Revision of the Anglo-Norman Dictionary (letters R & S)

Lead Research Organisation: Aberystwyth University
Department Name: European Languages

Abstract

Some 70% of the words used in modern English can be traced back to a common source: Anglo-Norman, the dialect of French introduced into the British Isles as a result of the Norman Conquest of 1066 which was to serve as a language of literature, law, commerce, education, and administration into the late Middle Ages. Wherever one looks - historical chronicles, medicinal treatises, legal records - the central role played by Anglo-Norman in the life of medieval Britain is evident.
The most comprehensive account of the vocabulary of this language is the Anglo-Norman Dictionary (AND). The idea of the AND was conceived over seventy years ago, and culminated originally in a series of volumes printed between 1977-92 (AND1). This was soon overtaken by a thorough programme of revision to produce a widely expanded dictionary - freely available online since 2006 (www.anglo-norman.net). As the recognised authority on the Anglo-Norman lexis, crowned by the award of the Prix Honoré Chavée by the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres in Paris (2011), the online AND has become an indispensable tool not only for a broad congregation of academic specialists such as linguists, lexicographers, historians, and literary scholars, but also for a constant influx of non-specialists, such as teachers, pupils, and amateur historians and genealogists, wishing to know more about this crucial aspect of their heritage.
The current project will continue the revision of AND in two key ways.
First, following the successful completion of the revision of the entries for letters A-Q, the AND will now revise letters R & S over a 48-month period, at a rate of approximately 750 entries per annum. The revision process re-investigates and improves every current AND1 entry for semantic detail and textual coverage, and adds new entries for the many new words which have been newly located. For the sake of illustration, in the recently revised N- entries, the number of substantive entries more than doubled (from 339 to 887), as did the number of senses (931 to 2088), with four times the number of illustrative citations (from 1075 to 4218).
The revision of R & S will also raise their entries to the higher academic standards which distinguish the online AND's entries from those of AND1 and make it a versatile tool for studying Anglo-Norman in its multilingual and sociological context. These include the systematic cross-referencing of all entries to those in dictionaries of medieval French, Latin, and English; the addition of searchable 'usage labels' in definitions, which allow the analysis of the language through domains, or onomasiological fields; and the addition of editorial commentaries highlighting linguistic, semantic, or historical aspects of more complex entries.
Second, the online AND will undergo a significant transformation into a historical dictionary. The AND was originally conceived as a semantic dictionary, intended to show the meanings of words but not their development over time. Increasingly, as the online AND has incorporated hyperlinks to cognate dictionaries which outline the diachronic development of their entries, users have assumed, despite warnings to the contrary, that the organisation of the online AND is also historic and provides the earliest attestations of words. In order to reinforce the central position of the AND in the study of the Anglo-Norman language, this project will introduce a diachronic dimension into the revision of R & S, by locating and highlighting earliest attestations of words and senses. This approach will also be applied retrospectively through a semi-automated process to the existing online entries for A-Q and U. This innovation will ensure a better understanding of the development and use of Anglo-Norman, and will have important benefits for our perception of the history of the English language and of the nature of medieval Britain's multilingual society.

