Another aspect in which the French influence is evident is in spelling in which new convections used for various sounds created various spellings. For example, for the ‘s’ sound, borrowed French words like ‘fisshe’ would at the end form and English word ‘fish’.
The French contributed to other affixes to the English over this invasion period. Most of the prefixes as well as suffixes became common after the Norman-French invasion on England. For example, prefixes ‘re-‘ and ‘de-‘ and suffixes like ‘-ment’ and ‘-ful’ were borrowed from the French language. The use of prepositions to show possession was one of the non-existing syntax constructs introduced by the French, aided by the ‘particle de’ (Tokar, Alexander). Another construct during this period was using perfect infinitive tense with its influence coming from both the Latin and French. Pronouns which represented the second person also emerged during this period, with its major influence coming from the French. For example, ‘you’ can be used to address one person, and at the same time be used to address another. Due to the lack of clarity in the new borrowed words from the French language, the stems were simplified.
The roots and affixes formed a weak unit which could be broken easily. For instance, ‘baron’ and ‘lieutenant’ gave an illustration of this unit. The second word ‘lieutenant’ was formed by the conjunction of two separate roots, with the first root, ‘lieu’ meaning a ‘place.
The origin of this root is from the Latin language. The other word ‘tenant’ is formed from ‘tenir’, which also Latin origins and means to keep. This word is an example that stems can be simplified to define the roots and consequently know the words borrowed.ConclusionThe Norman Conquest, led by Duke William II, had a huge effect on the English language. As noted above, the invasion influenced greatly the grammar of the natives.
The presence of the French and their language in their daily conversation with the natives resulted to the increase in the use of the words borrowed by the English people from their language. The development in morphology and the immediate combination with syntax expanded the pool from which words would be derived, and sentences constructed to ensure efficiency between the rules and the natives. These words were generally acceptable in the society and ushered and great deal during this period. However, even though the syntax from the French language helped in making sensible sentences, it was confined for official use. For instance, in courts, offices and other corporate buildings.
Even though the use of French language was not extensive, its impact on the English language is unmeasurable given its huge magnitude. Despite some authors saying that the Norman Conquest was ineffective, there is absolute evidence that the invasion influenced the English language.