министерство образования российской федерации
Столичный институт переводчиков
факультет английского языка
of English Words
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
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 conan 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 histo-ry 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 Em-pire. Among the inhabitants of the Europe are Gertribes. Theirs stage of develwas rather primitive, especially if compared with the high civilizaof Rome. They are primitive cattle-breeders and know almost nothing about land cultivaTheir 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 Gerpeople 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 Ger-manic 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 numof new words and were thus enriched.
Latin words became the earliest group of borrow 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.
The fifth century A.D. Several of the Germanic tribes (the most numerous among them were the An-gles, 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 defend-ed 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 rivhills, etc. The Germanic tribes occupied the land, but the names of many parts of their terremained Celtic. For instance, the names of the rivers Avon, Exe, Esk, Usk, Ux originate from Celtic words meaning "river" and "water".
Ironically, even the name of the English capital originates from Celtic “Llyn+dun” in which “llyn” is anCeltic word for "river" and “dun” stands for "a for-tified hill" - the meaning of the whole is "fortress on the hill over the river".