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Thread: Is English language more Romance or Germanic ? (test your abilities)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drac II View Post
    Indeed, it seems that literacy in this particular Celtic group came after contact with the Romans. The same can be said about some other Celtic languages, like Brittonic, which survives exclusively in inscriptions using Latin or Latin alphabet:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Brittonic

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_curse_tablets
    Nonsense. Whole inscriptions in Britonic have been found, while Gallaecian has been attested only by words and short phrases in Latin texts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by joeyc View Post
    Nonsense. Whole inscriptions in Britonic have been found, while Gallaecian has been attested only by words and short phrases in Latin texts.
    All of them in Latin too. So, no, it is not "nonsense".

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    Quote Originally Posted by joeyc View Post
    No the surviving corpus of Gallaecian is composed of isolated words and short sentences contained in local Latin inscriptions or glossed by classical authors, together with a number of names – anthroponyms, ethnonyms, theonyms, toponyms – contained in inscriptions.
    Once again, pretty much what has also survived of other Celtic languages that did not have their own script and only started to leave some inscriptions after the Latin script was borrowed.
    Last edited by Drac II; 21-07-15 at 19:38.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    I repeat...
    I haven't read every post, but I don't think anyone is saying that English is a Romance language. I think what they're trying to say is that it's usually placed among the Germanic languages because of grammar and some basic vocabulary, but that it has drifted far from those roots in the direction of the Romance languages, certainly in the area of vocabulary.

    No native English speaker would ever say they had sheep for dinner....What happened is that the Germanic names for the barnyard animals were retained, but the words involved with cooking are from the French, presumably because those were the words used in the Castle or the manor where the cooking was done for the upper classes who for some centuries still exclusively used "Norman" French as their everyday language. The same thing happened with cow...the meat is "veal" or "beef", not cow meat.

    Often, the more "elevated" the setting, or the more educated the person, the higher the percentage of French derived words.

    These are just a few examples, with the German derived word first and then the French one.

    ask/inquire
    drink/beverage
    fall/autumn
    smell/odor
    thinking/pensive
    ...
    This is often seen in English noun/adjective pairings. The common noun is often a native Germanic word, while the associated adjective is Latin (or occasionally Greek)-derived.

    Examples:

    moon/lunar
    sky/celestial
    star/stellar (This applies both to literal and figurative meanings. A movie star's performance would generally be expected to be stellar. If it is not, then they are not really a movie star, are they?)
    sun/solar
    earth/terrestrial (or terran)
    cloud/nebulous (but a native adjective, cloudy, also exists)
    pig/porcine
    dog/canine
    ant/formic
    whale/cetacean (Next time you need a whale to save Earth from a destructive space probe, remember your Germanic/Latin pairings and go straight to the Cetacean Institute.)
    swan/cygnine
    bird/avian
    horse/equine
    worm/vermian
    steersman/cybernetic (cyberspace is literally an area that can be navigated)
    brother/fraternal
    sister/sororal
    father/paternal
    mother/maternal
    child/infantile (but cf. Germanic "childish")
    chest/pectoral
    mouth/oral
    eye/ocular (or optic)
    back(of a person)/dorsal
    tongue/lingual
    neck/cervical
    kidney/renal
    brain/cerebral
    blood/sanguine
    finger/digital (digital calculations are those that you can make with your fingers, which are generally up or down, not halfways or sort-of-down-but-close-to-midways-maybe)
    tooth/dental (clearly, the Germanic form is the same PIE root modified by Grimm's Law)
    heart/cardiac (another obvious Grimm's law example - the native Germanic noun underwent it, and the adjective was borrowed much later)
    freedom/libre (a recent loanword from Spanish to provide an appropriate adjective)
    good/beneficial
    praise/laudatory
    king/royal (or regal)
    day/diurnal
    night/nocturnal
    twilight/crepuscular
    book/literary (also cf. the Greek-derived biblical)
    edge/marginal
    water/aquatic
    ice/glacial
    light/optical
    sword/gladiatorial
    town/urban
    house/domestic

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertColumbia View Post
    This is often seen in English noun/adjective pairings. The common noun is often a native Germanic word, while the associated adjective is Latin (or occasionally Greek)-derived.

    Examples:

    moon/lunar
    sky/celestial
    star/stellar (This applies both to literal and figurative meanings. A movie star's performance would generally be expected to be stellar. If it is not, then they are not really a movie star, are they?)
    sun/solar
    earth/terrestrial (or terran)
    cloud/nebulous (but a native adjective, cloudy, also exists)
    pig/porcine
    dog/canine
    ant/formic
    whale/cetacean (Next time you need a whale to save Earth from a destructive space probe, remember your Germanic/Latin pairings and go straight to the Cetacean Institute.)
    swan/cygnine
    bird/avian
    horse/equine
    worm/vermian
    steersman/cybernetic (cyberspace is literally an area that can be navigated)
    brother/fraternal
    sister/sororal
    father/paternal
    mother/maternal
    child/infantile (but cf. Germanic "childish")
    chest/pectoral
    mouth/oral
    eye/ocular (or optic)
    back(of a person)/dorsal
    tongue/lingual
    neck/cervical
    kidney/renal
    brain/cerebral
    blood/sanguine
    finger/digital (digital calculations are those that you can make with your fingers, which are generally up or down, not halfways or sort-of-down-but-close-to-midways-maybe)
    tooth/dental (clearly, the Germanic form is the same PIE root modified by Grimm's Law)
    heart/cardiac (another obvious Grimm's law example - the native Germanic noun underwent it, and the adjective was borrowed much later)
    freedom/libre (a recent loanword from Spanish to provide an appropriate adjective)
    good/beneficial
    praise/laudatory
    king/royal (or regal)
    day/diurnal
    night/nocturnal
    twilight/crepuscular
    book/literary (also cf. the Greek-derived biblical)
    edge/marginal
    water/aquatic
    ice/glacial
    light/optical
    sword/gladiatorial
    town/urban
    house/domestic

