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The Etymology of English words ()
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Word Doc
3342
317

 

 

 

 

The Etymology

 

of English Words

 

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:

 

 

2000

 

contents

 

Survey of certain historical facts 3

 

Structural elements of borrowings 7

 

Why Are Words Borrowed? 8

 

Do Borrowed Words Change or

 

do They Remain the Same? 8

 

International Words 9

 

Etymological Doublets 10

 

Translation-Loans 10

 

Are Etymological and Stylistic Characteristics of Words Interrelated?

10

 

Survey of certain historical facts

 

It is true that English vocabulary, which is one of the most extensive

among the world's languages contains an immense number of words of

foreign origin. Explanations for this should be sought in the history of

the language which is closely connected with the history of the nation

speaking the language.

 

The first century B. C. Most of the territory now known to us as Europe

was occupied by the Roman Empire. Among the inhabitants of the Europe

are Germanic tribes. Theirs stage of development was rather primitive,

especially if compared with the high civilization of Rome. They are

primitive cattle-breeders and know almost nothing about land

cultivation. Their tribal languages contain only Indo-European and

Germanic elements.

 

Due to Roman invasion Germanic tribes had to come into contact with

Romans. Romans built roads, bridges, military camps. Trade is carried

on, and the Germanic people gain knowledge of new and useful things. The

first among them are new things to eat. It has been mentioned that

Germanic cattle-breeding was on a primitive scale. Its only products

known to the Germanic tribes were meat and milk. It is from the Romans

that they learn how to make butter and cheese and, as there are

naturally no words for these foodstuffs in their tribal languages, they

had to use the Latin words to name them (Lat. butyrum, caseus). It

is also to the Romans that the Germanic tribes owe the knowledge of some

new fruits and vegetables of which they had no idea before, and the

Latin names of these fruits and vegetables entered their vocabularies:

cherry (Lat. cerasum), pear (Lat. pirum), plum (Lat.

prunus), pea (Lat. pisum), beet (Lat. beta), pepper (Lat.

piper).

 

Here are some more examples of Latin borrowings of this period: cup

(Lat. cuppa), kitchen (Lat. coquina), mill (Lat. molina),

port (Lat. portus), wine (Lat. vinum).

 

The Germanic tribal languages gained a considerable number of new words

and were thus enriched.

 

Latin words became the earliest group of borrowings in the future

English language which was - much later - built on the basis of the

Germanic tribal languages.

 

The fifth century A.D. Several of the Germanic tribes (the most numerous

among them were the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes) migrated across

the sea to the British Isles. There they were confronted by the Celts,

the original inhabitants of the Isles. The Celts desperately defended

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