Statistical Proportion of OE Words
in OXFORD Advanced Learner’s English-Chinese Dictionary (Extended fourth edition)
From the letter “h” (P680) From the letter “t” (P1554) VOCABULARY OE(A-S) VOCABULARY OE(A-S) harmony tabular ? ? harness tacit ? ? harp taciturn ? ? harpoon tack ? ? harpsichord tackle ? ? harpy tacky ? ? harridan tact ? ? harrier tactic ? ? harrow tactile ? ? harry tad ? ? harsh tadpole ? ? hart taffeta ? ? hartebeest taffy ? ? harum-scarum tag ? ? harvest tail ? ? Harvey taint ? ? hash take ? ?
17 5 / 17 17 2 / 17
"h""t" 12% 29%OE/A-SOE/A-S
non OE/A-Snon OE/A-S71% 88%
From the letter “h” & ”t”
VOCABULARY (no.) OE(A-S) (no.)
[Conclusion] We have checked totally 34 words on these two pages and OE words and A-S
words altogether account for 20.6% or one in five out of them.
Statistical Proportion of OE Words
in NEWS(Typhoon Megi triggers deadly Taiwan landslides, 22 October 2010)
A tourist bus was feared buried and three people were killed in multiple landslides as Typhoon Megi brought torrential rain to Taiwan. A torrent of mud struck a Buddhist temple in Suao, killing three people and leaving six more missing. Teams are also searching for a Chinese tourist bus feared buried when landslides struck a coastal highway, causing it to partially collapse. The landslides stranded 400 drivers; half have now been taken to safety. Typhoon Megi caused havoc in the Philippines, killing at least 26 people and causing extensive damage to houses in some regions. The storm is now heading for south …… (100 words)
WORD OE(A-S) WORD OE(A-S) WORD OE(A-S) WORD OE(A-S)
A tourist bus was ? ? ? ?
feared buried and three ? ? ? ?
people were killed in ? ? ? ?
multiple landslides as Typhoon ? ? ? ?
Megi brought torrential rain ? ? ? ?
to Taiwan A torrent ? ? ? ?
of mud struck a ? ? ? ?
Buddhist temple in Suao ? ? ? ?
killing three people and ? ? ? ?
leaving six more missing ? ? ? ?
Teams are also searching ? ? ? ?
for a Chinese tourist ? ? ? ?
bus feared buried when ? ? ? ?
landslides struck a coastal ? ? ? ?
highway causing it to ? ? ? ?
partially collapse The landslides ? ? ? ?
stranded drivers half have ? ? ? ?
now been taken to ? ? ? ?
safety Typhoon Megi caused ? ? ? ?
havoc in the Philippines ? ? ? ?
killing at least people ? ? ? ?
and causing extensive damage ? ? ? ?
to houses in some ? ? ? ?
regions The storm is ? ? ? ?
now heading for south ? ? ? ?
25 13 25 14 25 18 25 15
OE Words : 13+14+18+15=60 OE Proportion : 60/100=60%
How Do the two Proportions Differ?
As we can see, OE English words only account for a small part, as 20.6% in present-day English vocabulary. But we are surprised to discover that over half of the words used in news immediately originate from Angle-Saxon (A-S) or Old English (OE).
Today English has got a large amount of vocabulary, while four out of five are borrowed from other languages in the history. Therefore, English may be considered as an insatiable borrower. And it is estimated that over 120 languages from all over the world have been sources of present-day English vocabulary. Thus we’d like to
believe modern English has been influenced by many other languages for centuries.
Well, Angle-Saxon or Old English took a vital part in the progress of English Evolution. And this was not finished until the invasion from Old Norse. We may get to know from these two proportions that to a large extent, Old English founded the main grammars and sentence structures, though for a whole history English has been borrowing a lot from others.