Planned Impact

The online AND currently receives almost 400,000 entry views per year from users in 75 different countries, many of whom are not from the academic sector.
In particular, the OED benefits from its collaboration with the AND by obtaining data essential to completing its understanding of the history and development of the English language. In this way, the AND's work enriches the reading of the millions worldwide who rely on the OED as the standard reference work for their study and use of the English language. The AND's revision of R and S and the introduction of a historical dimension will enhance this service.
As part of the present bid, the AND will formalise its history of cooperation with the Anglo-Norman Text Society (ANTS) into a project partnership. For over 75 years, ANTS has operated as a registered charity dedicated to promoting and supporting the study of Anglo-Norman language and literature, with members - university and public libraries, learned societies, and private subscribers - spread across five continents. The sharing of knowledge, information, and resources in this partnership will constitute an important new contribution of AND to the charitable sector.
Since the AND is freely available online, many of its users are members of the public interested in any of the many areas to which Anglo-Norman is essential: the development of English and French languages, genealogy, place names, socio-cultural history, and much more. This interest continues to grow in conjunction with media attention to the commemoration of historical events, such as the 950th anniversary of the Norman Conquest in 2016 and the 800th anniversary of the death of William Marshal in 2019. To promote the Dictionary to the wider public, we maintain a Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ANDonline), which unites an ever-growing community of people from over 40 countries and garners over 2000 'reaches' a month, together with Twitter (https://twitter.com/ANDictionary) to inform people about events, discoveries, and posts on social media relating to Anglo-Norman and the Middle Ages more generally. We also use these social media channels to provide updates on the progress of the AND and to highlight our monthly blog (www.anglonormandictionary.blogspot.co.uk), which discusses interesting Anglo-Norman words, phrases, or semantic fields in an accessible manner which encourages reposting (such as by the Office du Jèrriais, which promotes the use of the Jersey language). Our public engagement also takes other forms, such as talks to local medieval re-enactment societies and, via Skype, to Canadian students interested in the origins of the English language, as well as answering the many questions emailed by users from across the globe. In addition to continuing these activities, we will enhance our public engagement, reaching new audiences, as explained more fully in the Pathways to Impact, by:
1. visiting local archives to assist with, and educate archivists in, the identification of Anglo-Norman material. This will take the form of targeted seminars about the nature, status and use of Anglo-Norman in the British Isles during the medieval period, as well as tips on how to distinguish it from Continental French, which will be offered to archives and archivists within the area of Wales and the Marches.
2. the creation of digital learning materials and tutorials explaining the impact and identification of Anglo-Norman. These will be developed primarily for archivists and lay historians but will also be freely available on the AND website to a more general public.
3. visiting local museums and historical societies associated with the above archives to talk about Anglo-Norman and its importance during the Middle Ages and its influence on Modern English.
 
Description March 2018: More than 60% of the section R- has now been revised in full, bringing this section in line with the high academic standard of the preceding sections. In addition, close to 75% of all citations in the dictionary (A-Z) have now been dated in the underlying XML.
March 2019: After the second year, 100% of the section R- has been revised in full, as above. We are still at the proofreading stage, hoping to publish the Revised R-section online before Easter 2019. More than 95% off all citations (A-Z) have been dated, and corrections have been made. Once R is published online, also all dates attached to citations will become visible to users, and attestation will be organised in chronological order per sense.
In addition, the earliest Anglo-Norman sources have been identified, and full coverage of five of these has been added, resulting in more than 2000 attestations added to AND entries (A-Z) with a view to identifying their earliest attestations.
March 2020: After the third third year, close to 50 % of the revision of S- has been carried out.
December 2020: Migration of the AND website to a new platform, producing an entirely new interface. (this was unforeseen in the original grant, but proved to be necessary after the death of the previous Technical Advisor). The new site is more modern and user-friendly. It retains all of the old functionalities of the old site and introduces new ones. Together with this R is published. Additionally, all the work on the conversion of the AND into a historical dictionary is published: 99% all citations are dated and presented in chronological order, earliest attestations are indicated for each entry, and a chronological element has been added to various search options.
Covid 19 complications + a reduction in the hours of the Co-I produced a slowing down in the production of S-. A new PDRA was hired and trained remotely. At this point 75% of the S revision is completed. An application has been made to the AHRC for a 3-month extension, in combination with a 4-month Covid emergency fund.
Exploitation Route The online publication of these features is held back until full completion of both if them. This will be early 2019.
After the second year, we are aiming for Easter 2019.
Technical aspects, resulting from the death of the project's technical advisor have resulted in a delay in the publication of R-.
A new Technical advisor has allowed us to create an entirely new and more advanced website and interface.

