Medieval French Without Borders

Scientific meeting

External link
Begins on: Friday 20 March 2020.
Ends on: Saturday 21 March 2020.
Location: New York
Related institutions: Fordham University
This international conference looks anew at the origins and development of French within multilingual contact zones from the ninth century until the sixteenth century. The dialects we now identify as the langue d’oïl emerged in a relatively small zone in northern Europe, but assumed international importance both as a transactional and a cultural language, bringing it into contact with varieties of Arabic, Breton, Dutch, English, German, Greek, Hebrew, Irish, Norse, Occitan and Welsh. From the ninth century French was a second language of empire (Carolingian, German, and later Angevin). From at least the eleventh, it was spread by trade, conquest, emigration, dynastic marriage, ecclesiastical networks and the soft power of northern French court culture to many different regions, courts, and cities across northern Europe and the Mediterranean. As an idiom used by city-dwellers, travelers, merchants, sailors, artisans, and pilgrims, its earlier language relationships were reconfigured even as new ones were being created.
This interdisciplinary conference calls for papers that integrate French with the other languages and literatures with which it came in contact and that propose new contexts for understanding the medieval expansion of French that refine and complement more familiar explanatory frameworks such as identity, cultural prestige, and source studies.
Related keywords: French literature, French studies, linguistic