External linguistic input to English

D. Gary Miller

in External Influences on English

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199654260
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191742064 | DOI:
External linguistic input to English

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  • Historical and Diachronic Linguistics


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Several types of contact with multiple languages have left distinct traces on the history of English. This chapter reviews the evidence for and results of contact with Celtic, Scandinavian, French, Latin, and Greek. Although the types of contact differed, Latin and French primarily impacted the English lexicon and provided numerous affixes that entailed revamping of the morphological system. Celtic and Scandinavian also differed in the types of contact but impacted the syntactic structure of English. They differ in that Scandinavian alone contributed numerous lexical items. Greek influence on English was restricted to the lexicon, (limited) derivation, and compounding. Many of the remaining mysteries are also discussed.

Keywords: English; Celtic; Scandinavian; French; Latin; Greek; syntactic structure; derivation; compounding

Chapter.  3695 words. 

Subjects: Historical and Diachronic Linguistics

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