Aspects of Multilingualism in European Language History by Kurt Braunmuller (Editor), Gisella Ferraresi (Editor)

By Kurt Braunmuller (Editor), Gisella Ferraresi (Editor)

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Chaufete Gdf 2, 97b, related to heating not caulking). ] . See Chazelas (1977) and Bréard (1893). . Wansbrough (1996: 165) identifies the same phenomenon in the (rather earlier) Ottoman chancelleries: “The nautical lexicon exhibits of course a borrowed technology whose agents were (mostly) identifiable Greek and Italian mariners/engineers recruited to Ottoman service [. ]. The jargon facilitated naval projects, whether ship-building or warfare”. . For example: Dor (1994: 65, 71). This is an important point: the process is two-way.

Whether Vidos’s hypothesis (and it is no more) is the exact explanation for the transmission of calfatar to Rouen (and thus to French) is immaterial: the point (for our purposes) is that a multilingual working environment is the perfect opportunity for words to be passed between languages. Caulking (if   David Trotter that is the sense we are dealing with, rather than the more general and possibly etymologically distinct “waterproofing”)9 is a feature above all of carvel construction (where planks abut rather than overlap); and carvel building is a technique which first developed in the Mediterranean.

DMLBS 1 hulcus (1182a), like the MED, suggests the word is originally Anglo-Saxon: this implies that its emergence in Anglo-Norman and British Latin is more plausibly from Anglo-Saxon than from Dutch. OED (hulk2 ) states rather unhelpfully that it is “a word of early diffusion among the Oceano vox: You never know where a ship comes from maritime peoples of Western Europe, of uncertain origin”. Finally, as a last twist to an already complicated story, the earliest Anglo-Saxon attestation of hulc is in Aelfric’s glossary, where it glosses (Classical Latin) liburna, translated by the DMLBS (1604a) as “light sailing-vessel, ship”.

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