An application has been made for a new AHRC grant to continue the revsion of the dictionary, this time for the final part of the alphabet: T-Z.
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

 
Description The AND editorial team has helped with queries from the Oxford English Dictionary, the Dictionnaire étymologique de l'ancien français, Glasgow Museum, Guernsey Library and various scholars working on or with Anglo-Norman material. In September 2017, the AND provided data for a Sound Art project of Dr. Alan Chamberlain (Nottingham). The AND advised BBC Radio 4 programme 'Word of Mouth' on 'The influence of French on English', broadcast 17 Arpil 2017 In 2018-19 he AND was visited by 3 early career scholars to receive help with their research on Anglo-Norman. The archivists survey was disseminated by email in October 2017, via archives-nra@jiscmail.ac.uk and archives-wales@jiscmail.ac.uk. The CI collected nearly 30 responses. The responses to the survey were mostly from university and cathedral archives - response from civic archives was poor and further work will be done by the CI in the next 12 months to contact these archives individually and collect data. The data collected has been evaluated and initial results were presented to the Archives and Society seminar in London, February 2018. The data will then be presented in the form of an academic article. As a result of initial contact with archivists and archival students, by email, through seminars and presentations, it has become apparent that the initial proposal to visit 4-5 archives to present a workshop may not reach the intended targets and may not be the best use of the CI's time. At this point, we are investigating the possibility of offering workshops on learning to read and identify Anglo-Norman in conjunction with national archival bodies such as the Cathedral Archives, Libraries and Collections Association or the Archives and Records association.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Other
Impact Types Cultural

 
Description Covid Extension fund
Amount £87,858 (GBP)
Funding ID 12485 
Organisation Aberystwyth University 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2021 
End 09/2021
 
Description Advisory board member 
Organisation University of Exeter
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution 'Learning French in Medieval England: The Manuscripts of Walter de Bibbesworth's Tretiz'
Collaborator Contribution 'Learning French in Medieval England: The Manuscripts of Walter de Bibbesworth's Tretiz'
Impact No outcomes at this point
Start Year 2019
 
Description Advisory board member - Learning French in Medieval England 
Organisation University of Exeter
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Pagan serves as an advisory board member for this project, providing linguistic and textual support. In addition, the project makes available our copies of Bibbesworth's manuscripts.
Collaborator Contribution This is an AHRC project investigating the importance of Bibbesworth's texts. The project will provide the dictionary with updated editions of all of the manuscripts as well as access to their digital editions.
Impact None at this point.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Anglo-Norman Text Society collaboration 
Organisation Anglo-Norman Text Society
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Learned Society 
PI Contribution The AND team works closely with the ANTS editors, and advise on potential editions in the series.
Collaborator Contribution The ANTS provides free membership to the AND, as well as free access to digital versions of all their previous publications. The ANTS has committed itself to meet server costs of the project for a minimum of three years after the grant ended. One of the Presidents of the ANTS, Ian Short, is a member of the advisory board of the AND and regularly provides citations from new sources to be added to the AND. He is also external proofreader to all AND#2 entries produced.
Impact The ANTS has contributed directly to elements of the revision of R/S. The AND editors are considering producing a text edition published by the ANTS.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Collaboration with the Dictionnaire Étymologique de l'ancien français 
Organisation Etymological Dictionary of the Old French
Country Germany 
Sector Learned Society 
PI Contribution The AND team answers queries from the DEAF team, and provides Anglo-Norman material essential to the writing of the DEAF. The DEAF project has now been terminated.
Collaborator Contribution The DEAF team answers queries from the AND team. They allow the AND to use their bibliographic database and citation dating methodology. One of their editors, Dr. Stephen Dörr, is a current external proofreader to all AND#2 entries produced, and provides linguistic/lexicographical advice.
Impact Dating of all AND citations is in process, and expected to be published online in 2019. Dr. Dörr's corrections/advice contribute to the final product, i.e. the publication of AND#2 R- and S-
 
Description Collaboration with the Oxford English Dictionary 
Organisation Oxford University Press
Department Oxford English Dictionary
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The AND regularly responds to queries from the OED etymological team regarding specifically Anglo-Norman issues.
Collaborator Contribution The OED helps with any queries the AND team may have (etymological and other), and have given the AND team online access to their editorial browser and notes.
Impact Discussions are underway to hyperlink all relevant OED entries to AND entries. This has become feasible through the AND's cognate referencing system created 2012-16.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Historical Thesaurus 
Organisation University of Glasgow
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The AND project makes all of its data available, to form the basis of further developments of the Historical Thesaurus.
Collaborator Contribution The Historical Thesaurus provides server space, at the University of Glasgow, to store the AND website.
Impact Migration of the AND website.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Participation in a network 
Organisation Cardiff University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Network member in the Medieval English (ca600-1500) in a Multilingual Context Network.
Collaborator Contribution To be completed
Impact To be completed
Start Year 2018
 
Description "Anglo-Norman in the Archives." Archives and Society Seminar, London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation to archivists stemming from the survey of archives performed in 2017. Discussion of results as well as further avenues of support and contact.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description "What Language is This? Anglo-Norman recipes for Paints and Dyes". 52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Conference presentation
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://wmich.edu/sites/default/files/attachments/u434/2017/medieval-congress-program-2017-for-web.p...
 
