According to the origin, the word-stock may be subdivided into two main groups: one comprises the native elements; the other consists of the borrowed words.
The term native denotes words which belong to the original English stock known from the earliest manuscripts of the Old English period. They are mostly words of Anglo-Saxon origin brought to the British Isles in the 5th century by Germanic tribes.
Linguists estimate the Anglo-Saxon stock of words as 25-30 per cent of the English vocabulary. The native word-stock includes the words of Indio-European origin and the words of Common Germanic origin. They belong to very important semantic groups.
The words of Indio-European origin (that is those having cognates in other I-E. languages) form the oldest layer. They fall into definite semantic groups:
terms of kinship: father, mother, son, daughter, brother;
words denoting the most important objects and phenomena of
nature: sun, moon, star, water, wood, hill, stone, tree;
names of animals and birds: bull, cat, crow, goose, wolf;
parts of human body: arm, eye, foot, heart;
the verbs: bear, come, sit, stand, etc;
the adjectives: hard, quick, slow, red, white.
Most numerals belong here.
The words of the Common Germanic stock, i.e. words having cognates in German, Norwegian, Dutch and other Germanic languages are more numerous. This part of the native vocabulary contains a great number of semantic groups. Examples:
the nouns are: summer, winter, storm, ice, rain, group, bridge,
house, shop, room, iron, lead, cloth, hat, shirt, shoe, care,
evil, hope, life, need, rest;
the verbs are: bake, burn, buy, drive hear, keep, learn, make, meet,
rise, see, send, shoot, etc;
the adjectives are: broad, dead, deaf, deep.
Many adverbs and pronouns belong to this layer, though small in number (25-30 per cent of the vocabulary).
The Common Germanic words and the verbs of the Common Indo-European stock form the bulk of the most frequent elements used in any style of speech. They constitute not less than 80 per cent of the most frequent words listed in E.L. Thorndike and I. Lorge`s dictionary “The Teacher`s Wordbook of 30,000 Words, N.Y.1959, p.268).
Investigation shows that the Anglo-Saxon words in Modern English must be considered very important due to the following characteristics. All of them belong to very important semantic groups. They include most of the auxiliary and modal verbs (shall, will, should, would, must, can, may, etc.), pronouns (I. he, you, his, who, whose, etc.), prepositions (in. out, on, under), numerals (one, two) and conjunctions (and, but). Notional words of native (Anglo-Saxon) origin include such groups as words denoting parts of the body, family, relations, natural phenomena and planets, animals, qualities and properties, common actions, etc.
Most of native words are polysemantic (man, head, go, etc.)
Most of them are stylistically neutral.
They possess wide lexical and grammatical valency, many of them enter a number of phraseological units.
Due to the great stability and semantic peculiarities the native words possess great word-building power.
Borrowings (Loan Words)
A borrowed (loan) word is a word adopted from another language and modified in sound form, spelling, paradigm or meaning according to the standards of English.
According to Otto Jespersen loan-words are “the milestones of philology, because in a great many instances they permit us to fix approximately the dates of linguistic changes”. But they may be termed “the milestones of general history” because they show the course of civilization and give valuable information as to the inner life of nations.
Through its history the English language came in contact with many languages and borrowed freely from them. The greatest influx of borrowings mainly came from Latin, French and Old Norse (Scandinavian). Latin was for a long time used in England as the language of learning and religion. Old Norse and French (its Norman dialect) were the languages of the conquerors: the Scandinavians invaded the British Isles and merged with the local population in the 9th, 10th and the first half of the 11th century. After the Norman Conquest in 1066 Norman French was the language of the upper classes, of official documents and school instruction from the middle of the 11th century to the end of the 14th century.
Etymologically the English vocabulary is said to have a particularly mixed character. Therefore some linguists (L.P.Smith, I.H.Bradley) consider foreign influence to be the most important factor in the history of English. Other linguists (Ch.Hockett, J.A.Sheard) and our linguists, on the contrary, point out the stability of the grammar and phonetic system of the English Language and consider it necessary to examine the volume and role and the comparative importance of native and borrowed elements in the development of the English vocabulary.
