English has a really rich and big vocabulary, due largely to adoptions, since through its history this linguistic communication has borrowed words from different linguistic communications. Harmonizing to Sheard “ the existent figure of native words in any of our big standard lexicons is highly little with the figure of foreign adoptions recorded ” ( 1970:323 ) . Latin is one of the linguistic communications which has contributed most to increase the English vocabulary. While some people consider that Latin has impoverished or distorted the English linguistic communication, others think the antonym, that is, that “ without Latin, English would hold an destitute vocabulary ” and this is, exactly, what is traveling to be discussed in this essay.
First, the present stock of the English vocabulary is examined. It is clear that “ English vocabulary does non arise in one linguistic communication, but is a fascinatingly intercrossed conglobation ” ( Hughes, 2000:9 ) . As Stockwell remarks “ a twosome of pages in a dictionary [ … ] reveals that many entries in it are historically “ un-English ” “ ( 2001:19 ) . It is observed that the historical base of the English vocabulary is Anglo-Saxon but so, other elements have been added:
There has been two farther add-ons [ aˆ¦ ] . The first is a love affair component, the bequest of the suppressing Norman-French [ aˆ¦ ] the 2nd component is classical, [ aˆ¦ ] a more studious, learned, abstract and proficient vocabulary of Latin and Grecian footings steadily accumulated by writers and bookmans from late medieval times and given increasing drift by the development of publishing from the late 15th century ( Hughes, 2000:11 ) .
Therefore, as it can be deduced from Hughes ‘ statement, Latin is considered a cardinal component in the enrichment of the English vocabulary and it constitutes a typical stratum- “ studious, learned, abstract and proficient ” ( Hughes, 2000:11 ) .
But why has been Latin so influential? Latin, as McKnight remarks was “ an cosmopolitan linguistic communication ‘ ” ( 1923:113 ) . It has been the linguistic communication of scholarship and cognition and besides the linguistic communication of the Christian church during a batch of clip. It is, furthermore, the female parent of love affair linguistic communications such us Spanish or Gallic and it has influenced many linguistic communications throughout its history, its influence “ in English [ … ] stronger than in any other linguistic communication ” ( Jespersen, 1972:106 ) . This influence is apparent if some of the most of import periods in the history of the linguistic communication, specially the Renaissance, are examined.
In the first century some Germanic folks inhabited Britain. “ Their linguistic communication contains merely Indo-germanic and Germanic elements ” ( Azekerci, 2007:152 ) . “ The words peculiar to Germanic [ aˆ¦ ] have to make with ships and navigations [ aˆ¦ ] : ship, canvas, keel ” ( Barber,103 ) . But they besides borrowed Latin words from the Romans who invaded Britain. These adoptions “ have to make with war, trade, gardening and nutrient [ aˆ¦ ] and edifices ” ( Barber, 2009:103 ) such us ‘ cook ( Lat. Coquus ) ‘ ( Jespersen, 1972:29 ) .
But, the specifying minute in the history of the English linguistic communication is the colony in Britain of the Angles, Saxons and Jutes, three Germanic folks, in the 5th century. In this period, known as Old English, the vocabulary was fundamentally enlarged with the ain stuff of the linguistic communication. As Barber remarks, “ from Proto-Indo-European, the Germanic linguistic communications have inherited many ways of organizing new words, particularly by the usage of prefixes and postfixs ” ( 2009:128 ) . Adjectives were formed by adding the postfixs -ig, -lA“ast and -ful to nouns as “ ??ancful `thankfulA? ” ( Barber, 2009:128 ) , nouns were formed by adding the suffice -i??A? to adjectives and adverbs were formed by adding the suffixes -e or -licA“ to adjectives as “ f?ste ” ( Barber, 2009:128 ) . Furthermore, “ there were big Numberss of prefixes, many of which could be added to verbs such us for- “ forhergian ” or ge- “ gesceran ” ( Barber, 2009:129 ) . Old English besides used intensifying to enlarge its vocabulary, for illustration “ st?fcr?ft ” or “ tungolcr?ft ” ( Barber, 2009:129 ) . We can see that the linguistic communication need non hold relied on extended adoption and that it did non miss the capacity for self-enrichment.
