Wikipedia says that "Norse influence is ... considered to have stimulated and accelerated the morphological simplification found in Middle English, such as the loss of grammatical gender and explicitly marked case". Since Old Norse had three grammatical genders and Norse nouns were declined in four grammatical cases, exactly how could Norse have stimulated that simplification?

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    (As far as I know, please correct me if I am wrong) The two languages were similar enough that you could somehow get the message across between the two languages, so instead of one adopting the other or developing a creole, English just borrowed from old Norse, and dropped its case system, because while the case system also existed in old Norse, the case endings were different, leading to an unnecessary confusion between the two. Commented Oct 22, 2021 at 3:32
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    @QuintusCaesius-RM Interesting. Thank you. I'm German, and this reminds me of how immigrants speak German. Germany has a three-track school system, with one school leading to university, one to white collar jobs, one to blue collar jobs (very simplified). Since the Turkish immigrants of the mid 20th century were mostly workers, the majority of their children went to the blue collar schools (Hauptschulen), where the fact that they drop prepositions from German has been influencing how native German speakers from the working class speak ("I go train station" instead of "to the train station").
    – user35806
    Commented Oct 22, 2021 at 7:31
  • It is indeed very interesting to see by how much non-native speakers of a language can influence even the form of the language considered proper. Commented Oct 22, 2021 at 9:35
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    I go train station reminds me of a previous case: Bahnhof was the only German word many ex-GIs learned, leading to phrases like He doesn't know Bahnhof about that (which I suspect is a translation from the German), meaning he doesn't know anything. There are a lot of terms used for this, forming the word class that Ross and Postal call "Squatitives", as in He doesn't know squat.
    – jlawler
    Commented Oct 22, 2021 at 15:44


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