The greatest number of borrowings has come from French. Borrowed words refer to various fields of social-political, scientific and cultural life. About 41 per cent of them are scientific and technical terms.
L.P.Smith calls English «half-sister» to the Romance languages.
The number and character of borrowings depend on many factors: on the historical conditions, on the nature and length of the contacts and also on the genetic and structural proximity of languages concerned. The closer the language the deeper and more versatile is the influence. Thus, from the Scandinavian languages, which were closely related to Old Eng¬lish, some classes of words were borrowed that could not have been adopted from non-related or distantly related languages: the personal pro¬nouns: they, their, them; also same, till, though, fro (adv).
Sometimes words were borrowed to fill in gaps in the vocabulary. Thus, the English borrowed Latin, Greek, Spanish words paper, tomato, potato when these vegetables were first brought to England and because the English vocabulary lacked words for denoting these new objects.
Borrowings enter the language in two ways: through oral speech and through written speech. Oral borrowings took place chiefly in the early periods of history, in recent times, written borrowings did. Words borrowed orally (L. Street, mill, inch) are usually short and undergo more changes in the act of adoption. Written borrowings (e.g. French communi¬que, belles-letres, naivete) preserve their spelling, they are often rather long and their assimilation is a long process.
The terms «source of borrowing» and «origin of borrowing» should be distinguished. The first denotes the language from which the loan was taken into English. The second denotes the language to which the word may be traced:
Though the borrowed words always undergo changes in the proc-ess of borrowing, some of them preserve their former characteristics for a long period. This enables us to recognize them as the borrowed element. Examples are:
the initial position of the sounds [v], [d], [z] is a sign that the word is not native: vacuum (Lat), valley (FR.), volcano (Ital.), vanilla(Sp.), etc;
may be rendered by «g» and «j» gem (Lat), gemma, jewel (O. Fr.), jungle (Hindi), gesture (Lat), giant (O.Fr.), genre, gendarme (Fr.);
the initial position of the letters «x», «j» «z» is a sign that the word is a borrowed one: zeal (Lat), zero (Fr.), zinc (Gr.), xylophone (Gr.);
the combinations ph, kh, eau in the root: philology (Gr.), khaki (Indian), beau (Fr.); «ch» is pronounced [k] in words of Greek origin: echo, school, [S] in late French borrowings: machine, parachute; and [tS] in native words and early borrowings.
The morphological structure of the word may also betray the for-eign origin of the latter: e.g. the suffix in violencello (Ital.) polysyllabic words is numerous among borrowings: government, condition, etc.
Another feature is the presence of prefixes: ab-, ad-, con-, de-, dis-, ex-, in-, per-, pre-, pro-, re-, trans- /such words often contain bound stems.
The irregular plural forms: beaux/from beau (Fr), data/from datum (Lat).
The lexical meaning of the word: pagoda (Chinese).
Assimilation of Borrowings
Assimilation of borrowings is a partial or total conformation to the phonetical, graphical or morphological standards of the receiving lan¬guage and its semantic structure.
Since the process of assimilation of borrowings includes changes in sound-form, morphological structure, grammar characteristics, meaning and usage, three types of assimilation are distinguished: phonetic, gram¬matical and lexical assimilation of borrowed words.
Phonetic assimilation comprises changes in sound form and stress. Sounds that were alien to the English language were fitted into its scheme of sounds. For instance, the long [e] in recent French bor¬rowings are rendered with the help of [ei:] cafe, communiquй, ballet; the consonant combinations pn, ps in the words pneumonia, psychology of Greek origin were simplified into [n] and [s] since pn and ps never occur in the initial position in native English words. In many words (especially borrowed from French and Latin) the accent was gradually transferred to the first syllable: honour, reason began to be stressed like father, brother.
Grammatical assimilation. As a rule, borrowed words lost their former grammatical categories and influence and acquired new grammati¬cal categories and paradigms by analogy with other English words, as for example: the Russian borrowing 'sputnik' acquired the paradigm sputnik, sputnik's, sputniks, sputniks` having lost the inflections it has in the Russian language.
