Animal vocalization and human polyglossia in Walter of Bibbesworth’s thirteenth-century domestic treatise in Anglo-Norman French and Middle English

  • William Sayers

Abstract

Walter of Bibbesworth’s late thirteenth-century versified treatise on French vocabulary relevant to the management of estates in Britain has the first extensive list of animal vocalizations in a European vernacular. Many of the Anglo-Norman French names for animals and their sounds are glossed in Middle English, inviting both diachronic and synchronic views of the capacity of these languages for onomatopoetic formation and reflection on the interest of these social and linguistic communities in zoosemiotics.

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Published
2009-12-01