Etymological Survey of the English Word

Topics: English language, England, Anglo-Saxons Pages: 10 (3263 words) Published: March 4, 2011

1. Survey of certain historical facts 
1.1 The occupation of Roman Empire.
1.2. Period of Celts invasion
1.3 Period of Latin, Scandinavian and Norman French borrowings.  1.4 The Renaissance Period
2. Etymology. The English word-stock
2.1 The most characteristic features, of English word-stock 2.2 Words of Native Origin
2.3 Criteria of borrowings in English

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 most characteristic features, of English is said to be its mixed character. While it is wrong to speak of the mixed character of the language as a while, the composite nature of the English vocabulary cannot be denied.

1. Survey of certain historical facts  1.1 The occupation of Roman Empire

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 Roman invasion in Britain began in 43 A.D. Romans had held on the country for 400 years (till 407 A.D.).. 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 By a borrowing or loan-word we mean a word which came into the vocabulary of one language from another and was assimilated by the new language. in the future English language which was - much later - built on the basis of the Germanic tribal languages.  

1.2. Period of Celts invasion
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 their lands against the invaders, but nevertheless gradually yielded most of their territory. They retreated to the North and South-West (modern Scotland, Wales and Cornwall). Through numerous contacts with the defeated Celts, the conquerors borrowed a number of Celtic words (bald, down, glen, bard, cradle). Especially numerous among the Celtic borrowings were place names, names of rivers, hills, etc. The Germanic tribes...
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