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Cambridge Language Sciences

Interdisciplinary Research Centre
Professor Mari Jones. Photo by Alex White (31622553)

Professor Mari Jones’s latest research leads to crowd-funding scheme to publish the first glossary of the Norman language in the Channel Islands to bring together all the languages – Guernésiais, Jèrriais and Sercquiais – in one place. 

When a collection of several hundred jumbled slips of paper were discovered in the Priaulx Library – the work of the late Professor J.P. Collas, a native of Vale, Guernsey – it was unclear precisely what they were.

As Mari Jones, Professor of French Linguistics and Language Change at Cambridge University Faculty of Modern and Medieval Language and Linguistics, set about analysing the slips it became apparent that they were intended as a glossary of the Norman language in the Channel Islands. She also discovered that a significant proportion of the slips had become separated from the original collection and traced them to an archive in Wales. 

In this book, Mari has reunited the collection and, by transcribing and editing the slips, has made J.P. Collas’s work accessible to a broad readership for the first time – providing a record of Guernésiais, Jèrriais and Sercquiais terms that will be an invaluable resource for scholars and students alike.

Publisher, Blue Ormer has launched a crowd-funding initiative to help publish this important contribution to the study of the Norman language in the Channel Islands.

Those interested in becoming involved have the opportunity to associate themselves with the project at different levels – as supporter (£30), subscriber (£50), sponsor (from £250 to £500) or patron (£1,000) with credits appearing in the publication corresponding to the level of support provided.

Details are available on the publisher’s website:

“Without Professor Jones’s meticulous and painstaking work, J.P. Collas’s material would probably have remained inaccessible and largely forgotten. The Glossary she has produced will be of enormous importance to scholars and students of Norman. The wealth of vocabulary that it makes available will also assist greatly in the ongoing endeavour to revitalise our precious indigenous Channel Island languages”
Ben Spink, Head of Jèrriais Teaching Service

READ MORE - coverage of this in local Guerney and Jersey press: 

Image: Professor Mari Jones with some of J.P. Collas’s slips that she compiled to create the Glossary of the Norman Language in the Channel Islands. Photo by Alex White


What we do

Cambridge Language Sciences is an Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge. Our virtual network connects researchers from five schools across the university as well as other world-leading research institutions. Our aim is to strengthen research collaborations and knowledge transfer across disciplines in order to address large-scale multi-disciplinary research challenges relating to language research.