Words of war in the Middle Ages: etymology, usage and semantic evolution

  • Montserrat Planelles Iváñez University of Alicante
Keywords: diachronic lexicology, etymology, semantics, war


War is part of the socio-cultural universe of the Middle Ages. My objective is to go through La Chanson de Roland in order to study the lexicon of war. The analysis is limited to the vocabulary of war in this epic poem (chanson de geste) and focuses only on the significant elements, and more specifically on three major concepts: the warrior (guerrier, chevalier, cheval, escuier, armer), his equipment and weapons (armeüre, haubert, escu, espée, javelot, oriflamme, enseigne, baniere) and the army (ost, armée, conestablie, cumpaignie, semondre, soldeiers, concorde, front, rereguarde, bataille, meslée). The aim of this paper is to observe this semantic field from a lexical point of view by means of a diachronic approach. Consequently, the morphological and semantic families of the most representative lexical units are presented on the basis of their etymology and of their semantic evolution and survival.


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Author Biography

Montserrat Planelles Iváñez, University of Alicante

Departamento de Filologías Integradas

How to Cite
Planelles Iváñez, M. (2019). Words of war in the Middle Ages: etymology, usage and semantic evolution. Linguistica, 58(1), 9-21. https://doi.org/10.4312/linguistica.58.1.9-21