Lexical assimilation. When a word is taken into another language its semantic structure as a rule undergoes great changes. Polysemantic words are usually adopted only in one or two of their meanings. For ex¬ample the word 'cargo' which is highly polysemantic in Spanish, was bor¬rowed only in one meaning - «the goods carried in a ship». In the recipient language a borrowing sometimes acquires new meanings. E.g. the word 'move' in Modern English has developed the meaning of 'propose', 'change one's flat', 'mix with people' and others that the corresponding French word does not possess.
There are other changes in the semantic structure of borrowed words: some meanings become more general, others more specialized, etc. For instance, the word 'umbrella' was borrowed in the meaning of 'sunshade' or ' parasole'(from Latin ' ombrella- ombra-shade').
Among the borrowings in the English word-stock there are words that are easily recognized as foreign (such as decollete, Zeitgeist, graff to and there are others that have become so thoroughly assimilated that it is ex¬tremely difficult to distinguish them from native English words.(There words like street, city, master, river).
Unassimilated words differ from assimilated words in their pronun¬ciation, spelling, semantic structure, frequency and sphere of application. However there is no distinct borderline between the two groups. Neither are there more or less comprehensive criteria for determining the degree of assimilation. Still it is evident that the degree of assimilation depends on the length of the time the word has been used in the receiving language, on its importance and its frequency and the way of borrowing (words borrowed orally are assimilated more completely and rapidly than those adopted through writing). According to the degree of assimilation three groups of borrowings can be suggested: completely assimilated bor¬rowings, partially assimilated borrowings and unassimilated borrow¬ings or barbarisms.
The third group is not universally recognized, the argument being that barbarisms occur in speech only and not enter the language.
I. Completely assimilated words are found in all the layers of older borrowings: the first layer of Latin borrowings (cheese, street, wall, and wing); Scandinavian borrowings (fellow, gate, to call, to die, to take, to
want, happy, ill, low, wrong); early French borrowings (table, chair, finish, matter, dress, large, easy, common, to allow, to carry, to cry, to consider).
The number of completely assimilated words is many times greater than the number of partly assimilated ones. They follow all morphologi¬cal, phonetical and orthographic standards.
II. The partly (partially) assimilated words can be subdivided
a). Borrowed words not assimilated phonetically: e.g. machine, cartoon, police (borrowed from French) keep the accent on the final syl¬lable; bourgeois, mйlange contain sounds or combinations of sounds that are not standard for the English language and do not occur in native words ([ wa:],the nasalazed [a]);
b). Borrowed words not completely assimilated graphically. This group is fairly large and variegated. These are, for instance, words bor¬rowed from French in which the final consonants are not pronounced: e.g. ballet, buffet, corps. French digraphs (ch, qu, ou, ete) may be re¬tained in spelling: bouquet, brioche.
c). Borrowed words not assimilated grammatically, for example, nouns borrowed from Latin and Greek which keep their original forms: crisis-crises, formula-formulae, phenomenon-phenomena.
d). Borrowed words not assimilated semantically because they de-note objects and notions peculiar to the country from which they come: sombrero, shah, sheik, rickchaw, sherbet, etc.
III. The so-called barbarisms are words from other languages used
by English people in conversation or in writing but not assimilated in any
way, and for which there are corresponding English equivalents, e.g.: Italian
'ciao' ('good-bye'), the French 'affiche' for 'placard', 'carte blanche'
('freedom of action'), 'faux pas' ('false step').
Translation Loans and Semantic Loans
Alongside loan words proper there are translation loans (or calques) and semantic loans.
Translation loans are words and expressions formed from the material already existing in the English language, but according to pat¬terns, taken from other languages, by way of literal morpheme-for-morpheme translation. One of the earliest calques in the vocabulary of the English language is 'Gospel' (OE god-spell-'евангелие' literally 'благая весть') which is an exact reproduction of the etymological structure of the Greek euggelion, ' благая весть', borrowed into English through Latin. Other examples are: 'mother tongue* from Latin 'lingua materna' (родной язык), 'it goes without saying' from French 'cela va sans dire' (само собой разумеется).