    That's indeed how it works. Not to belabor the obvious, but some of the adjectives are probably not commonly used down at the bar as, for example, words like nebulous or diurnal or sanguine. Others are common usage for everyone. You get your molars removed by an oral surgeon, not a mouth surgeon. Some of these have morphed into nouns, too. You go to an optician to get your glasses, not an eye-tician. :)


    Non si fa il proprio dovere perchè qualcuno ci dica grazie, lo si fa per principio, per se stessi, per la propria dignità. Oriana Fallaci

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    That's indeed how it works. Not to belabor the obvious, but some of the adjectives are probably not commonly used down at the bar as, for example, words like nebulous or diurnal or sanguine. Others are common usage for everyone. You get your molars removed by an oral surgeon, not a mouth surgeon. Some of these have morphed into nouns, too. You go to an optician to get your glasses, not an eye-tician. :)
    True, but I have found nebulous to be a fairly ordinary word, often used metaphorically to refer to ideas or plans that are not easy to understand or that are not as logical as they could have been.

    Other occupational examples include a cardiac surgeon, who works on hearts, an aquatic coach, who coaches athletes engaged in water-related sports, an equine caretaker, who takes care of horses, and a domestic worker, who works in a house as e.g. a maid.

    Formerly, many Germanic/Latin pairings were used in Chemistry, for example:

    Iron/Ferric and Ferrous
    Tin/Stannic
    Gold/Auric
    Silver/Argentic
    Copper/Cupric

    When I took Chemistry about 10-15 years ago in the USA, I was told that this usage was deprecated and that one should use the plain English noun, such as Iron, either alone or with an oxidation number if such number is relevant.

    Old style: Ferric Oxide
    New style: Iron(III) Oxide

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    I think Germanic.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    The backbone of English is clearly Germanic, as has been mentioned, but there is indeed a huge percentage of French-derived vocabulary. I don't speak any languages other than English, but I do know I can often 'get the gist' of French texts, newspapers, etc because of these commonalities. French being a Romance tongue, this actually means I can pick out more from Spanish or Italian writings than German equivalents.

    When verbalised, however, things are very different. I definitely think accents in Scandinavian languages, particularly Danish, are the most familiar sounding.

    As Angela said, neither I nor anybody I know would be able to understand the original, Old English manuscript of Beowulf.

    The huge change in our language in the Middle English period is incredibly fascinating though. Most people seem to take it as a given that the change occurred because French was 'foisted' on the poor, suppressed natives, but surely if that was the case we'd all speak French. I'd say it was more believable that the melding of Old English and Old French was more a product of increased migration, particularly after the Plantagenet ascension to the throne, and the gradual drift of Norman-descended Francophones into lower levels of English society - primogeniture can't benefit everyone, after all.

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    Germanic with a strong Romance influence

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    English is more Germanic


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    The everyday's english is certainly form germanic origin .
    But when people say that a majority of the vocabulary is close to french , so come from latin ,
    they forget that :
    1) latin was very close to gaulish
    2) gaulish was also spoken in England
    So English as French could have a strong legacy form the gaulish language .

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    Modern English is more Romantic.

    Old and to degree Middle English certainly wasn't. Hence why certain older fashioned than modern dialects (of which rp is the least qualified to be called old) in the UK are compared to Germanic languages such as Norwegian by foreigners from such areas. A comparison an actual trained German linguist agreed to.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    A Romance speaker here. English is definitely Germanic. It's the easiest non-Romance language for us all because of the profound French/Latin influence and because its grammar was mostly very simplified roughly in the same general direction that the Romance languages went (e.g. loss of all noun declensions, more strict SVO word order, some similar periphrastic verb tenses, etc.). But it still works and sounds like a Germanic language: the phonology, the structure of the morphology and syntax, the basic vocabulary (and that's what really matters 80% of the times) is mostly from the Germanic "core". Besides, a language's classification is never determined on the basis of general lexicon, or even of basic lexicon. There are languages that underwent profound "relexification" even in the very basic vocabulary, but they don't "switch" to another language family because of that. Their structure remains the same, the vocabulary is just much more flexible and changeable.

