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 Classification and related languages 2

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Join date : 27/09/2010

Bài gửiTiêu đề: Classification and related languages 2   Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:44 am

In addition to isolation, lexical differences between English and other Germanic languages exist due to heavy borrowing in English of words from Latin and French. For example, we say "exit" (Latin), vs. Dutch uitgang, literally "out-going" (though outgang survives dialectally in restricted usage) and "change" (French) vs. German Änderung (literally "alteration, othering"); "movement" (French) vs. German Bewegung ("be-way-ing", i.e. "proceeding along the way"); etc. Preference of one synonym over another also causes differentiation in lexis, even where both words are Germanic, as in English care vs. German Sorge. Both words descend from Proto-Germanic *karo and *surgo respectively, but *karo has become the dominant word in English for "care" while in German, Dutch, and Scandinavian languages, the *surgo root prevailed. *Surgo still survives in English, however, as sorrow.

Although the syntax of English is significantly different from that of German and other West Germanic languages, with different rules for setting up sentences (for example, German Ich habe nie etwas auf dem Platz gesehen and the Dutch Ik heb nooit iets op het plein gezien vs. English "I have never seen anything in the square"), English syntax remains extremely similar to that of the North Germanic languages, which are believed to have influenced English syntax during the Middle English Period (e.g., Danish Jeg har aldrig set noget på torvet; Icelandic Ég hef aldrei séð neitt á torginu).

The kinship with other Germanic languages can be seen in the large amount of cognates (e.g. Dutch zenden, German senden, English send; Dutch goud, German Gold, English gold, etc.). It also gives rise to false friends, see for example English time vs Norwegian time ("hour"), and differences in phonology can obscure words that really are related (tooth vs. German Zahn; compare also Danish tand). Sometimes both semantics and phonology are different (German Zeit ("time") is related to English "tide", but the English word, through a transitional phase of meaning "period"/"interval", has come primarily to mean gravitational effects on the ocean by the moon, though the original meaning is preserved in forms like tidings and betide, and phrases such as to tide over).[citation needed]

Many North Germanic words also entered English due to the settlement of Viking raiders and Danish invasions which began around the 9th century (see Danelaw). Many of these words are common words, often mistaken for being native, which shows how close-knit the relations between the English and the Scandinavian settlers were. These include such common words as anger, awe, bag, big, birth, blunder, both, cake, call, cast, cosy, cut, die, dirt, drag, drown, egg, fellow, flat, flounder, gain, get, gift, give, guess, guest, gust, hug, husband, ill, kid, law, leg, lift, likely, link, loan, loose, low, mistake, odd, race (running), raise, root, rotten, same, scale, scare, score, seat, seem, sister, skill, skin, skirt, skull, sky, stain, steak, sway, take, though, thrive, Thursday, tight, till (until), trust, ugly, want, weak, window, wing, wrong, and even the pronoun they (and its forms) and possibly are (the present plural form of to be).[citation needed] More recent Scandinavian imports include angstrom, fjord, geyser, kraken, litmus, nickel, ombudsman, saga, ski, slalom, smorgasbord, and tungsten. Dutch and Low German also had a considerable influence on English vocabulary, contributing common everyday terms and many nautical and trading terms (See below: Word Origins: Dutch and Low German origins).

Finally, English has been forming compound words and affixing existing words separately from the other Germanic languages for over 1500 years and has different habits in that regard. For instance, abstract nouns in English may be formed from native words by the suffixes "‑hood", "-ship", "-dom" and "-ness". All of these have cognate suffixes in most or all other Germanic languages, but their usage patterns have diverged, as German "Freiheit" vs. English "freedom" (the suffix "-heit" being cognate of English "-hood", while English "-dom" is cognate with German "-tum"). The Germanic languages Icelandic and Faroese also follow English in this respect, since, like English, they developed independent of German influences.

Many French words are also intelligible to an English speaker, especially when they are seen in writing (as pronunciations are often quite different), because English absorbed a large vocabulary from Norman and French, via Anglo-Norman after the Norman Conquest, and directly from French in subsequent centuries. As a result, a large portion of English vocabulary is derived from French, with some minor spelling differences (e.g. inflectional endings, use of old French spellings, lack of diacritics, etc.), as well as occasional divergences in meaning of so-called false friends: for example, compare "library" with the French librairie, which means bookstore; in French, the word for "library" is bibliothèque. The pronunciation of most French loanwords in English (with the exception of a handful of more recently borrowed words such as mirage, genre, café; or phrases like coup d’état, rendez-vous, etc.) has become largely anglicised and follows a typically English phonology and pattern of stress (compare English "nature" vs. French nature, "button" vs. bouton, "table" vs. table, "hour" vs. heure, "reside" vs. résider, etc.).[citation needed]

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