I’ve found a few things on the 'net. I hope they help. I don’t know whether there are any big, good sources of information about this on the 'net, but I’ll look some more later.
I have a question, though, and it’s an important one: Is your dissertation on the influence of the French language on the English language, or on the inflluence of French literature on English literature?
Anyway, here’s what I’ve found so far:
You can ask a linguist about these things, and he or she might be able to give you some more help. There’s a website called “Linguist List.” It has a feature called “Ask a Linguist.” It’s at
“A (Very) Brief History of the English Language”
“List of English Words of French Origin”
searchspaniel.com/index.php/ … nch_origin
If you want definitions of some of the words in the above list, you can feed the words into the search box at humanities.uchicago.edu/orgs/ART … .form.html
“English and Its Relationship with French” (11 pages long)
You’ll need Adobe Reader to read this. Your computer may have Adobe Reader already. Adobe Reader comes in different languages, and sometimes (not always) there’s a problem if the Reader is in one language and the document is in the other. If you have Adobe Reader, try it on the document; then, if you have any problems, you can go to adobe.com and download English language Adobe Reader.
“How French Has Influenced English”
You can see red-lettered links below the article. One of them is “French Vocabulary in English,” at french.about.com/library/bl-fren … h-list.htm
There’s a brief summary of Charles Barber’s The English Language. A Historical Introduction at ulg.ac.be/ferulg/2C.htm#_Toc31085600
Here’s a nice, fairly long article on French influence on English, at orbilat.com/Influences_of_Ro … rench.html
It’s part of a larger section of the same website, on Romance-language influence on English:
On that same site, there’s “The post-conquest lexical elements in the Peterborough Chronicle,” at orbilat.com/Influences_of_Ro … nicle.html
This is a very brief article. The Peterborough Chronicle is an 11th and 12th century English document that people study to see the first introduction of French into the English language.
If you’re looking for the influence of French on English Literature, you might want to begin with The Cambridge History of English and American Literature (published 1907-21), Vol. VIII; Chapter XVI, “The Essay and the Beginning of Modern English Prose”;