However, Old English besides borrowed words from other linguistic communications due to reach with different peoples. Harmonizing to Stockwell, “ there are three major beginnings of ‘outside vocabulary ‘ in old English ” ( 2001:31 ) . On of these beginnings is, of class, Latin. But merely the “ 3 per centum of the Old English word stock comes from Latin ” ( Stockwell, 2001:32 ) . It was due to the reaching of Christianity in the 6th century. “ Latin was the official linguistic communication of the Christian Church, and accordingly, the spread of Christianity was accompanied by a new period of Latin adoptions ” ( Azekerci, 2007:152 ) . Some of these Latin adoptions are “ biscop, munuc ” ( Barber, 2009:129 ) or “ priest, Psalter ” ( McKnight, 109 ) . But, “ even in this field [ Christianity ] old English made considerable usage of its native linguistic communication stuff ” ( Barber, 2009:129 ) . It created new words to show the Christian philosophy by agencies of three ways. One of this ways was the usage of native affixes such us -had ( -hood ) which were added to foreign loanwords as for illustration “ preosthad ( priesthood ) , clerichad ” ( Jespersen, 1972:39 ) . In other occasions, the significances of native words were changed, so that they could show a Christian thought. For illustration, the twenty-four hours Christians celebrates the decease and Resurrection of Christ “ Easter, OE eastron, was the name of a old heathen spring festival ” ( Jespersen,1972:39 ) . However, some of the words in this manner created do non be soon as they were replaced by Latin or Gallic words, for illustration “ powere ( from prowian, ‘to suffer ‘ ) by sufferer ” ( Jespersen, 1972:40 ) . The 3rd manner of making new words for Christian thoughts was by interpreting a foreign word or by making a new one utilizing native resources. For illustration, “ ‘trinity ‘ was rendered as prA«nes ” or “ evaggelion was rendered god-spell ” ( Barber, 2009:129 ) . But non all Latin loanwords were related to Christianity. As McKnight says, “ Christianity exerted and influence wider than that [ aˆ¦ ] early Roman missionaries [ aˆ¦ ] brought Roman civilization and Roman instruction ” ( 1923:109 ) . It has to be known that monasteries were besides the Centre of civilization and that most manuscripts were written in Latin, since it was the linguistic communication of scholarship. Bede, for illustration, wrote “ Ecclesiastical History of the English Peoples ” in Latin. So, from these period, there are besides adoptions which designates names “ for division of clip, for utensils, for articles of have oning dress, and peculiarly in names of workss and trees and animal, existent and fabulous ” ( McKnight, 1923:110 ) . For illustration: “ paper, school ” or “ polite, radish ” ( Stockwell, 2001:32 ) . Although during this period there was a high contact between the two linguistic communications, there were non many Latin adoptions:
Old English did non borrow more Latin vocabulary because at that clip there were no “ Latin-speaking state or community in existent intercourse with the English [ aˆ¦ ] Old English linguistic communication, so, was rich in possibilities, and its talkers were fortunate plenty to possess a linguistic communication that might [ aˆ¦ ] express everything that human address can be called upon to show ( Jespersen, 1972:45-46 ) .
Middle English was a period of really extended adoptions. After the Norman conquering, Gallic became the official linguistic communication. It was the linguistic communication of prestigiousness and power since the opinion categories of the state spoke French. However, Latin continued to be an of import linguistic communication. It was non merely the linguistic communication of the church but besides the linguistic communication of the disposal and the linguistic communication of the jurisprudence. Because of that, many Latin words were borrowed such us “ alias, abacus ” ( Hughes, 2000:143 ) . By detecting the plants of of import writers of the period such us Wycliffe or Chaucer, it is possible to detect this addition of Latin adoptions. “ In Early Middle English period it is estimated the vocabulary consisted of 91.5 per cent native content ; by later Middle English this proportion has fallen to 78.8 ” ( Hughes 2000:144 ) . As it can be notice from Hughes statement, although during this period there were a batch of adoptions from Gallic and Latin and the native content was diminishing, there were still more native words in the vocabulary. Harmonizing to McKnight new words were borrowed because “ the linguistic communication was impoverished in its literary vocabulary on history of long neglect among the civilized categories ” ( 1923:113 ) .
