Article published in:Language Contact and Development around the North Sea
Edited by Merja Stenroos, Martti Mäkinen and Inge Særheim
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 321] 2012
► pp. 23–52
The colonisation of England by Germanic tribes on the basis of place-names
After the Romans had left the Province of Britannia, Germanic tribes were able to conquer and settle the land. In accordance with the literary sources, Schleswig-Holstein and Jutland are often considered the origin of these Germanic tribes. However, place names have rarely been used to determine the movements of the tribes. By identifying transferred place-names that were carried over by the emigrants, this chapter tries to locate the continental origins of the Germanic settlers. It argues that the Germanic tribes who invaded England during the fifth century did not come directly from Schleswig and Denmark across the North Sea, but rather from parts of Northern Germany, the Netherlands and Flanders, across the Channel.
Published online: 18 April 2012