This differentiation is not always easily discernible. In most cases we must resort to historical analysis before we can draw any definite conclusions. There is nothing in the form of the words procession and,
progressionto show that the former was already used in England in the 11th century, the latter not till the 15th century. The history of these words reveals that the word processionhas undergone a number of changes alongside with other English words (change in declension, accentuation, structure, sounds), whereas the word progressionunderwent some changes by analogy with the word processionand other similar words already at the time of its appearance in the language.
§ 8. Phonetic, Grammatical
and Lexical Assimilation
Since the process of assimilation of borrowings includes changes in sound-form, morphological structure, grammar characteristics, meaning and usage Soviet linguists distinguish phonetic, grammatical and lexical assimilation of borrowings.
Phonetic assimilationcomprising changes in sound-form and stress is perhaps the most conspicuous.
Sounds that were alien to the English language were fitted into its scheme of sounds. For instance, the long [e] and [ε] in recent French borrowings, alien to English speech, are rendered with the help of [ei] (as in the words communiqué, chaussée, café).
Familiar sounds or sound combinations the position of which was strange to the English language, were replaced by other sounds or sound combinations to make the words conform to the norms of the language, e.g. German spitz [∫pits]was turned into English [spits]. Substitution of native sounds for foreign ones usually takes place in the very act of borrowing. But some words retain their foreign pronunciation for a long time before the unfamiliar sounds are replaced by similar native sounds.
Even when a borrowed word seems at first sight to be identical in form with its immediate etymon as OE. skill< Scand. skil; OE. scinn< < Scand. skinn;OE. ran< Scand. ranthe phonetic structure of the word undergoes some changes, since every language as well as every period in the history of a language is characterised by its own peculiarities in the articulation of sounds.
In words that were added to English from foreign sources, especially from French or Latin, the accent was gradually transferred to the first syllable. Thus words like honour, reasonwere accented on the same principle as the native father, mother.
Grammatical Assimilation.Usually as soon as words from other languages were introduced into English they lost their former grammatical categories and paradigms and acquired hew grammatical categories and paradigms by analogy with other English words, as in
им. спутникCom. sing. Sputnik
род. спутникаPoss. sing. Sputnik’s
дат. спутникуCom. pl. Sputniks
вин. спутникPoss. pl. Sputniks’
предл. о спутнике
However, there are some words in Modern English that have for centuries retained their foreign inflexions. Thus a considerable group of
borrowed nouns, all of them terms or literary words adopted in the 16th century or later, have preserved their original plural inflexion to this day, e.g. phenomenon(L.) — phenomena; addendum (L.) — addenda; parenthesis(Gr.) — parentheses.Other borrowings of the same period have two plural forms — the native and the foreign, e.g. vacuum (L.) — vacua, vacuums, virtuoso (It.) — virtuosi, virtuosos.
All borrowings that were composite in structure in their native language appeared in English as indivisible simple words, unless there were already words with the same morphemes in it, e.g. in the word saunterthe French infinitive inflexion -eris retained (cf. OFr. s'aunter),but it has changed its quality, it is preserved in all the other grammatical forms of the word (cf. saunters, sauntered, sauntering),which means that it has become part of the stem in English. The French reflexive pronoun s- has become fixed as an inseparable element of the word. The former Italian diminishing suffixes -etto, -otta, -ello(a), -celloin the words ballot, stiletto, umbrellacannot be distinguished without special historical analysis, unless one knows the Italian language. The composite nature of the word portfoliois not seen either (cf. It. portafogli < porta— imperative of ‘carry’ + fogli — ’sheets of paper’). This loss of morphological seams in borrowings may be termed simplification by analogy with a similar process in native words.1
It must be borne in mind that when there appears in a language a group of borrowed words built on the same pattern or containing the same morphemes, the morphological structure of the words becomes apparent and in the course of time their word-building elements can be employed to form new words.2 Thus the word bolshevikwas at first indivisible in English, which is seen from the forms bolshevikism, bolshevikise, bolshevikianentered by some dictionaries. Later on the word came to be divided into the morphological elements bolshev-ik.The new morphological division can be accounted for by the existence of a number of words containing these elements (bolshevism, bolshevist, bolshevise; sputnik, udarnik, menshevik).