The number of translation loans from German is rather large:
'chain-smoker' from 'Kettenrauchen' (заядлый курильщик);
'world famous' from 'weltberuhmt' (всемирно известный);
'God's acre' from 'Gottesacker' (кладбище literally божье по¬ле);
'masterpiece' from 'Meisterstuk'(шедевр);
'Swan song' from 'Schwanengesang' (лебединая песня);
'superman' from 'Ubermensoh' (сверхчеловек);
'wonder child' from 'Wunderkind'.
There are a few calques from the languages of American Indians: 'pale-face' (бледнолицый); 'pipe of peace' (трубка мира); 'War¬path' (тропа войны); 'war-paint' (раскраска тела перед походом).
They are mostly used figuratively.
Calques from Russian are rather numerous. They are names of things and notions reflecting Soviet reality:
'local Soviet' (местный совет);
'individual peasant' (единоличник);
'voluntary Sunday time' (воскресник).
The last two are considered by N.N. Amosova to be oases of explana-tory translation.
Semantic borrowing is the development of a new meaning by a word due to the influence of a related word in another language, e.g. the English word 'pioneer` meant `первооткрыватель` /now, under the influence of the Russian word 'пионер' it has come to mean 'член детской коммунистической организации'.
Semantic loans are particularly frequent in related languages. For example, the Old English 'dwellan' (блуждать, медлить) developed into 'dwell` in Modern English and acquired the meaning 'жить' under the influence of the Old Norse 'dwelja' ('жить'). The words 'bread' ('кусок хлеба' in OE), 'dream' ('радость' in OE), 'plough' ('мера земли' in OE) received their present meanings from Old Norse.
Etymological doublets are two or more words of the same lan¬guage which were derived by different routes from the same basic word, but differing in meaning and phonemic shape. For example, the word 'fact' ('факт, действительность') and 'feat' ('подвиг') are derived from the same Latin word 'facere' ('делать') but 'fact' was borrowed directly from Latin and 'feat' was borrowed through French.
In modern English there are doublets of Latin, Germanic and na¬tive origin. Many Latin doublets are due to the different routes by which they entered the English vocabulary: some of the words are di¬rect borrowings; others came into English through Parisian French or Norman French.
For example, the words 'major', 'pauper', senior' are direct bor¬rowings from Latin, while their doublets 'mayor' ('майор'), 'poor' ('бедный'), '.sir' ('сэр') came from French.
The words 'chase' ('гнаться, преследовать'), 'chieftain' ('вождь/клана'), 'guard' ('охрана/стража') were borrowed into Mid¬dle English from Parisian French, and their doublets 'catch' ('поймать'), 'captain' ('капитан'), 'ward' ('палата/больничная') came from Norman French.
The doublets 'shirt' ('рубашка') - 'skirt' ('юбка'), 'shrew' ('сварливая женщина') - 'screw' ('винт, шуруп'), 'schriek' ('вопить, кричать') - 'screech' ('пронзительно кричать') are of Germanic ori¬gin. The first word of the pair comes down from Old English whereas the second one is a Scandinavian borrowing.
Examples of native doublets are 'shadow' ('тень') and 'shade! Both are derived from the same Old English word 'sceadu'. 'Shade' is developed from the Nominative case, 'sceadu' is derived from oblique ease 'sceadwe'. The words 'drag' and 'draw' both come from Old English 'dragan' ('тащить')
Etymological doublets also arise as a result of shortening when both the shortened form and the full form of the word are used:
'defense' - 'защита' - 'fence' - ''забор';
'history' - 'история' - 'story' - 'рассказ'.
Examples of ETYMOLOGICAL TRIPLETS (i.e. groups of three words of common root) are few in number:
hospital (Lat.) - hostel (Norm.Fr.) - hotel (Par.. Fr.);
to capture (Lat.) - to catch (Norm. Fr.) - to chase (Par. Fr.).
