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The Origin and Use of Exotic Words in English

By Erin Graham,2014-11-15 14:46
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The Origin and Use of Exotic Words in English

    Contents

    Contents……………………………………………………………...…………………...i 摘要……………………………………………..…………………...…………………..ii Abstract…………………………………………………………………………………iii ?.Introduction.……………………..………………………………………………...1 ?. Reasons Why Loanwords Comes into English ……......................……..…………...1

    2.1 Historical Reasons……….…………..........................………………...……….2

    2.2 Social Reasons.……………………...……….……...................…….………....2 ?.The Origin of Loanwords...…………….........................................2

     3.1 English and Greek...............................................................................................3

     3.2English and Latin.................................................................................................3

     3.3 English and French..............................................................................................4 ?.The Use of Loanwords in English..…………………....................………………….4

    4.1 Used in Describing the Foreign Affairs and Concepts.….........................……..4

    4.2 Used in Professional Language……………………………...……...…….....5

    4.3Used in Literary Works …………...............................................................6 ?. The Influence of Loanwords on English.…………………................………………7

    5.1 The Effect on English Grammar. …….........…………………………...………7

    5.2 The Effect on Pronunciation …………..................……………...……….…….7

    5.3 The Effect on Word Formation………………...................................………….8

    5.4 The Effect on English Meaning...........................................................................8 ?. Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………...9 References...................................................................…………….............................10

    Acknowledgements……………………………………..…………………………....11

    摘要

    任何一种语言都有外来语形式的存在:而英语中的外来语数量尤其之多。英语外来语是英语不可缺少的部分:发挥着重要的作用。本文介绍了英语外来语的发展过程:阐述了其成因:主要介绍了外来语的来源和外来语在专业上和描述外国事物上的使用以及外来语对英语的重要影响。外来语反映了不同的文化联系,富了英语词汇,使英语更加国际化。了解英语外来语的发展过程、成因和来源地,有利于加强对英语的理解。

关键词;外来语 本土 国际化

    Abstract

    Loanwords widely exist in every language in the world. The quantity of them in English is especially large. These words are the important part of English, playing a vital role. This article is concerned with the developing process of words borrowed from other languages and elaborates on their origins. In particular the article focuses on the use of these borrowed words and the special and unique nature in different fields. Finally the article draws our attention on to how borrowed words influence English. These words reflect the different cultural relationships. At the same time, they enrich English glossaries. They make English even more internationalized. Understanding of the origin and development of the English loanwords is advantageous to promote the study of English.

Key Words: loanwords native internationalization

    The Origin and Use of Exotic Words in English

    ?.Introduction

    According to its origin, the English vocabulary is composed of two major elements, the native element and the foreign element. Loanwords refer to the foreign element. Loanword, according to the random house Webster’s college dictionary, can be defined

    as a word in one language that has been borrowed from another language and usually naturalized. The unusually rich vocabulary of the English language is the result of new words from all over the world being freely assimilated. House, man, bread, and speak, among our most basic words, arrived with the Saxons, while the Vikings added law, egg, sister, and sky. From the 11th century onwards, new vocabulary was introduced from France and from classical Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. Traders, explorers, and settlers enriched the English language further with words like alcohol, sofa, and candy from Arabic, canoe from Arawakan, and curry, shampoo, bungalow, and dungaree from the Indian subcontinent. All these and many other words are collected here. As well as

    exploring their often exotic source, there are also famous, unusual, or funny examples of their use, with entries arranged thematically. For anyone interested in the extraordinary richness of the English language, this highly original reference work is a must. Therefore, this article focuses on the reasons why loanwords came into English that is, historical reason and social reason, then it mainly draws our attention to the origin of the loanwords, including Latin, Greek, and French. In the end, this article is concerned with the influence of loanwords on English grammar, pronunciation, the construction of words, semantics and the use in professional language and literary works.