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    Watch this video by Canadian linguist Paul. He makes an excellent approach of theme of this thread:

    “Às vezes ouço passar o vento; e só de ouvir o vento passar, vale a pena ter nascido”.
    Fernando Pessoa
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    By the time of Chaucer the English is intelligible. Yes, my professor, a sadist, made us read it in the original.



    Beowulf? Absolutely not.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    By the time of Chaucer the English is intelligible. Yes, my professor, a sadist, made us read it in the original.



    Beowulf? Absolutely not.

    I believe your suffering must have been similar to mine. I was obliged to read the Galician-Portuguese troubadour songs produced during the period from the end of the twelfth century to the middle of the fourteenth century in the literature classes of the second year of high school. An unforgettable torture. LOL.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Duarte View Post
    I believe your suffering must have been similar to mine. I was obliged to read the Galician-Portuguese troubadour songs produced during the period from the end of the twelfth century to the middle of the fourteenth century in the literature classes of the second year of high school. An unforgettable torture. LOL.
    I hear you. :) It almost ruined Chaucer for me. I've since re-read him in "modern" English, and it was such a pleasure. I love his "voice": the wry, wise, witty, sensual personality which shines out in "The Canterbury Tales".

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    Same way I suffered through the Homer's epic tales, the Iliad and the Odyssey in the original. I could read Classical Greek with no problem. Homer I needed a dictionary.

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    BTW, I watched Stieg Larsson's film trilogy in the original Swedish. A lot of common Swedish/English words that I recognized on the fly.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    English was a Danish dialect, later creoled by French. Yes, I mean to be provokative and hopefully funny, but listen:
    English: The Helmsman said to them, that they should listen, grab the railing by their hands, and hold fast instead of talking, and also hoist the fore sail.
    Danish: Hjælmsmanden sagde til dem, at de skulle lytte, gribe rælingen med deres hænder, og holde fast istedet for at tale, og også hejse for sejlet.
    English: after that he took a stick, and goes out on the bowsprit to fish a flounder.
    Danish: efter det tog han en stok, og går ud på bovsprydet for at fiske en flynder.

    There is something about it, someone posted this link before. Interesting: https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...1127094111.htm

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigsnake49 View Post
    Same way I suffered through the Homer's epic tales, the Iliad and the Odyssey in the original. I could read Classical Greek with no problem. Homer I needed a dictionary.
    I read it in a Danish translation, it didnt make it much better. I couldnt understand half of it. Mostly because the descriptions and connotations were so alien. Im equally alianated by modern Brazilian poems, such as "Desafinado", and maybe because of the same reason. Alien connotations and symbolic images. Whereas I do understand those of Thomas Grey, Schiller and Goethe.

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    I and some friends came out of a Danish Nightclub in Arhus, some years ago, and whilst we were talking among ourselves, a couple of locals came over to us, and said we thought you were speaking Dannish, as our broad accents are from the North East of England. He could not believe we were English as some of our sounds, and phrases we were using, were exactly the same as he was using. Most people from my area, speak very fast among friends, but then have to talk completely different and slower, to other's from different area's.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jensen View Post
    English was a Danish dialect, later creoled by French. Yes, I mean to be provokative and hopefully funny, but listen:
    English: The Helmsman said to them, that they should listen, grab the railing by their hands, and hold fast instead of talking, and also hoist the fore sail.
    Danish: Hjælmsmanden sagde til dem, at de skulle lytte, gribe rælingen med deres hænder, og holde fast istedet for at tale, og også hejse for sejlet.
    English: after that he took a stick, and goes out on the bowsprit to fish a flounder.
    Danish: efter det tog han en stok, og går ud på bovsprydet for at fiske en flynder.

    There is something about it, someone posted this link before. Interesting: https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...1127094111.htm
    Or... English is a French dialect, in which some remnants of Danish survived.

    English : The choice of specific phrases traduces an evident desire on the part of Jensen to present English as a Danish dialect.
    French : Le choix de phrases spécifiques traduit un désir évident de la part de Jensen de présenter l'anglais comme un dialecte danois.

    Just kidding, of course. My real feeling is that for all the vocab it inherited from French, English remains essentially Germanic, particularly in its spoken forms. Most of the English words instantly identified by French speakers in script will go unrecognized when the said script is read out loud to them. The very different patterns of stressing make for most of the difficulty we Frenchies have with oral English. Besides, most of the words used in everyday basic conversation are Germanic in origin - unlike those polysyllabic words, essentially Romance, you find in scientific papers.
    It is therefore worth while to search out the bounds between opinion and knowledge; and examine by what measures, in things whereof we have no certain knowledge, we ought to regulate our assent and moderate our persuasion. (John Locke)

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    Both the Danish examples and French examples are relatively understandable, though the French one is easier to understand. But that's probably due to Canadian curriculum. English is still pretty "Germanic" but it definitely has a lot of outside influences.

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    MtDNA haplogroup
    H1

    Ethnic group
    Galician
    Country: Spain - Galicia



    Duarte:
    "Ondas do mar de Vigo, se vistes meu amigo,
    ondas do mar levado, se vistes meu amado"

    Hahahaha... I had to read them as well. But I enjoyed them, beautiful ancient verses from the time Galician and Portuguese were the same language (I believe they still are).

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