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Evidence of language contact in the <i>Parliament Rolls of Medieval England</i>

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Abstract

This paper investigates the interplay of <i>Ausbau</i> (Kloss 1952, 1978) and language contact in late medieval England in a particular area of discourse. The trilingual corpus of the <i>Parliament Rolls of Medieval England (PROME)</i>, which forms the basis for the present analysis, is representative of the &#8216;macro-genre&#8217; of legal and administrative texts. Within this area, specific discourse rules have been established in the course of time. As these rules may transcend language boundaries, we find them reflected in parallel linguistic structures such as constructions containing Lat. <i>non obstante</i>, Fr. <i>nonobstant/nientcontresteant</i> or Engl. <i>notwithstanding</i>. It is claimed that the English constructions imitate Latin and French models that have to be observed whenever legal texts are produced. For this type of genre-specific calquing I suggest the term <i>Nachbau</i> (&#8216;reproduction&#8217;).

References

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