Journal Essay

2071 words - 9 pages

Anhar Alotaibi
ESL 5322
Dr. L. Kovalik
Spring 2014

Journal #3
Entry 1
Reading of Chapter four in the textbook titled " Foreign Influences on Old English,” the followings are the terms that came across as interesting and necessary for the understanding of the extent of foreign influence on the old English language:
• Continental borrowing: This is the first period of Latin borrowing that happened through the Germanic contact with the Romans before their invasion and settlement in Britain. It is also described as the Latin influence of the Zero period (Baugh & Cable, 2001).
• Palatal Diphthongization: This is the change in the pronunciation of diphthongs. By this sound-change, an “ae” and e in early Old English was changed to a diphthong (“ea” and “ie” respectively) when preceded by certain palatal consonants “c, g, sc” (Baugh & Cable, 2001).
• Celtic transmission: Celtic transmission refers to the transmission of Latin words into Old English through the association of Celts with the English. The Celts had adopted a considerable number of Latin words but very few words were adopted by the Anglo-Saxons who did not share a harmonious relationship with the Celts. (Baugh & Cable, 2001).
• Modus vivendi: The literal meaning of the term modus vivendi is "manner of living". However, it is used to describe a working arrangement that disputing parties can live with, at least until a more permanent solution can be found (Cornog, 1994). While discussing the amalgamation of the Scandinavians with the old English, Baugh & Cable introduce the term "modus vivendi" to describe the policy followed by the English kings to reestablish their power in Danelaw.
Questions/issues:
While studying the history behind the Latin and the Scandinavian influence on the Old English language, I wondered the following:
• Why did the Anglo-Saxons not name the places according to their language? Why did they adopt the place names from the Celts?
• The author mentions " It is altogether likely that many Celts were held as slaves by the conquerors and that many of the Anglo-Saxons chose Celtic mates." Given that not many words were adopted by the Anglo-Saxons, what was the language of communication between the two communities?
• Why were words like the noun "cook" and the general word "plant" were adopted from the Latin? These general words might have been present in Old English given that they are general words, so why were the OE words for the same discarded?
• Intriguing is the palatal diphthongization of many words, which means a different pronunciation for the same word. How did people adapt to new pronunciation brought by foreign people? How long did this process take?
Discourse samples:
• “Moreover, a number of important centers in the Roman period have names in which Celtic elements are embodied. The name London itself, although the origin of the word is somewhat uncertain, most likely goes back to a Celtic designation” (Baugh & Cable 68).

• “The adopted words naturally...

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