Alphadictionary.com

Our Sponsors

Technical Translation
Website Translation Clip Art
 

Of influence and origins

Miscellaneous Other Topics.

Of influence and origins

Postby Modi » Tue Jul 29, 2008 6:09 pm

English is a language where it's words are mostly loaned from other languages, sometimes because of the languages influence at a time(Greek, Latin) or for the wanted word to desscribe a phenomenon or a thing is present in another language and a loan is needed.
Though what are the language that most influenced English, leave Greek and Latin aside since I think that they are indesputable, though if you have an objection, do say so. Explinations of your opinion is regarded but still it's not a must.
"Do you want to know hell, it's depths; hell is the company of the ignorant." My translation for a verse by Omar Al-Khayyam.
Modi
Junior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:30 am
Location: Irbid

Postby sluggo » Tue Jul 29, 2008 7:51 pm

I wouldn't think that most of English is borrowed, since we had a Germanic ancestor on which bones to lay the rest. At least in terms of everyday speech I should think the majority of what we say is Germanic, though not by a lot. Without doubt our biggest secondary source is French, due to the Norman influence. I seem to recall the French superstructure makes up something like 40% of the lexicon.

After these and the aforementioned Latin and Greek, far smaller slices of the pie come from Spanish, Dutch, Arabic, Native American, Celtic, Italian, Yiddish, Slavic, Norse, Inuit and a couple of other sources.
Stop! Murder us not, tonsured rumpots! Knife no one, fink!
sluggo
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1476
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 1:58 pm
Location: Carolinia Agrestícia: The Forest Primeval

Postby Stargzer » Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:29 am

Wikipedia has an article on Anglish:

Wikipedia wrote:Anglish is a form of constrained writing in English in which words with Greek, Latin, and Romance roots are replaced by Germanic ones. (See etymology.)

Sometimes this is achieved by use of synonyms and sometimes by neologisms. When merely consisting of synonyms, Anglish also functions as legitimate English.

In 1966, Paul Jennings wrote a number of articles in Punch in Anglish, to commemorate the 900th anniversary of the Norman Conquest. He gave "a bow to William Barnes, the Dorset poet-philologist". The pieces included a sample of Shakespeare's writing as it might have been if William the Conqueror had never succeeded:

To be, or not to be: that is the ask-thing:
is't higher-thinking in the brain to bear
the slings and arrows of outrageous dooming
or to take weapons 'gainst a sea of bothers
and by againstwork end them?...


(The fact that outrageous is actually of Romance origin—it is from Old French outrageux—seems to have escaped Jennings's attention. Additionally, mind is of Anglo-Saxon origin, so it had no need to change.)


That same article describes Ander-Saxon:

Wikipedia wrote:The name Ander-Saxon is used for scientific or technical writing and was coined in 1992 by Douglas R. Hofstadter as a pun on Anglo-Saxon, with a reference to science fiction author Poul Anderson. Anderson introduced the form in his article "Uncleftish Beholding," a treatise on atomic theory written in Ander-Saxon. (Interestingly, "ander" is the Dutch and German word for "other".) Here is a quotation:

The firststuffs have their being as motes called unclefts. These are mighty small: one seedweight of waterstuff holds a tale of them like unto two followed by twenty-two naughts. Most unclefts link together to make what are called bulkbits. Thus, the waterstuff bulkbit bestands of two waterstuff unclefts, the sourstuff bulkbit of two sourstuff unclefts, and so on. (Some kinds, such as sunstuff, keep alone; others, such as iron, cling together in chills when in the fast standing; and there are yet more yokeways.) When unlike unclefts link in a bulkbit, they make bindings. Thus, water is a binding of two waterstuff unclefts with one sourstuff uncleft, while a bulkbit of one of the forestuffs making up flesh may have a thousand or more unclefts of these two firststuffs together with coalstuff and chokestuff.


In my searches I found a link to an online copy of Uncleftish Beholding.

I just finished reading Anderson's Time Patrol collection. The shorter, earlier, pieces serve a background. The later, longer, pieces are quite well-written. They'd make a great movie series.
Regards//Larry

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
-- Attributed to Richard Henry Lee
User avatar
Stargzer
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2546
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:56 pm
Location: Crownsville, MD

Postby Perry » Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:38 am

Here is a good article on the history of English from Merriam Webster.

This link is to a similar article in Wikpedia. Take your pick or read them both, Modi.
"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once. Lately it hasn't been working."
Anonymous
User avatar
Perry
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2306
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:50 am
Location: Asheville, NC

Postby Modi » Thu Jul 31, 2008 2:03 pm

It's weird that English was was most influenced by war and then conquest of the Norman, but then comes French which didn't conquest nor wage war against English-people. Is French unique enough to attract a whole language to it?