Sometimes in borrowed words foreign affixes are replaced by those available in the English language, e.g. the inflexion -usin Latin adjectives was replaced in English with the suffixes -ousor -al:L. barbarus > > E. barbarous; L. botanicus > E. botanical; L. balneus > E. balneal.
Lexical Assimilation.When a word is taken over into another language, its semantic structure as a rule undergoes great changes.
Polysemantic words are usually adopted only in one or two of their meanings. Thus the word timbrethat had a number of meanings in French was borrowed into English as a musical term only. The words cargoand cask,highly polysemantic in Spanish, were adopted only in one of their meanings — ‘the goods carried in a ship’, ‘a barrel for holding liquids’ respectively.
• In some cases we can observe specialisation of meaning, as in the word hangar,denoting a building in which aeroplanes are kept (in French
1 See ‘Word-Structure’, § 13, p. 105; ‘Word-Formation’, § 34, p. 151. 2 See ‘Word-Formation’, § 14, p. 125.
it meant simply ’shed’) and revue,which had the meaning of ‘review’ in French and came to denote a kind of theatrical entertainment in English.
In the process of its historical development a borrowing sometimes acquired new meanings that were not to be found in its former semantic structure. For instance, the verb movein Modern English has developed the meanings of ‘propose’, ‘change one’s flat’, ‘mix with people’ and others that the French mouvoirdoes not possess. The word scope,which originally had the meaning of ‘aim, purpose’, now means ‘ability to understand’, ‘the field within which an activity takes place, sphere’, ‘opportunity, freedom of action’. As a rule the development of new meanings takes place 50 — 100 years after the word is borrowed.
The semantic structure of borrowings changes in other ways as well. Some meanings become more general, others more specialised, etc. For instance, the word terrorist,that was taken over from French in the meaning of ‘Jacobin’, widened its meaning to ‘one who governs, or opposes a government by violent means’. The word umbrella,borrowed in the meaning of a ’sunshade’ or ‘parasol’ (from It. ombrella <ombra— ’shade1) came to denote similar protection from the rain as well.
Usually the primary meaning of a borrowed word is retained throughout its history, but sometimes it becomes a secondary meaning. Thus the Scandinavian borrowings wing, root, takeand many others have retained their primary meanings to the present day, whereas in the OE. fēolaze(MnE. fellow)which was borrowed from the same source in the meaning of ‘comrade, companion’, the primary meaning has receded to the background and was replaced by the meaning that appeared in New English ‘a man or a boy’.
Sometimes change of meaning is the result of associating borrowed words with familiar words which somewhat resemble them in sound but which are not at all related. This process, which is termed folk etymology, often changes the form of the word in whole or in part, so as to bring it nearer to the word or words with which it is thought to be connected, e.g. the French verb sur(o)underhad the meaning of ‘overflow’. In English -r(o)underwas associated by mistake with round— круглый and the verb was interpreted as meaning ‘enclose on all sides, encircle’ (MnE. surround).Old French estandard (L. estendere— ‘to spread’) had the meaning of ‘a flag, banner’. In English the first part was wrongly associated with the verb standand the word standardalso acquired the meaning of ’something stable, officially accepted’.
Folk-etymologisation is a slow process; people first attempt to give the foreign borrowing its foreign pronunciation, but gradually popular use evolves a new pronunciation and spelling.
Another phenomenon which must also receive special attention is the formation of derivatives from borrowed word-stems. New derivatives are usually formed with the help of productive affixes, often of Anglo-Saxon origin. For instance: faintness, closeness, easily, nobly,etc. As a rule derivatives begin to appear rather soon after the borrowing of the word. Thus almost immediately after the borrowing of the word sputnikthe words pre-sputnik, sputnikist, sputnikked, to out-sputnikwere coined in English.
Many derivatives were formed by means of conversion, as in to manifesto(1748) < manifesto(It., 1644); to encore(1748) < encore(Fr., 1712); to coach(1612) < coach(Fr., 1556).
Similarly hybrid compounds were formed, e. g. faint-hearted, ill-tempered, painstaking.
