Borrowing In The English Language Essay

880 words - 4 pages

Borrowing in the English language
English is not much a language of its own, but rather an accumulation of many different languages. Through borrowing, English has grown into a massive concoction of various languages and dialects. Although there are more than a few words that do not derive from other languages, such as: “shallow,” “flabbergasted,” and “insight,” most English words come from either Latin or Germanic tongues. To understand how English came to be, one must understand the concept of borrowing.
In the traditional sense, borrowing is a transaction in which someone uses an object that has to be returned at some point to the original owner. When dealing with language ...view middle of the document...

Through the process of commerce, cultures begin to understand each other’s languages. Over time, foreign words and expressions become a part of many languages. Professor Suzanne Kemmer gives an historical example, “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.”
Now that an understanding of borrowing has been provided, the formation of English can be truly understood. English mainly borrows from Germanic and Latin. Roman interactions between the Nordic and Germanic tribes in Britain created the basis for what we know as English. Latin derivatives are very prevalent in English, even to this day. Words such as: “master,” “Paper,” “circle,” and “tile,” are still very similar to their Latin roots. Even Latin borrows from another language. It incorporates many ancient Greek words. By adopting Latin derivatives, English has also taken in some Greek derivatives as well.
The Norman Conquest brought about the borrowing of Norman French. In 1066, the Normans clashed with British armies. Throughout this conflict, the English citizens were exposed to Norman French. After the war, some of these French words became a part of the English language. The already vast language continued to grow drastically throughout the middle ages. Through Norman French, more Latin derivatives were borrowed into the English Language.
The rest of the English Language is comprised of various other languages, some of which include: Spanish, Dutch, Hindi, and Native American languages. The gbinclusion of these languages in English is a result of the contact between English speaking nations and...

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