As for what you mentioned Stargzer, the artic "Unclefitch Beholding" seemed more weird to me than what is possibly had if English kept it's Germanic root. For if it did it would mostly start growing in a different scientist and linguistics will start making to fit what is new, the people themselves will make new words and later will be adjusted to grammer, though still I know nothing about Germanic thus you can consider me talking nonesense.

Edit: First I apologize for my late response to your post Perry. Now allow me to comment on it; the article made me think whether the process of changing that english went through made it better or worse, or let us say more or less effecient. Though I think that in terms of phonology it did become better- though I am nt one to judge- yet in terms of "aflictions" I am not quite sure and left in doubt, if anyone can clear it up, it will be apreciated.
Last edited by Modi on Fri Aug 01, 2008 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Do you want to know hell, it's depths; hell is the company of the ignorant." My translation for a verse by Omar Al-Khayyam.
Modi
Junior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:30 am
Location: Irbid

Postby sluggo » Thu Jul 31, 2008 5:45 pm

Modi wrote:It's weird that English was was most influenced by war and then conquest of the Norman, but then comes French which didn't conquest nor wage war against English-people. Is French unique enough to attract a whole language to it?


They are in fact one and the same. The Normans invaded from France in 1066 and brought the language with 'em.

Here is another look, among many.

See also this rich resource for a close-up of Norman French direction, particularly the "Third Period" listed. Unfortunately the website is atrociously laid out, so you may have to cut-and-paste the text to make it readable.
Stop! Murder us not, tonsured rumpots! Knife no one, fink!
sluggo
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1476
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 1:58 pm
Location: Carolinia Agrestícia: The Forest Primeval

Postby Stargzer » Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:00 pm

Modi wrote:It's weird that English was was most influenced by war and then conquest of the Norman, but then comes French which didn't conquest nor wage war against English-people. Is French unique enough to attract a whole language to it?


Oh, the French were as war-like as any other country, and England and France fought many wars, some of them very long! As Sluggo said, the Normans came from Normandy, on the French coast, along the English Channel. Normandy is where the Allies invaded Europe during World War II.

Wikipedia has an article on the Norman Conquest of England that explains how the Normans were descended from Vikings who settled in northern Franch, and how the Norman influence actually goes back 75 years before the invasion by William, Duke of Normandy.

Modi wrote: As for what you mentioned Stargzer, the artic "Unclefitch Beholding" seemed more weird to me than what is possibly had if English kept it's Germanic root. For if it did it would mostly start growing in a different scientist and linguistics will start making to fit what is new, the people themselves will make new words and later will be adjusted to grammer, though still I know nothing about Germanic thus you can consider me talking nonesense.


I don't know any German except for how to say "A beer, please!" and "Thank you!" :wink:

Anderson was attempting to show how a scientist who had no access to Greek, Latin, or French words could create new words to describe new things by combining existing English words, words that came from Old English, Middle English, Anglo-Saxon, or Scandinavian (from the Vikings), much as someone who had never seen a gun before might call it a "thunder stick." When automobiles first appeared they were called "horseless carriages" because they were carriages that didn't need horses to pull them.

I haven't read all of Anderson's essay, but I've read enough to see how he takes non-Romance-language words and creates new words, such as "worldken" for "physics," from "world" and "ken," which is an old word meaning "perception" or knowledge" as a noun and "to know," "to perceive," or "to understand" as a verb. It's now mostly a Northern English or Scottish Dialect word, but you can see how he uses "to understand the world" in place of "physics," which comes from Latin and Greek (see physics and physic at the Online Etymology Dictionary).
Regards//Larry

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
-- Attributed to Richard Henry Lee
User avatar
Stargzer
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2546
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:56 pm
Location: Crownsville, MD

Postby sluggo » Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:39 pm

Indeed ken still carries that meaning:

noun
1. knowledge, understanding, or cognizance; mental perception: "an idea beyond one's ken"
2. range of sight or vision
(Dictionary.com)
Stop! Murder us not, tonsured rumpots! Knife no one, fink!
sluggo
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1476
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 1:58 pm
Location: Carolinia Agrestícia: The Forest Primeval

Postby Perry » Sat Aug 02, 2008 9:31 am

sluggo wrote:Indeed ken still carries that meaning:

noun
1. knowledge, understanding, or cognizance; mental perception: "an idea beyond one's ken"
2. range of sight or vision
(Dictionary.com)


Does that make Ken a deeper thinker than Barbie? :?