    II. Reasons Why Loanwords Comes into English

    Loanwords are words adopted by the speakers of one language from a different language (the source language). A loanword can also be called a

    borrowing. The abstract noun borrowing refers to the process of speakers adopting words from a source language into their native language. "Loan" and "borrowing" are of course metaphors, because there is no literal lending process. There is no transfer from one language to another, and no "returning" words to the source language. They simply come to be used by a speech community that speaks a different language from the one they originated in. For thoroughly understanding the loanwords, we must discover the reason why English borrowed the loanwords. It is said that there are two main reasons: one is the historical reason; the other is the social reason.

    2.1 Historical Reasons

    English belongs to the Teutonic language family which also includes French, germane ect. So these languages share many similar grammar structures. The majority of English words originated from Latin, like Italian, Spanish as well as Portuguese. Because these countries invaded England one after another in the middle ages, and brought these foreign languages to English as well. Moreover, other countries invasion and the development of trade in England and English speaking countries also brings many loanwords into English. It is part of the cultural history of English speakers that they have always adopted loanwords from the languages of whatever cultures they have come in contact with. There have been few periods when borrowing became unfashionable, and there has never been a national academy in Britain, the U.S.or other English-speaking

    countries to attempt to restrict new loanwords, as there has been in many continental European countries.

    2.2 Social Reasons

    Along with the world’s developing, English language is also developing.

    thEspecially in 20 century, massive loanwords entered into English, because of the rapid development of modern tools of communication, the international exchange about culture and information English made these loanwords a part of its own glossary to meet the social needs. Borrowing is a consequence of cultural contact between two language communities. Borrowing of words can go in both directions between the two languages in contact, but often there is an asymmetry, such that more words go from one side to the other. In this case the source language community has some advantage of power, prestige and/or wealth that makes the objects and ideas it brings desirable and useful to the borrowing language community. For example, the Germanic tribes in the first few centuries A.D. adopted numerous loanwords from Latin as they adopted new products via trade with the Romans. Few Germanic words, on the other hand, passed into Latin.

    III. The Origin of Loanwords

    Loan words first came from new words adopted from other languages are called foreign word. There are many foreign words and phrases used in English such as bon vivant (French), mutatis mutandis (Latin), and Fahrvergnügen (German). However, in time more speakers can become familiar with a new foreign word. The community of users can grow to the point where even people who know little or nothing of the source language understand, and even use the novel word themselves. The new word becomes conventionalized. At this point we call it a borrowing or loanword. (Not all foreign words do become loanwords; if they fall out of use before they become widespread, they do not reach the loanword stage.) English has gone through many periods in which large numbers of words from a particular language were borrowed. These periods coincide with times of major cultural contact between English speakers and those speaking other languages. The waves of borrowing during periods of especially strong cultural contacts are not sharply delimited, and can overlap. English absorbed massive loanwords from other languages. According to the sequence of time, the present paper makes researches on the loanwords from Greek, Latin and French.

    3.1 English and Greek

    In the Renaissance, some educated English men came to be interested in studying Greek literature and directly borrowed many words from Greek, therefore many Greek words directly came into use in English. Among these words, most of then were scientific and technical terms. An ancient Greek medical scientist, Hippocrates (460 B.C ~377.B.C) who had written a great number of medical works, became the ancestor in the field of western medicine. Thus, many medical terms are derived form Greek, such as cardiology, hepatitis and so on. Such as: history, ostracize, parasite, pneumonia, skeleton. Not only did English borrow words from Greek directly, more prefixes and suffixes from Greek were also borrowed. Common prefixes borrowed from Greek are geo-, hydro- etc. Common suffixes borrowed from Greek are gy, -phone etc. Some

    loanwords derived form Greek still reserve the Greek plural forms. For instance, crisis-crises; emphasis-emphases. Some are added with -s or -es like English custom, such as system, dogma, climax and so on.

