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Foreign Elements in the English Word Stock

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Branden Beville

on 26 November 2013

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Transcript of Foreign Elements in the English Word Stock

Foreign Elements in the English Word Stock

What are loanwords?
Loanwords
Latin influence on English can be seen in every period of the language's history, though its influence has varied in kind from one period to the next.
Loanwords
Even More Lovely Loanwords
Spanish and Portuguese loan words
Entered English between 16th and 18th century
Spanish borrowings include Adobe, alligator, anchovy, armada, armadillo, avocado
Portuguese borrowings include albino, molasses, pickaninny
No words came from Portuguese until the Modern English period

History
Our vocabulary, like our culture, is mongrelized.
A majority of words in any large dictionary came from either other languages or were coined from elements of foreign words.
The core vocabulary of English is, and has always been native English.
A loanword is a word made by imitating the form of a word in another language. Ex. anger
Popular loanwords are transmitted orally and are a part of everyday talk. Ex. clerk
Learned loanwords are adopted via scientific, scholarly, or literary influences.
Latin
Germanic Period: Early loanwords are concerned mainly with military affairs, commerce, agriculture, or refinements of living. All early borrowing form Latin were popular loanwords. Ex. Wine, Beer, Ale.
Celtic
British Celtic were a subject people and those who conquer them are unlikely to adopt anything from them. So therefore you shouldn't expect to find many loanwords. However, just as with Indian origin, there are many English places with Celtic names such as Carlisle, Dover London and others.

In more recent times more Celtic words have been introduced into English like leprechaun, galore, shamrock and others.
Greek
Even before the conquest, a number of Greek words had entered English by way of Latin. Some may have come into Germanic directly from Greek such as church.

From Middle English period on, Latin and French were the immediate source for Greek loanwords.

The richest foreign sources of our present English word stock are Latin, French, and Greek.
Old English: Many Latin loanwords into Old English were never widely used or even known. Some only occurred for a short time or a single use. With early borrowing came hybrid formations- native endings were affixed to foreign words. Ex. -isc in mechanisc "mechanical

Modern English: The century or so after 1500 saw the introduction of many new words including: abdomen, area, janitor, orbit and others.
Italian Loanwords
Italian loanwords used in much of our music terminology. These words include: alto, duo, violin, opera solo, tempo.
Other words include artichoke, balcony, and balloon.
A popular expression from the Italian language that we use today is Ciao

Loanwords from Low German and Dutch
Dutch and low German contributed a number of words to English
Because low German languages are quite similar it is hard to tell which one was the source of an early loanword
Dutch loanwords include Buoy, commodore, cruise, deck, duffle, dollar, easel, landscape.
Loanwords from Low German include luck plunder, skate, snap, wagon
Many loanwords entered English language through the contact of Americans with Dutch settlers, especially in the New York area.


Scandinavian Loanwords
Most of Scandinavian words in Old English do not actually occur in written records until the Middle English period.

English and Scandinavian language were so similar that some words were hard to distinguish which they belonged to.

Semantic Contamination- Ex. OE dream-joy
Scandinavian draumr - vision in sleep

Modern English Borrowings:
rug, ski, skoal.
French contd.
Loan Translations: parts of a foreign expression are translated, thus producing a new idiom in the native language.

Ex. mariage de conveyance - marriage of convenience

Ex. ca va sans dire - that goes without
saying
Loanwords From the East
Loanwords from China include ketchup, wonton, yin-yang.

From Japan they include anime, Godzilla, karaoke, Pac-man, Pokémon, karate,

Loanwords from Africa include banana, yam. Yam being used more frequently in the south. Voodoo is also an African loanword introduced by Louisiana French. Gorilla is also a loanword from Africa along with Juke and Jazz. Also banjo, zombi, samba and rumba.

French Loanwords
Some of the earliest loanwords from French are capon,castle, juggler, and prison.

Norman Conquest made French the language of the offical class in England. Explains for all the French based words used to explain their government: government, court, crime, attorney, judge, jury, mayor

We owe most of the large number of term ending with -ance, -ant, -ence, -ent, ity, -ment, -tion, and those beginning in con-, dis-, ex-, pre-, to the French.
Loanwords from High German
High German has had comparatively little impact on English.
Much of Geology and Mineralogy is of German origin using words like Cobalt, feldspar and nickel
Many culinary terms taken from High German include bratwurst, sauerkraut, hamburger, frankfurter and wiener.
German Americans have also adopted the German suffix –fest to English uses. There are words like songfest and gabfest.
Biergarten in English has been translated to Beer Garden and Kindergarten had been translated to Kindergarden.
Other facts
Garland and Cannon did a study that showed that recent
loanwords in English come from 84 different lantguages.
-25% are from French
-8% are from Japanses and Spanish
-7% are from Italian and Latin
-6% are from African Languages, German and Greek
-4% are from Russia and Yiddish
-3% are from Chinses and progressively smaller percentages from Arabic, Portuguese, Hindi, Sanskrit, Hebrew,
etc….


Branden R. Beville
Tiffany N. McInnis

Middle English: Many borrowings happened during Middle English. It is frequently impossible to tell whether words are form French or Latin by their form alone. Examples are miserable, nature and register, which are all French, but are very close to original Latin etyma.
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