True borrowings should be distinguished from words made up of morphemes borrowed from Latin and Greek:
E.g. telephone< tele ('far off) and phone ('sound').
The peculiar character of the words of this type lies in the fact that they are produced by a word-building process operative in the English language, while the material used for this formation is bor¬rowed from «another language)).
The word phonograph was coined in 1877 by Edison from the Greek morphemes phone ('sound')+grapho ('write*).
Morphemic borrowings are mostly scientific and technical terms and international in character, the latter fact makes it difficult to deter¬mine whether the word was really coined within the vocabulary of English or not.
Borrowings or loans are seldom limited to one language. «Words of identical origin that occur in several languages as a result of simulta¬neous or successive borrowings from one ultimate source are called INTERNATIONAL WORDS». (I. V. Arnold).
Such words usually convey notions which are significant in the field of communication. Most of them are of Latin and Greek origin.
Most scientists have international names; e.g. physics, chemistry, biol-ogy, linguistics, etc.
Modern means of communication expand global contacts which result in the considerable growth of international vocabulary.
International words play a very prominent part in various spheres of terminology, such as vocabulary of science, art, industry, etc. The great number of Italian words, connected with architecture, painting and music were borrowed into all the European languages and became international: arioso, baritone, allegro, concert, opera, etc.
Examples of new or comparatively new words due to the progress of science illustrate the importance of international vocabulary: bion¬ics, genetic code, site, database, etc.
The international word-stock has also grown due to the influx of exotic borrowed words like bungalow, pundit, sari, kraal, etc.
The English language has also contributed a considerable number of international words to all the world languages. Among them the sports terms: football, hockey, rugby, tennis, golf, etc.
International words should not be mixed with words of the com¬mon Indo-European stock that also comprise a sort of common fund of the European languages. Thus, one should not make a false conclusion that the English 'son', the German 'Sohn' and the Russian 'сын' are international words due to their outward similarity. They represent the Indo-European element in each of the three languages and they are COGNATES, i.e. words of the same etymological root and not borrowings.
State the etymology of the given words. Write them out in three columns: a) completely assimilated borrowings; b) partially assimilated borrowings; c) unassimilated borrowings or barbarisms.
Torchère, wall, maharani, á la mode, datum, perestroika, gate, têtê-á- têtê, want, chalet, ad hoc, sheikh, parlando, nuclkeus, parquet, matter, bagel, á la carte, kettle, chauffeur, formula, pari-mutuel, shaman, finish, corps, alcazar, commedia dell’arte, money, souvenir, bacillus, pas de deux, ill, spahi, stratum, nota bene, spaghetti, ménage á trios, odd, memoir, parenthesis, hibakusha, padrona, incognito, thesis, coup de maitre, tzatziki, sabotage, ad libitum, stimulus, Soyuz, alameda, street, boulevard, criterion, déjà vu, torero, yin, Übermensch, macaroni, tzigane, sensu lato, hypothesis, bagh, pousada, shiatsu, shapka.
Write out international words from the given sentences:
1. He gave a false address to the police. 2. I’ve seen so many good films lately. 3. Do you take sugar in your coffee? 4. Do you play tennis? 5. Arrange the words in alphabetical order. 6. Charlotte Bronte wrote under the pseudonym of Currer Bell. 7. He worked in radio for nearly 40 years. 8. Many people feel that their interests are not represented by mainstream politics. 9. We’ve visited the open-air theatre in London’s Regents Park. 10. I’m worried about my son’s lack of progress in English. 11. The government has promised to introduce reforms of the tax system. 12. He went on to study medicine at Edinburgh University.
Give the “false cognates” (false friends) in the Russian language to the given English words. State the difference in their meanings.
The false cognate of the word argument is Russian аргумент. The word argument means “an angry disagreement between people”, whereas the word аргумент has the meaning “reasoning”.
Baton, order, to reclaim, delicate, intelligent, artist, sympathetic, fabric, capital, to pretend, romance.
Melvyn Bragg travels through England and abroad to tell the story of the English language.