Native and borrowed words reflection
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - Native and borrowed words reflection
I read the text Words: Native and Borrowed that tells about where the first wordcame from and how the discussion related with the origin of words started around 2000years ago with Aristoteles and Hermogenes. Another issue in this text is the relationshipbetween the shape or sound of a word and its referent. Generally, this relationship isarbitrary. Thus there is not a natural relationship between the sound and the thing isnamed. Moreover, with this text I learnt that the language changes. Especially thevocabulary, in fact, the English language that I know today was not the same at thebeginning. It has been involved in a long process and it has changed through the timenot only its spelling but also its pronunciation. There are different stages in the Englishlanguage: Old English (OE), Middle English (ME) AND Modern English (ME). Also one particular issue is that some words have disappeared from the languageand other words have been preserved. Why? Most of the words preserved correspond toactions or things that are used in the daily life. Moreover, with this text I learnt thatmany languages such as English, Latin, Dutch, and German as a common ancestorwhich is The Ido-European language. From the Indo European language manylanguages came from and it could be the reason that many words among languages aresimilar each other not only in spelling but also in pronunciation. A good example is theword mother in English and moeder in Dutch. In addition I would like to highlight that English derives from the Germanicbranch, especially from the West Germanic, of the Indo-European language. I didn’tknow that before reading the text and this is quite relevant for me as a future teacher ofEnglish because if a students or a colleague asks me now where English came from Ican answer this question. However, it is the English Language a pure language or is amixture of many languages? According to the text, the English language that we knowtoday has been influenced by many languages such as Celtic, Latin, Danish amongothers. Also with this text I learnt how the external aspects such as the invasions (TheRoman, the Anglo Saxon, the Christianization) influenced English adding new wordsinto the language. These words are known as borrowed words, because these wereadded or taken from other languages. For example English took words from the Irish(leprechaun, banshee, etc.), Scottish (clam, bog, plaid, etc) and Welsh (crag, gull, andpenguin). In the case of the Christianization Latin added a great number of words too.Also, there are Danish words that were borrowed into English. In this big group we canfind nouns (band, egg, down, etc.) verbs (call, die, get, etc.) adjectives (flat, low, weak,ill, etc.) and pronouns and others words (they, them, both, same, etc.). These are onlysome examples of languages that contributed to the development of the Englishlanguage. Besides, I learnt that the Anglo-Saxon had a strong influence in the Englishlanguage, because they create four different dialects: Northumbrian, Mercian, WestSaxon and Kentish. All of these dialects were predominant in Britain; nonetheless, onlythe West Saxon became the earlier prestige dialect.
Personally, I think that to know something about the history or the developmentof the English Language is important and I appreciate the opportunity to read the text,because now I know issues that were unknown for me.