Sources of English vocabulary
Borrowings and adaptations
Anglicisms in Serbian
Indo-European family
Hellenic
Germanic Romance Celtic
Slavic
Indo-Iranian
Russian
Ukrainian
Serbo-Croat
Czech
Sanskrit
Hindi
Punjabi
Kurdish
Persian
(Italic)
Ancient Greek
(Latin)
German
French
English
Italian
Dutch
Spanish
Flemish
Afrikaans
Danish
Norwegian
Swedish
Icelandic
Breton
Welsch
Scottish
Irish Gaelic
The basic vocabulary of IndoEuropean languages is cognate
which means that they developed
from the same historical source.
Old English
heorte
sunne
German
Herz
Sonne
Gothic
hairto
sunno
Greek Latin Russian
kardia cordis serdtse
helios sol
solntse
And they all seem to stem from the ProtoIndo-European kerd.
Reasons for borrowing in the past:
- conquests
- history
1.
2.
3.
4.
Celtic language + Latin during the Roman conquest
Scandinavians
French
Angles and Saxons from Northern Europe, today’s Germany
Changes happened mainly to the language spoken by members of the upper class
and the vocabulary that included words referring to governement policies,
religious issues, art, music, etc.
Examples of different origins:
Scandinavian:
anger > angr = grief, bag > bagge, club > clubbe, flat > flat,
gift > geten, husband > husbondi, leg > legge
French:
president, territory, minister, counsellor, sovereign, monarch,
princess, royal, judge, jurisdiction, prison, admiral, etc.
German:
schnitzel, sauerkraut, Nazi, Blitzkrieg, Panzer (II-World-War
influence)
Borrowing may be direct and indirect.
If a word is taken from another language directly without
changing it, like omelette, tortilla, pasta, etc., we are talking
about direct borrowing.
If, however, the word had to be taken from a language which
in turn borrowed it from yet another and so on, meaning that
it was passed from one language to another and each time it
entered a new language it suffered some changes, then we
are talking about indirect borrowing.
For example the word coffee originated in the Turkish
language as kahveh, then it entered the Arabic as kahva,
then the Dutch as koffie and finally the English as coffee.
False etimology is a process by means of which a
word when borrowed undergoes a strange mutation,
creating thus a completely different history of the
word.
For example: avocado.
The Aztec pronounced it ahuacatl but the Spaniards
transformed it into aguacate.
In popular speech it was transformed into avigato and then to
avocado which is Spanish for advocate because only
members of the high society, including advocates, could
afford it.
In English it is known as avocado but also as alligator pear
probably because of the fact that this pear-like fruit came
from South America, a land where alligators live!
Loanwords and loanshifts
A loanword is a word that belongs to one language and is
imported into or adopted by another.
catamaran was imported into English from Tamil
shopping was imported into French as le shopping
A loanshift is a process by means of which the meaning of
the word is accepted but not the word itself. Loanshifts are
also known as loan translations.
superman from the German Übermensch
almighty from the Latin omnipotens
Holy Ghost from spiritus sanctus
Most loanshifts in English come from the French language. It
even happened that complete phrases were translated word
for word and accepted as such.
dialogue de sourds
le commencement de la fin
d’un certain age
dialogue of the deaf
the beginning of the end
of a certain age
The reasons for borrowing
1.
2.
3.
4.
Suitability
Identity
Fashion
Necessity
The process of Nativisation of loanwords is a process of
assimilation by means of which the borrowed word becomes
undistinguishable from indigenous English words.
There are three basic features of foreign words that change
as time goes by:
1. Grammar
2. Spelling rules
3. Pronunciation
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Sources of English vocabulary Borrowings and adaptations