Modi, no apologies necessary. We aren't in school here. Well in a way we are, but that is to say, no one is on a schedule. We read the links when we have the time, and make replies when the spirit moves us. That is the beauty of bulletin boards like this. We can always revisit an old thread, if we feel that we have something new to say or to ask.

As to your specific question of improvements or efficiency; English is not a very systematic language - a very two edged sword. It makes English fairly easy to learn, but almost impossible to explain. (Just my own humble opinion.) so maybe it is an efficinet language, but not an improved one.
"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once. Lately it hasn't been working."
Anonymous
User avatar
Perry
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2306
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:50 am
Location: Asheville, NC

Postby gailr » Thu Aug 07, 2008 12:49 am

Perry wrote:We aren't in school here.

Although we do like tests,and more tests.
:D
User avatar
gailr
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1945
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2005 11:40 am

Postby Perry » Thu Aug 07, 2008 9:20 am

And we are only very rarely testy. 8)
"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once. Lately it hasn't been working."
Anonymous
User avatar
Perry
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2306
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:50 am
Location: Asheville, NC

Postby sluggo » Sun Aug 10, 2008 12:47 pm

Perry wrote:And we are only very rarely testy. 8)


But of course. Teslacles deviant to Fudd's Law.
(Misnamed here but nonetheless a worthy compendium of some other truisms)
Stop! Murder us not, tonsured rumpots! Knife no one, fink!
sluggo
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1476
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 1:58 pm
Location: Carolinia Agrestícia: The Forest Primeval

Postby Modi » Sun Aug 10, 2008 4:23 pm

Perry wrote:We aren't in school here.

Well, a thieves den would be a fine description for me.

Teslacles deviant; care to explain Sluggo.
"Do you want to know hell, it's depths; hell is the company of the ignorant." My translation for a verse by Omar Al-Khayyam.
Modi
Junior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:30 am
Location: Irbid

Postby sluggo » Sun Aug 10, 2008 6:00 pm

Modi wrote:Teslacles deviant; care to explain Sluggo.


oops- may have misspelled Teslacle's? We may never know.

"Teslacle('?)s Deviant to Fudd's Law" is how the corollary "It comes in; it must go out" to Fudd's First Law of Opposition is described, the Law itself stating "If you push something hard enough it will fall over", archived for history in Firesign Theatre's 1971 epic "I Think We're All Bozos On this Bus" (interesting summation of which here).

(Those really into this sort of stuff may want to have a gawk at the Rockwell Retro-Encabulator here, or alternate version here). Amazing to watch the development -or dare we say antidevelopment- over the years.)

On another front I noticed a Google of "Teslacles deviant" returns this very page as the first hit. That's shoes for industry!
Stop! Murder us not, tonsured rumpots! Knife no one, fink!
sluggo
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1476
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 1:58 pm
Location: Carolinia Agrestícia: The Forest Primeval

Postby Stargzer » Sun Aug 10, 2008 11:38 pm

Modi,

Sluggo's referring to an old comedy album by a group called Firesign Theatre. This was back in the days before music videos or even films or videos of comedians, back when you would listen to something for 15 or 20 minutes straight and see it all in your mind. Firesign Theatre's delivery was very fast with no laugh track, so you had to pay attention to what was going on.

I think my favorite has to be the first one I heard, "Temporarily Humbolt County" from their Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him album. I heard it on the car radio and when I got home and parked the car, I had to leave it running because I didn't want to miss any of it, it was so funny. It's "... a compressed timeline of the European expansion into North America and the displacement of the Native Americans, a theme the group would revisit often. (The group had been told by friends in Humboldt County, California, that the local Indians added "Temporarily" to the county's name as a way of saying no one could really own the land.)"

Their routines are often loaded with puns, both good and bad. On side two of this same album is a single 18-minute long long piece titled "Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him." See the Wikipedia entry above for a description of the routine, but one of the puns involved two people making a telephone call and one says to the other, "Wait a minute! I think someone's tapping the line." The next thing you hear is the sound of tap-dancing feet.

In the link in Sluggo's original post Teslacles is spelled Tesler's (Fudd's First Law of Opposition: If you push something hard enough, it will fall over. Tesler's Deviant to Fudd's Law: It goes in -- it must come out.). Teslacles could either be a spoof on the name of the famous yet eccentric scientist Nikola Tesla, or on a certain pair of parts of the male anatomy, making the name sound like a Greek character. Knowing The Firesign Theatre, I'd suspect the second. :wink:
Regards//Larry

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
-- Attributed to Richard Henry Lee
User avatar
Stargzer
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2546
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:56 pm
Location: Crownsville, MD

Next

Return to Res Diversae

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests