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Borrowed WordsA History of Loanwords in English$
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Philip Durkin

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199574995

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199574995.001.0001

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Very early borrowings into Germanic

Very early borrowings into Germanic

(p.66) 4 Very early borrowings into Germanic
Borrowed Words

Philip Durkin

Oxford University Press

The core methods of historical comparative linguistics are introduced, by which language families that have developed from a common ancestor can be established. The method of comparative reconstruction is explained. The methodology is demonstrated by some examples illustrating very early contact between Germani and other peoples in continental Europe. In addition to their value in illustrating processes of historical language change, examples such as rich, iron, and leech (probably ultimately from Celtic) and pound (in weight), kettle, and cheap (ultimately from Latin) are revealing for what they suggest about early social and cultural contacts.

Keywords:   language families, comparative reconstruction, Indo-European, Germanic, Romance, very early borrowings

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