    3.2 English and Latin

     As early as the Anglo-Saxon still settled down in Northern Europe, they borrowed Latin words from Roman people who spoke Latin in the process of trading activities, such as pound, street, colony and so on. In 43.A.D, Roman, Caesar, led the army to invade and occupy Britain. This Latin which the Roman army used has certain influence on the native language, like the place name, Chester, which originated from Latin Catra (means the camp). Till now, many English places are still using names originated from Latin, such as Manchester, Lancaster and so on. Till 597.A.D, along with Christianity widely spread in England, a large quantity of Latin words entered English, like priest, organ and so on. According to the scholar's statistics, half of the vocabulary of modern English originated from Roman -Latin language family. French belongs to Roman -Latin language family. There are many Latin loanwords in French, then these words were borrowed from French into English. Sometimes it is difficult to judge whether, a loanword was directly borrowed from Latin or from French Latin loanwords. The following words were directly borrowed from Latin, such as solar,

    spacious, subscribe, summary and so on. In the early stage modern English period, ie, 1500-1700.A.D, studying of the classical Greek and Roman literary influenced English. Many writers and scientists wrote their articles in Latin. In this period, the large quantity of Latin glossary flowed into English. When English borrowed words from Latin, these words followed the rules of English words formation, like slightly changing the suffix.

    3.3 English and French

    Britain and France are separated by the English Channel in the geographical position. Since the ancient times, the relationship between both countries was close and communications were frequent. In middle aged English, more than 10,000 French words entered English. 75% of words continue to be used until now. For example, many French loanwords in reference to the aspect of government and administration such as govern, government. And judge, justice, etc., are about the aspect of law and religion. In modern English, English also borrowed many words from French. At the same time, many loanwords borrowed from French still remain French characteristics in the pronunciation and spelling, such as, reservoirs(水库), chauffeur(汽车司机). Now let’s

    examine several pairs of synonyms. One is English native word, another is borrowed from French: begin and commence, child and infant, help and aid, etc. Sometimes the meanings of two words are difficult to distinguish, such as, thief and robber, weapon and arms. As a result of French loanwords, there’s a greatly reduction of using the

    ancient English compound words and derivatives. A native word is possibly replaced by a French synonym, or only used in a dialect. For example, "uncle" is from French. But we don't know in ancient English "eam" means uncle. Now only a similar word "eme" can be heard in Scotland. Another ancient English word, "flitan" (满足) can only be

    found in the form of " flyte" in a dialect.

    ?. The Use of Loanwords in English

     If an English learner wants to study English well he has to understand the usage of loanwords in English. The following study of the loanwords discusses this from three aspects.

    4.1 Used In Describing the Foreign Affairs and Concepts

     English can free-translate foreign affairs and concepts. The reasons why, translators tend to use loanwords are as follows: first, adopting loanwords can make translation accurate and succinct. For instance, "Kulturkampf" can be translated as "the cultural conflict". This word was used because the word specially refers to a struggle between the Roman Catholicism and the German Government about the religious policy in 1872. Next, loan words can show some concepts which are a little different from English. For instance, resume expresses personal status; Curriculum vitae refers to

    personal history in details which is very formal; while "personal data" Or "personal file" are rather informal which also mean "personal information" stored in computer.

     The quotations or famous sayings in English literature are known from door to door or at least by educated people, in which loanwords are used directly. For example, the famous phrase from Caesar. "Veni, vidi, vici." means "I came, I saw, I conquered". It is usually quoted without explanation. But the sentence from Napoleon "Du sublime an ridicule il n'y a qu'uu pas." (从庄严到滑稽仅一步之遥) often is translated into English

    (There is only one step to go from being solemn to being ridiculous.)

    4.2 Used In Professional Language

    The professional terminology includes the professional terms of different subjects and some occupation such as diplomacy, law, special community in which loanwords are involved. The loanwords in the professional language have the strict definition and the scope of narrow use. The more ancient acodemic is, the more loanwords are used, such as logic calcucus, philosophy, a priori (先验的), raisn sl`etre (存在的理由). These

    loanwords are used without an ambiguity, due to their accuracy. They are simple, direct, and accurate. For example, "All the observed xs being F is, ceteris paribus, groungs for believing that all the xs are F."(在其他请宽都差不多的条件下,如果所有观察到的X

    都是F, 则有理由认为所有X都是F.) In the sentence, "eteris paribus" is shorter and

    more accurate than this phrase "other things being held approximately the same". In the modern science field, the loanwords often are used for the sake of the simple and accurate purpose. For instance: ...the same points also holdm mutatis mutandis, for the

properties of shcock waves... (......这些要点仅做细节上的修改便可成为激波的特

    ......).

