As a result of the Norman Conquest, French became the official language of government. Though English survived, it was heavily influenced and adopted a large amount of French vocabulary. The influence happened on a higher register, in the language of government, medicine, fashion, aristocracy, art and education.
There is a division between Norman French and Central French because the Normans spoke a dialect of French that has same regular phonetic differences to Central French. These can be observed in these doublets:
Norman French also had a slightly different vocabulary, as the language had previously been influenced by Old Norse. Words that came into English via Norman French from Old Norse are for example jolly or target.
|Linguistics, Language Contact, Middle English Period, Norman Conquest|