Skip to main content

Donna Marshall

Research student,


I am a SWW-DTP funded PhD student based at Cardiff University with joint supervision and collaboration from Bristol University Centre for Medieval Studies, and The National Archives.

My research will look at multilingualism in the records of government in England during the later Middle Ages. I am particularly interested to examine the influence of French on the development of English legal language. Working with a lexis from fifteenth-century Chancery documents held at The National Archives, I hope to find evidence within the corpus of lexical debts (loan-words, semantic loans and phraseology including collocations and binomials). The research will bring together historical linguistics and historical sociolinguistics, and draw on my skills as an archivist in administrative history, palaeography and diplomatic.

Findings from my research will be shared with key lexicographical resources such as the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), and the Middle English Dictionary (MED). I also hope to provide The National Archives with transcriptions and catalogue entries for a number of currently unlisted Chancery documents with the aim of improving public access to these historic records of national government.



'French Influence on the English Legal Language of the Chancery in the First Half of the Fifteenth Century

Funding source

SWW-DTP (South West and Wales Doctoral Training Programme)