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Philology Section

La Société Guernésiaise Philology Section. The study of the history of language.

We are quite privileged in Guernsey to have our own language, it is often incorrectly called Patois, Patois is a coarse speech and Guernesiaise is definitely not that. Like most Western European countries our language came principally from Latin, mainly through military conquest by the Romans. Most European languages changed because of the Roman expansion into Europe, Latin became  the language of the administrators. Anyone wishing to negotiate with the Romans would have to have some knowledge of Latin to succeed. The indigenous population who knew Latin would be in a position to rise to a superior social standing in the government. Because of this the various peculiarities of the indigenous tongue were often mixed with the new imposed language.