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6. Assimilation of borrowings. Types and degrees of assimilation.

The term assimilation of a loan word is used to denote a partial or total conformation to the phonetical, graphical, and morphological standards of the receiving language and its semantic system.

The term type of assimilation refers to the changes an adopted word may undergo:

phonetic assimilation;

graphical assimilation;

grammatical assimilation;

semantic assimilation.

The degree of assimilation depends upon the period of time during which the word has been used in the receiving language, its communicative importance and frequency:

7. Latin borrowings. Features of Latin borrowings. Periods of borrowings from Latin.


-Early Latin loans, e.g. cup, kettle, dish, plum, butter, wall etc.;

-Later Latin loans (Christianity), e.g. lily, pearl, palm, choir, library, fiddle, peach, marble etc.;

-Latin loans in Middle English (the Norman conquest+the Renaissance), e.g. animal, legal, simile, gesture, spacious, interest etc.;

-The latest Latin influence, e.g. cf., i.e., ib., viz., etc.

Features of Latin loans:

-polysyllabic words with prefixes: commission, induction, accelerate;

-prefixes with final consonants: ad-, ab-, com-, dis-, ex-, in-, ob-: admix, abnormal, compare, disclose, inattention;

-reduplicated consonants: abbreviation, occasion, illumination, immobility, difference, opportunity, resurrection, assimilation;

-suffixes –ate, -ute in verbs: locate, irritate, abbreviate, execute;

8. Celtic elements (5-6 c. Ad) in the English vocabulary.

-place-names: Kent ‘coastal district’ or ‘land of the hosts or armies’, London ‘hill surrounded with water’, Carlisle (caer ‘fortified place’), Dover ‘water’, York ‘Yew-Tree Estate’ (тисове дерево) etc.;

-river-names: Thames ‘the dark one’, Avon ‘river’ etc.;

-elements: -comb ‘deep valley’ as in Batcombe, -torr ‘high rock’ as in Torcross, -llan ‘church’ as in Llandaff;


Celtic + Latin: Manchester, Glouchester, Lancaster etc.;

Celtic + Germanic: Yorkshire, Canterbury ‘the fortified town of Kentish people’, Salisbury, Cornwall ‘peninsula people’, in O.E. the name Wealhas (Mod.E. Wales, Welsh) was a common noun meaning ‘strangers’ given by the newcomers to the unfamiliar Celtic tribes.

-common nouns survived in regional dialects:

bard (Gael.& Ir.) ‘poet, minstrel’, loch (Gael.& Ir.) ‘lake’, plaid (Gael.) ‘blanket’, corgi (Welsh cor ‘dwarf’ + gi/ci ‘dog’), whiskey  ‘water of life’, dunn ‘grey’, cross;

-via Romanic languages:

car < Norm.Fr. carre < L. carrum, carrus, orig. ‘two-wheeled Celtic war chariot’ < Gaulish *karros;

9. Scandinavian loan-words(8-11 c.Ad) in Modern English.

-Total number – appr. 900 words; about 700 belong to Stand. E.


/k/ and /g/ before e and i, e.g. give, kid, get, gift;

/sk/ in the initial position, e.g. sky, skill, score, skin, skirt;

-nouns: anger, bag, band, bank, bull, calf, cake, dirt, egg, fellow, fog, knife, leg, loan, law, neck, root, ransack, sister, wing, window;

-adjectives: awkward, flat, happy, ill, low, loose, odd, rotten, scant, sly, silver, tight, ugly, wrong;

-verbs: cast, call, clip, die, gasp, get, give, guess, raise, seem, scare, scowl, seem, smile, take, thrive, want;

-pronouns: they, their, them, themselves, though, both, same.

-Legal terms (together with military terms reflecting the relations during the Danish raids and Danish rule represent the earliest loan-words):husband – originally ‘a house holder’, one who owns a house; fellow – originally ‘one who lays down a fee, as a partner or shareholder’;


-thorp ‘village’ as in Althorp;

-by ‘farm / town’ as in Derby, Rugby;

-toft ‘piece of land’ as in Sandtoft;

-ness ‘cape’ as in Inverness, Loch Ness;

-Forming elements:

are (pr. tense pl. to be), -s (pr. tense, 3rd p. sg)

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