,
so that indigenous folk did not have to sort-out
Dutch from French or Flemish from Walloon,
or wonder where Flanders actually was !
Of course, the Dutch and French languages
7 : The MixtureIn population terms, the mixture was now
larger than ever, as well as more skilled
and prosperous. By the start of the
17th Century around one-third of the
population of Norwich was of foreign origin.
The majority of these had a "first language"
of Dutch, rather than French.
Norwich duly became the second city of
8 : The DeclineThe relative poverty of the late 18th C. and
most of the 19th C. is a matter of great
sociological interest, but of little relevance
to the dialect.
But see references to dumplings and gruel.
Agriculture had always been the chief
9 : The YanksArriving in the latter stages (N. B.) of the
Second World War, they were welcomed
with very mixed feelings.
It is doubtful if they had any lasting effect
10 : The Three R'sI can't resist - under the cover of "language" -
mentioning a perennially "hot topic".
In early 1999 some Junior School discovered
that the best way to inculcate reading-skills is :-
C -A- T = Cat that I larned at school in 1938?