§ 9. Degree of Assimilation and Factors Determining It
Even a superficial examination of borrowed words in the English word-stock shows that there are words among them that are easily recognised as foreign (such as decolleté, façade, Zeitgeist, voile)and there are others that have become so firmly rooted in the language, so thoroughly assimilated that it is sometimes” extremely difficult to distinguish them from words of Anglo-Saxon origin (these are words like pupil, master, city, river,etc.).
Unassimilated words differ from assimilated ones in their pronunciation, spelling, semantic structure, frequency and sphere of application. However, there is no distinct border-line between the two groups. There are also words assimilated in some respects and unassimilated in others, they may be called partially assimilated. Such are communiqué, détentenot yet assimilated phonetically, phenomenon (pl. phenomena), graffito (pl. graffiti)unassimilated grammatically, etc. So far no linguist has been able to suggest more or less comprehensive criteria for determining the degree of assimilation of borrowings.
The degree of assimilation depends in the first place upon the time of borrowing. The general principle is: the older the borrowing, the more thoroughly it tends to follow normal English habits of accentuation, pronunciation, etc. It is natural that the bulk of early borrowings have acquired full English citizenship and that most English speaking people are astonished on first hearing, that such everyday words as window, chair, dish, boxhave not always belonged to their language. Late borrowings often retain their foreign peculiarities.
However mere age is not the sole factor. Not only borrowings long in use, but also those of recent date may be completely made over to conform to English patterns if they are widely and popularly employed. Words that are rarely used in everyday speech, that are known to a small group of people retain their foreign -peculiarities. Thus many 19th century French borrowings have been completely assimilated (e.g. turbine, clinic, exploitation, diplomat),whereas the words adopted much earlier noblesse[no'bles] (ME.), ennui[ã:'nwi:] (1667), eclat[ei'kla:] (1674) have not been assimilated even in point of pronunciation.
Another factor determining the process of assimilation is the way in which the borrowing was taken over into the language. Words borrowed orally are assimilated more readily, they undergo greater changes, whereas with words adopted through writing the process of assimilation is longer and more laborious.
§ 10. Summary and Conclusions
1. Due to “the specific historical development of English, it has adopted many words from other languages, especially from Latin, French and Old Scandinavian, though the number and importance of these borrowings are usually overestimated.
2. The number and character of borrowings in Modern English from various languages depend on the historical conditions and also on the degree of the genetic and structural proximity of the languages in question.
3. Borrowings enter the language through oral speech (mainly in early periods of history) and through written speech (mostly in recent times).
4. In the English language borrowings may be discovered through some peculiarities in pronunciation, spelling, morphological and semantic structures. Sometimes these peculiarities enable us even to discover the immediate source of borrowing.
5. All borrowed words undergo the process of assimilation, i.e. they adjust themselves to the phonetic and lexico-grammatical norms of the language. Phonetic assimilation comprises substitution of native sounds and sound combinations for strange ones and for familiar sounds used in a position strange to the English language, as well as shift of stress. Grammatical assimilation finds expression in the change of grammatical categories and paradigms of borrowed words, change of their morphological structure. Lexical assimilation includes changes in semantic structure and the formation of derivatives,
6. Substitution of sounds, formation of new grammatical categories and paradigms, morphological simplification and narrowing of meaning take place in the very act of borrowing. Some words however retain foreign sounds and inflexions for a long time. Shift of stress is a long and gradual process; the same is true of the development of new meanings in a borrowed word, while the formation of derivatives may occur soon after the adoption of the word.
7. The degree of assimilation depends on the time of borrowing, the extent to which the word is used in the language and the way of borrowing.
INTERRELATION BETWEEN NATIVE AND BORROWED ELEMENTS
§ 11. The Role of Native and Borrowed Elements
The number of borrowings in Old English was meagre. In the Middle English period there was an influx of loans. It is often contended that since the Norman conquest borrowing has been the chief factor in the enrichment of the English vocabulary and as a result there was a sharp decline in the productivity of word-formation.1 Historical evidence, however, testifies to the fact that throughout its entire history, even in the periods of the mightiest influxes of borrowings, other processes, no less intense, were in operation — word-formation and semantic development, which involved both native and borrowed elements.
