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Реферат The etymology of English words (Этимология английских слов)


Тип работы: Реферат. Предмет: Ин. языки. Добавлен: 4.5.2013. Сдан: 2012. Страниц: 8. Уникальность по antiplagiat.ru: < 30%

Описание (план):

It is true that English vocabulary, which is one of the most extensive among the worlds languages contains an immense number of words of foreign origin. Explanations for this should be sought in the history of the language which is closely connected with the history of the nation speaking the language.
THE FIRST CENTURY B. C. Most of the territory now known to us as Europe was occupied by the Roman Empire. Among the inhabitants of the Europe are Germanic tribes. Theirs stage of development was rather primitive, especially if compared with the high civilization of Rome. They are primitive cattle-breeders and know almost nothing about land cultivation. Their tribal languages contain only Indo-European and Germanic elements.
Due to Roman invasion Germanic tribes had to come into contact with Romans1. Romans built roads, bridges, military camps. Trade is carried on, and the Germanic people gain knowledge of new and useful things. The first among them are new things to eat. It has been mentioned that Germanic cattle-breeding was on a primitive scale. Its only products known to the Germanic tribes were meat and milk. It is from the Romans that they learn how to make butter and cheese and, as there are naturally no words for these foodstuffs in their tribal languages, they had to use the Latin words to name them (Lat. “butyrum”, “caseus”). It is also to the Romans that the Germanic tribes owe the knowledge of some new fruits and vegetables of which they had no idea before, and the Latin names of these fruits and vegetables entered their vocabularies: “cherry” (Lat. “cerasum”), “pear” (Lat. “pirum”), “plum” (Lat. “prunus”), “pea” (Lat. “pisum”), “beet” (Lat. “beta”), “pepper” (Lat. “piper”).
Here are some more examples of Latin borrowings of this period: “cup” (Lat. “cuppa”), “kitchen” (Lat. “coquina”), “mill” (Lat. “molina”), “port” (Lat. “portus”), “wine” (Lat. “vinum”).
The Germanic tribal languages gained a considerable number of new words and were thus enriched.
Latin words became the earliest group of borrowings2 in the future English language which was - much later - built on the basis of the Germanic tribal languages.
THE FIFTH CENTURY A.D. Several of the Germanic tribes (the most numerous among them were the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes) migrated across the sea to the British Isles. There they were confronted by the Celts, the original inhabitants of the Isles. The Celts desperately defended their lands against the invaders, but nevertheless gradually yielded most of their territory. They retreated to the North and South-West (modern Scotland, Wales and Cornwall). Through numerous contacts with the defeated Celts, the conquerors borrowed a number of Celtic words (bald, down, glen, bard, cradle). Especially numerous among the Celtic borrowings were place names, names of rivers, hills, etc. The Germanic tribes occupied the land, but the names of many parts of their territory remained Celtic. For instance, the names of the rivers Avon, Exe, Esk, Usk, Ux originate from Celtic words meaning "river" and "water".
Ironically, even the name of the English capital originates from Celtic “Llyn+dun” in which “llyn” is another Celtic word for "river" and “dun” stands for "a fortified hill" - the meaning of the whole is "fortress on the hill over the river".
Some Latin words entered the Anglo-Saxon languages through Celtic, among them such widely-used words as “street” (La........

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