Description 'Pur aprise de langage: Medieval Language-Manuals and Treatises for Teaching Anglo-Norman', Aberystwyth 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact The purpose of this talk was to introduce Anglo-Norman to a wider academic audience, and to make them aware of its significance in the linguistic and cultural history of Great Britain.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description A parler des Engleys sanz fere mixtion': Code-switching in chronicles 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Presentation at a large international conference on medieval multilingualism
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Anglo-Norman Reading group - Aberystwyth University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Establishment of a reading group at Aberystwyth University for graduate students to learn Anglo-Norman. CI also to use experience to assist in development of learning materials that can be further used to train archivists / post graduate students.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Anglo-Norman in the Archives - Survey of Archives 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Survey disseminated by email to all practicing archivists to invite them to participate in a survey of their practices and holding. 25+ responses by email from various archives were received by email, and CI entered into conversation by email with a number of archives about their unique policies and needs.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Anglo-Norman in the Archives - presentation to archival students at Aberystwyth University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact A seminar given to students in the MA in archives management at Aberystwyth University about the importance of Anglo-Norman in British collections of medieval documents in public archives.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Eurolex Conference Presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Conference paper outlining the transformation of the AND into a historical dictionary to a group of professional lexicographers
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description From 'Alkali' to 'Yssac': Borrowings in Anglo-Norman" International Medieval Congress. University of Leeds 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Conference presentation
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.imc2017.co.uk/programme/
 
Description Glossing in medieval England: Examining the relationship between Anglo-Norman and Middle English glosses". International Exploratory Workshop on Glosses, St Gall 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Workshop presentation on the use of Anglo-Norman in glosses. Networking with other academics to develop a framework for understanding the use of the vernacular in glossing in Middle Ages, discussion of forming international association investigating these questions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description ICEHL Conference Edinburgh 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Conference presentation on the transformation of the AND to a historical dictionary for historical semanticists.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description ICHLL 9 Conference Presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Conference paper with A. Seiler entitled 'Trilingual glosses in London, British Library, Cotton Faustina A. X'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://ichll9.wordpress.com/programme/
 
Description ICOME 11 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation on the importance of 12thC glossaries as lexicographical sources and evidence of language contact with Anglo-Norman
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description London Reading Group in Old French 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Foundation of a bi-weekly reading group to encourage a greater understanding of medieval French.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Multilingual Contacts in the Twelfth Century 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Highlighting earliest evidence of trilingualism within Britain
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Presentation and blog post for Medieval English (ca600-1500) in a Multilingual Context Network 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation and blog post for Medieval English (ca600-1500) in a Multilingual Context Network
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019
URL https://memc1500.wordpress.com/
 
Description Presentation to archivists 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Workshop highlighting the importance of AN in medieval archives; promoting contacts between the dictionary and archival activies
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description SLIN Conference, 2018, Innsbruck 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact 'Contact and Contaminations in the History of English(es) 'The Southampton Stewards' Books of 1487-93: a rare glimpse of contact between Middle English and Venetian'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Semantic Tags and Devotional Vocabulary in the Anglo-Norman Dictionary 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Discussion of recent development of the Anglo-Norman dictionary - particularly the use of semantic tags as a research tool, particularly aimed at graduate and undergraduate students.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Semantic Tags as a proto-thesaurus 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation about the addition of semantic tags to the dictionary and how these can facilitate specific search parameters
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Troverez vous primes le fraunceis e puis le engleise: Lexicography and the Medieval Multilingual Text". English Language and Linguistics Research Seminar, University of Westminster, 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Discussion about multilingualism as presented in the Anglo-Norman Dictionary. Discussion of common models of understanding multilingualism in medieval and modern contexts.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018