If the estimation of the role of borrowings is based on the study of words recorded in the dictionary, it is easy to overestimate the effect of the loan words, as the number of native words is extremely small
1 See ‘Etymological Survey ...’, § 3, p. 162.
compared with the number of borrowings recorded. The only true way to estimate the relation of the native to the borrowed element is to consider the two as actually used in speech. If one counts every word used, including repetitions, in some reading matter, the proportion of native to borrowed words will be quite different. On such a count, every writer-uses considerably more native words than borrowings. Shakespeare, for example, has 90%, Milton 81 %, Tennyson 88%.1This shows how important is the comparatively small nucleus of native words.
Different borrowings are marked by different frequency value. Those well established in the vocabulary may be as frequent in speech as native words, whereas others occur very rarely.
§ 12. Influence of Borrowings
The great number of borrowings in English left some imprint upon the language. The first effect of foreign influence is observed in the volume of its vocabulary. Due to its history the English language, more than any other modern language, has absorbed foreign elements in its vocabulary. But the adoption of foreign words must not be understood as mere quantitative change. Any importation into the lexical system brings about semantic and stylistic changes in the words of this language and changes in its synonymic groups.2
It has been mentioned that when borrowed words were identical in meaning with those already in English the adopted word very often displaced the native word. In most cases, however, the borrowed words and synonymous native words (or words borrowed earlier) remained in the language, becoming more or less differentiated in meaning and use. Cf., e.g., the sphere of application and meaning of feedand nourish, tryand endeavour, meetand encounter.
As a result the number of synonymic groups in English greatly increased. The synonymic groups became voluminous and acquired many words rarely used. This brought about a rise in the percentage of stylistic synonyms.
Influence of Borrowings on the Semantic Structure of Words.As a result of the differentiation in meaning between synonymous words many native words or words borrowed earlier narrowed their meaning or sphere of application. Thus the word stoolof Anglo-Saxon origin, which in Old English denoted any article of furniture designed for sitting on, under the influence of the French borrowing chaircame to be used as the name for only one kind of furniture.
Due to borrowings some words passed out of the literary national language and have become dialectal, as eaпоток воды (ОЕ. ēа — поток воды, река), heal, hele— скрывать, покрывать (ОЕ. helan),etc.
Another instance of foreign influence upon the semantic structure of some English words is semantic borrowing, i.e. the borrowing of meaning from a word in a foreign language. This often takes place in English words having common roots with some words in another language (international words today reflect this process best), e.g. the
1 O. F. Emerson. The History of the English Language. N. Y., 1907, p. 126.
2 See ‘Semasiology’, § 21, p. 29.
words pioneerand cadreswhich are international words have acquired new meanings under the influence of the Russian пионер and кадры. Sometimes English words acquire additional meanings under the influence of related words having quite different roots, e.g. the political meanings of shockand deviationhave come from the Russian ударный and уклон.
Influence of Borrowings on the Lexical Territorial Divergence.Abundant borrowing intensified the difference between the word-stock of the literary national language and dialects. On the one hand, a number of words were borrowed into the literary national language which are not to be found in the dialects (such as literary words, scientific and political terminology, etc.). In a number of cases the dialects have preserved some Anglo-Saxon words which were replaced by borrowings in the literary language. Thus the Scotch dialect has preserved such words as ken — знать (ОЕ. cennan); eke— добавление (ОЕ. ēаса); eath— гладкий, легкий (ОE. ēаđе); fleme— обратить в бегство, изгонять (ОЕ. flyman).
On the other hand, a number of words were borrowed into dialects and are used throughout the country. Thus, the Scottish and Irish dialects have suffered much greater Celtic influence than the literary national language or the Southern dialect, as the Celtic languages were longer spoken in Scotland and Ireland — some sections of the population use them even now. The Irish dialect, for example, has the following words of Celtic origin: shamrock — трилистник, dun— холм, colleen— девушка, shillelagh— дубинка, etc. In the Northern, Scottish and Eastern dialects there are many more Scandinavian borrowings than in the national literary language as most Scandinavian settlements were found in the north of the country, e.g. busk— ‘get ready’; fell — ‘hill’; mun — ‘mouth’; wapentake — ‘division of shire’.
Some Scandinavian borrowings ousted native words in dialects. Since many of these words were of the same root a great number of etymological doublets appeared, e.g. dag — dew, kirk — church, benk — bench, kist — chest, garth — yard, loup — leap,etc.
