- Anglo-français: philologie et linguistique par Oreste Floquet et Gabriele Giannini
Anglo-Norman (or, as in the title of the present work, Anglo-French) studies are currently on the crest of a wave, stimulated especially by the availability of the Anglo-Norman On-Line Hub and the electronic version of the Anglo-Norman Dictionary. The present volume, published in France, brings together eight papers, all in French, delivered at a one-day conference at the Sapienza University of Rome on 13 March 2013. A preliminary word in the editors’ preface about the choice and meaning of the expression ‘Anglo-français’ in the title of the volume would have been useful, as three of the articles have ‘Anglo-normand’ in their [End Page 630] individual titles and two ‘Anglo-français’. Daron Burrows launches his new edition of the prose Apocalypse, intended to replace that of Léopold Delisle and Paul Meyer (Paris: Société des anciens textes français, 1900–01). Meyer thought the work was of Norman provenance, but others have viewed the text as originally written in England. Without resolving the issue, Burrows finds Meyer’s contention ‘pas du tout insurmontable’ (p. 20). Maria Careri and Marcella Lacanale study the system of notation commonly used by Anglo-Norman scribes when two vowels were juxtaposed. Where a modern editor might print ‘feïssons’, ‘oevre’, ‘oï’, or ‘s’aerdeit’, a scribe has written ‘féissons’, ‘óeure’, ‘óít’, and ‘sáérdeít’. These accents would have acted as an aid to reading out loud or as a way of reading texts correctly. Oreste Floquet analyses the final graphies-c, -k, -g in the non-standard verb type ‘jo vienc’, ‘jo vinc’, ‘jo erc’ in northern, western, and Anglo-Norman texts; the number of occurrences in each category varies with respect to both text and date. Gabriele Giannini concentrates on the way in which the original Latin and French guides to the Holy Land circulated. Surviving copies are either interpolations tucked away in larger works or are short independent texts found in the margins of other texts. Richard Ingham concludes that the language used by Gower, who is not included in the Anglo-Norman On-Line Hub, was Anglo-Norman, slightly coloured by his adoption of continental versification habits. Annalisa Landolfi takes us into the mindset of a young sixteenth-century girl named Elizabeth, who was to have a lifelong passion for translation into English, whether it was from Latin, Greek, French, or Italian. Only eleven when she completed her first translation in 1544, her interest survived her accession to the throne of England in 1558, and she was still translating in 1598. The wording of her prefaces, and her fondness for certain themes (such as memory, fame, obscurity, and what she calls ‘ancienneté’) indicate that she was well versed in the prologues of twelfth-century writers, especially those of Marie de France. Gioia Paradisi analyses the Folies Tristan texts and the romances of Thomas and Béroul in their Anglo-Norman context. David Trotter comments on the Anglo-Norman Dictionary’s ever-expanding ‘base documentaire’. New words or new meanings of rare words are constantly being discovered, as are new spellings of words already listed (e.g. ‘emparkement’ to add to the entry ‘enparkement’, ‘achettë’ to ‘hachette’, ‘mursales’ to ‘morcel’). All in all, one perhaps misses in this volume an overview of at least one broad topic that is central to Anglo-Norman studies as a whole, but it has to be said that in its own right each article constitutes an important and well-documented contribution to its chosen subject.