Indirect Italian Borrowings in English

Topics: English language, French language, German language Pages: 11 (4282 words) Published: February 17, 2013
Anglo-Italian cultural contacts are rather unlike that of most languages that exerted influence on English. Whereas English had to struggle for power with the likes of French and Latin in order to keep its linguistic power and integrity, its relationship with Italian has always been less antagonistic and less aggressive. Though Italian borrowings in English are not so numerous they have highlighted the important role the Italian language and culture has had in the English world. The aim of this course paper is the selection of some indirect Italian loanwords and the way they penetrated into the English language. The paper examines how English borrowed Italian loanwords via other languages and the changes they have undergone in the target language. Structurally this paper consists of introduction, two chapters, conclusion and bibliography. Introduction presents the general idea of the whole course paper. The first chapter is based on the analysis of the English vocabulary with its main elements the native words and the borrowings. It also focuses on the loanword periods throughout the English history. It shows the contact of English language with other languages in the course of trade, wars, invasions, etc. The second part of the course paper exposes the influence of Italian loanwords on the English language and the impact Italy and Italian culture had on Europe and Britain. It focuses on the main languages via indirect Italian borrowings that came into the English vocabulary. The paper examines indirect borrowings of Italian origin and the ways they have appeared in the English language. It also describes how they have been adjusted to the rules of English. Conclusion sums up the whole research giving the final idea of the course paper and illustrates the most important facts mentioned in it. Bibliography comprises titles of books and includes the internet sources given in the paper.

Loanword Periods
Etymologically the vocabulary of any language consists of two groups - the native words and the borrowings. A native word is a word which belongs to the original stock. An English native word is a word which belongs to Anglo-Saxon origin. To the native group words from Common Germanic languages and Indo-European stock are included. The native words in English are subdivided into those of Indo-European element, Germanic element and English Proper element. The native element denotes elementary concepts without which no human communication would be possible such as family relations, parts of the human body, animals, plants, time of day, heavenly bodies and so on. Some of the main groups of Germanic words such as parts of the human body, animals, plants, are the same as in the Indo-European element. There are also other groups of words denoting natural phenomena, seasons of the year, landscape features, human dwellings. The English proper element is opposed to the Indo-European and Germanic elements. For not only it can be approximately dated no earlier than the 5th c. A. D., but these words have another distinctive feature: they are specifically English and have no cognates in other languages, whereas for the Indo-European and Germanic words such cognates can always be found (Antrushina, G., Afanasyeva, O. and Morozova, N. 42-43). A borrowing is a word taken over from another language and modified in phonetic shape, spelling, paradigm or meaning according to the standards of the language (Strang 173). A borrowing can also be called a loanword. In Merriam - Webster’s online dictionary the word “loanword” is also defined as a word taken from another language. There are also other definitions for loanwords by different scholars.  Jesperson (1982:246) defined the borrowed words as the ones that …permit us (show us) to fix appreciatively the dates of linguistic changes. They show us the course of civilization and give us information of the nations. Another linguist Haugen (1972:212) defines borrowing as the...
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