Influence of Borrowings on the Word-Structure, Word-Clusters and the System of Word-Building.The great number of borrowings could not but leave a definite imprint on the morphological structure of words in English. A number of new structural types appeared in the language. This took place when the morphological structure of borrowings, obscured at the time of adoption, became transparent inthe course of time and served as a pattern for new formations.1
Among the affixes which can be considered borrowed by English2 some are highly-productive and can combine with native and borrowed items (e.g. re-, inter-, -able, -er, -ism,etc.), others are not so productive
1 See ‘Word-Formation’, § 14, p. 125.
2 Some lists of foreign affixes include 200 — 500 items, although the actual number is much smaller. In these lists no distinction is made between living affixes and those found only in borrowed words which are indivisible in English morphemically and deri- \ationally, such as L. ab-, ad-, amb-; Gr. ana-, apo-, cata-inwords like abstract, admire, ambition, anatomy, etc,
and combine only with Romanic stems (со-, de-, trans-, -al, -cy, -ic, -ical,etc.), still others are often met with in borrowed words, but do not form any new words in English (-ous, -ive, -ent,etc.).
Some borrowed affixes have even ousted those of native origin, e.g. in Modern English the prefix pre-expressing priority of action has replaced the native prefix fore-,which was highly productive in Middle English and early New English, especially in the 16-17th centuries.
Another imprint of borrowings on “the structural types of words in English is the appearance of a great number of words with bound morphemes, such as tolerate, tolerable, tolerance, toleration,etc.
Clusters of words in English also underwent some changes — both quantitative and qualitative — due to the influx of borrowings. On the one hand, many clusters of words were enlarged. Not only were new derivatives formed with the help of borrowed affixes, but some borrowings entered the clusters of words already existing in English. Mention has already been made of Scandinavian borrowings like drip, tryst.1 Some Latin and French borrowings entered the clusters of words borrowed from Romanic languages before, e.g. when the French borrowings exploitation, mobilisation, militarism, employee, personnel, millionairewere taken over into English in the 19th century, they occupied the position of derivatives of the words exploit, mobilise,etc. borrowed much earlier.
On the other hand, the influx of borrowings in English has changed the very nature of word-clusters which now unite not only words of the same root-morpheme, but also of different synonymous root-morphemes, as in spring — vernal, two — second, dual, sea — maritime,etc.
Influence of Borrowings on the Phonetic Structure of Words and the Sound System.As a result of intense borrowing there appeared in the English language a number of words of new phonetic structure with strange sounds and sound combinations, or familiar sounds in unusual positions. Such are the words with the initial [ps], [pn], [pt] (as in Gr. psilanthropism)which are used in English alongside with the forms without the initial sound [p].
If there were many borrowed words containing a certain phonetic peculiarity, they influenced to some extent the sound system of the language.
Thus abundant borrowing from French in the Middle English period accounts for the appearance of a new diphthong in English — [oi], which, according to Prof. B. A. Ilyish, could not have developed from any Old English sound or sound combination, but came into English together with such French words as point, joint, poise.The initial [sk], which reappeared in English together with Scandinavian and other borrowings, is nowadays a common beginning for a great number of words.
Abundant borrowing also brought about some changes in the distribution of English sounds, e.g. the Old English variant phonemes [f] and [v] developed into different phonemes, that is [v] came to be used initially (as in vain, valley, vulgar)and [f] in the intervocal position (as
1See ‘Etymological Survey ...’, § 5, p. 164. 174
in effect, affect, affair)which was impossible in Old English. The affricate [dз], which developed at the beginning of the Middle English period and was found at the end or in the middle of words (as in bridge — OE. bricz; singe— OE. senczean),under the influence of numerous borrowings came to be used in the initial position (as in jungle, journey, gesture).
§ 13. Summary and Conclusions
1.In spite of the numerous outside linguistic influences and the etymological heterogeneity of its vocabulary the English language is still, in essential characteristics, a Germanic language. It has retained a groundwork of Germanic words and grammar.
2. Borrowing has never been the chief means of replenishing the English vocabulary. Word-formation and semantic development were throughout the entire history of the language much more productive. Besides most native words are marked by a higher frequency value.