PArt 3Question 10

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PArt 3Question 10

Post  Mar1e on Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:31 pm

What is the difference between “Borrowings” and “Impositions” ? What effect did they have on the English language in Middle English Period?

Latin borrowings

The influence if the Norman conquest is generally known as the latin influence of the third period in recognition of the ultimate source of the new French words. But it is right to include also under this designation the large number of words borrowed directly from Latin in Middle English. These differed from the French borrowings in being less popular and in gaining admission generally through the written language.
A history of the English Language Albert C. Baugh & Thomas cable. 1951, British.

Borrowings :
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.

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.

The actual process of borrowing is complex and involves many usage events (i.e. instances of use of the new word). Generally, some speakers of the borrowing language know the source language too, or at least enough of it to utilize the relevant words. They adopt them when speaking the borrowing language. If they are bilingual in the source language, which is often the case, they might pronounce the words the 4same or similar to the way they are pronounced in the source language. For example, English speakers adopted the word garage from French, at first with a pronunciation nearer to the French pronunciation than is now usually found. Presumably the very first speakers who used the word in English knew at least some French and heard the word used by French speakers.

Those who first use the new word might use it at first only with speakers of the source language who know the word, but at some point they come to use the word with those to whom the word was not previously known. To these speakers the word may sound 'foreign'. At this stage, when most speakers do not know the word and if they hear it think it is from another language, the word can be called a foreign word. There are many foreign words and phrases used in English such as bon vivant (French), mutatis mutandis (Latin), and Fahrvergnügen (German)


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imposition VS borrowing - oxford

Post  natacha on Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:55 pm

" In understanding and analysing the processes of linguistic inXuence a crucial
distinction made by modern linguists is that between ‘borrowing’ on the one hand
and ‘imposition’ or ‘interference’ on the other (and it should be noted that
‘borrowing’ has a more precise meaning here than in older treatments of the
subject). This distinction turns on the status of the person or persons who act as
the bridge between languages, and may best be appreciated through modern
examples. Suppose a speaker of British English learns a new word from a speaker
of American English, and subsequently uses that American-derived word in their
own speech: that would be an example of borrowing, and the primary agent of
transfer would be a speaker of the recipient language. Suppose, on the other hand,
that a bilingual French speaker uses a word or a pronunciation from their mother
tongue when speaking English. A new word or pronunciation, derived from
French, would thereby be introduced into a passage of spoken English; that
would be an example of imposition or interference, and the primary agent of
transfer would be a speaker of the source language. "

" That is to say, a word that is transferred through borrowing is likely to be
nativized to the recipient language in terms of its phonological shape or pronunciation,
whereas a word that is transferred through imposition is likely to
preserve the phonology of the source language, and introduce that to the
recipient language. "

oxford p. 71 - 72


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