24-25 November 2017 (Jesus College, Oxford)

This workshop will explore how model dialogues were used in language instruction in the late Middle Ages. Our primary focus will be on the Anglo-French Manieres de langage of the late 14th century / early 15th century.

Once cited as evidence that French in England was in its death throes at the turn of the 15th century, the Manieres are today more likely to be viewed as testifying to the continued vitality, at least in some quarters, of late varieties of Insular French. Twenty years since Andres Kristol’s edition of the Manieres appeared in the ANTS series, now seems like a suitable time to share current research on these intriguing dialogue texts and to consider directions for future work and collaborations.

Questions we intend to consider include:

  • Do manuscript contexts have further light to shed on the circulation of these texts and on the pedagogical settings in which they were used?
  • To what extent do the Manieres enter into dialogue with other French teaching materials with which they are bound in extant manuscripts (e.g. nominalia, Bibbesworth’s Tretiz, model letters)?
  • What do the Manieres tell us about the sociolinguistic status of Insular French(es) in relation to Continental varieties, English and Latin?
  • To what extent and how do the Manieres attempt to represent everyday speech?
  • How do the authors of the Manieres exploit comedy as a pedagogical device?

There will be presentations by Geert De Wilde (Aberystwyth University), Emily Reed (University of Sheffield), Huw Grange (University of Oxford), and Rory Critten (Université de Lausanne). The full programme is available here.

All are welcome to attend, but for catering purposes particpants are asked to register their interest by emailing huw.grange@jesus.ox.ac.uk by noon on 16 November 2017.