Latin words continued to be acquired in the undermentioned centuries. But it is in the Renaissance period ( 1450-1700 ) , the metempsychosis of the classical civilization in Europe, when many “ new learned words ” ( Stockwell, 2001:41 ) were borrowed from Latin. This is a period of growing and enlargement of the English vocabulary. “ In the OED, every bit many as 4500 new words were recorded in English during each decennary between 1500 and 1700. Two tierces of these words were creative activities based on already bing roots and affixes, but an impressive tierce were consecutive adoptions “ ( Stockwell, 2001:41 ) . Most of these new words have a Latin beginning. But why? Latin was a prestige linguistic communication in that period. To cognize Latin was a synonymity of being educate. Due to the visual aspect of the printing imperativeness, many people had entree to the books and literacy increased and as a consequence many classical plants were translated into English. As Stockwell states “ the transcriber frequently fount it easier to present a new word for an unfamiliar impression than to worry about coining an English equivalent ” ( 2001:42 ) . As this writer besides remarks, “ learned words make up the largest part of the new Latin vocabulary. From the field of classical civilisation, doctrine, faith and instruction, Early Modern English added words such us: contend, course of study [ aˆ¦ ] from the Fieldss of mathematics and geometric, botany, biological science, geographics, medical specialty are: concretion, cerebellum [ aˆ¦ ] a significant figure of of mundane words were besides adopted [ aˆ¦ ] : plus, invitation. ( 2001:42 ) . Many affixes and prefixed were besides borrowed signifier Latin: “ -ence, -acy, ency ” or “ ante- , station, sub- ” ( Stockwell. 2001:42 ) .
This addition of adoptions attracted a series of unfavorable judgment known as the Inkhorn contention. There were two opposed groups: The neologizers who “ regarded the classical registry as incorporating the embroidery of literary civilisation ” ( Hughes, 2000:155 ) and the purist who considered that Latin was impoverishing the linguistic communication. They “ rejected foreign adoptions as being foreign taints which were in themselves dark to native talkers ” ( Hughes, 2000:154 ) . One of these purists was Sir John Cheke who translated parts of the New Testament utilizing merely native words such us “ biwordes for fables ” ( McKnight, 1923:115 ) . But, despite the rejections of the purists, Latin adoptions entered in the linguistic communication.
Even in this period, English made usage of its ain stuff to enlarge its vocabulary. Wordss were created through three methods: One of these methods is affixation which created words utilizing affixes as -ness, -er ( to make nouns ) , -ed, -y ( to make adjectives ) , -ly ( to make adverbs ) , -wise, -ize ( to make verbs ) , un ( added to all sorts of words ) . Some illustrations that can be seen in Barber work ‘s are: “ obscenity ” , “ antenna ” , “ batty ” , “ bawdily ” , “ accurse ” and “ uncivility ” ( 2009:193 ) . Other manner to make new words was intensifying, “ the combination of two or three free morphemes [ such us ] sheep-brand, waterdock ” ( Barber, 2009:193 ) . The last manner to make new words was by transition, that is, by deducing new words from others such us “ to bayonet, to dish the dirt [ which were derived from nouns ] ” ( Barber, 2009:193 ) . Harmonizing to Barber, “ it is likely that more words were produced in this manner than were borrowed ” ( 2009:193 ) .
Furthermore, some of import writers in the history of the English Literature have besides contribute to enrich and to enlarge the English linguistic communication by coining new words, frequently with Latin beginnings. William Shakespeare, with 256 words harmonizing to the OED, is one of the most fecund.
Although in later periods more adoptions entered in the linguistic communication, “ the witting attempts at enriching the English Language by words imported from the classical linguistic communications have non been repeated in later times ” ( McKnight, 1923:116 ) .
As it can be seen, Latin is a cardinal component in the enrichment of the English linguistic communication due to its tremendous part. But, it can be besides observed that the linguistic communication has besides employed its ain resources to coin new words even when the influence of Latin was at its tallness. It is impossible to cognize what would hold happened if Latin have non flooded the English linguistic communication. I do non believe that it can be said flatly that “ without Latin, English would be a destitute linguistic communication ” , although it is impossible to conceive of English without the stylistic assortment that Latin makes possible. So, what we can state without any uncertainty is that without Latin, English would be a really different linguistic communication, a more Germanic one.
Word Count: 2081