- Not to be confused with Old French.
was the language of the Franks
and it is classified as a West Germanic language
. Once it was spoken in areas covering modern Belgium
, the Netherlands
and adjacent parts of France
The Franks were descended from Germanic tribes that settled parts of the Netherlands and western Germany during the early Iron Age
. From the 4th century they are attested as moving from the Roman Empire
into what is now the southern Netherlands
and northern Belgium
. In the 5th and 6th century they expanded their realm
and conquered Roman Gaul
completely as well as client states such as Bavaria
. During that period, it had a major influence on the lexicon
of the Romance language spoken in former Roman Gaul.
Between the 5th and 8th century, Old Frankish evolved into Old Dutch
(Old Low Franconian
), a language that remained spoken in the area that was originally held by Franks of the 4th century (e.g., what is now the southern Netherlands and northern Belgium), while in Picardy
it was surpassed by Old French
as the dominant language.
Knowledge of Old Frankish is almost entirely reconstructed from Old Dutch and from etyma
from Old French. However, a notable exception is the Bergakker inscription
found in 1996, which may be a direct attestation of Old Frankish.
Predecessor of Old Dutch
The impact of Old Frankish on modern French
It is estimated that French... Read More