    In the fields of diplomacy and law, the using of words are paid more attention for being accurate without any error. As a result, the words of narrow acceptation are used, such as to maintain the status quo(维持现状), repprochement(恢复内交) and so on.

    They are often seen in the diplomatic writing. The law emphasizes on accurate words and definition, So that loanwords are used. For example, to provide alibi (提出不在现

    场的证据), means "to provide evidences to show that the accused was in another place at the time of the commission of the offence, and therefore cannot be found guilty."

    4.3 Used in Literary Works

     The use is even more common in novels, proses and poetry. In many works, if the characters are foreigners, loanwords are used directly, For example, German's order: "Achtung" (立正) ; "Feuer!"(开火); French greeting: "Bonvoyage!"(旅途愉快) ;even

    Japanese "Domo arigato!"(非常感谢) and so on. They are extremely common. But the

    significance of the loanwords is more important in the literary works. There is a sentence in William Wilson in which E.A. Describing the leading character’s different

    outlook, that is, "Yet I must believe that my first mental development had it much od the uncommon-even much of the outre.". Outre means extraordinary, abnormal. It is a loanword with spelling and pronunciation different from English.

    H. James described an artist looking down upon those wooden-headed models in The Real Thing. It puts "...and he concluded heartlessly: "Cesont des pens qu'il faut metre la porte."" The French sentence fully desribes the much disturbed mental state about the self-contained artist and the performance of the wooden-headed models. In 1925, a teacher in Tennessee, America was sued by the priest W.J. Bryan and sentenced to jail, because of teaching Darwinian Theory of Evolution. Later Bryan died. A famous American author H.L. Bryan wrote down a prose. "His [Bryan's] quarry, of course, was not Mlusca domestica, but Homo neandertalensis. For forty years he tracked it with coo and bellow, up and down the rustic backways of the Republic. Wherever the fiambeau of Chautauqua smoked and guttered...the indefatigable Jennings set up his traps and

    spread his bait." In the sentence, Latin words demonstrates the thing that Bryan protects. French shows more progressive idea. Adopting of these two kinds of different loanwords makes the work colourful. It gives a vivid and in-depth description of the religious looks of the priest. (Note: Musca domestica (普通苍蝇); Home neadertalensis

    (新石器时代人), flambeau (火焰).)

    ?. The Influence of Loanwords on English

    More than 70% of the modern English words in the dictionary belong to the loan words. They, as essential supplement, have displayed the function in language utilization and communication, have played an important role in the developing process of English history, and have had the profound influence on the enrichment and development of English vocabulary. In the time of ancient English, an abundance of loan words were absorbed by English words and superposed in the pronunciation and spelling with some English words. Linguist Baugh once had said "in English the rich synonym gives credit to the appropriate mixing of English, Latin and French". This simple sentence only has four words, but ―their‖ is derived from the language of

    Scandinavia, ―black‖ is a French word, and ―cup‖ is derived from Latin, only ―is‖ is an

    absolute English word. In conclusion, it can be seen, the loan words have become the indispensable part in English.

    5.1 The Effect on English Grammar

    Loanwords also have great impact on English grammar. First, they affect gender and the plural forms of nouns. Generally we form the plural by adding -s or es to the

    words. But some irregular changes are involved in some loanwords. We form the plural of Latin's suffix -um by changing -um into -a, like bacterium (single) -- bacteria (plural). We form the plural of Greek suffix -sis by changing -sis into -ses, like thesistheses.

    The plural of French suffix -eau changes -eau into -eaus, like plateau--plateaux/plateaus. Nouns with "O" as the last letter form the plural by adding -s, not by adding -es, such as pianos钢琴、solos独奏.Through borrowing of the loanwords, gender of nouns were

    added in English, such as, hero(男性)-heroine(女性); god(男神)-goddess(女神). In

    the structure of sentence, English adjective is put in front of the noun. However, due to

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