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INTERNATIONAL WORDS

ETYMOLOGICAL DOUBLETS

A pair of words originating from the same etymological source, but different in phonemic shape and meaning are called etymological doublets.The words shirt and skirt etymologically originated from the same root. Shirt is a native word, and skirt is a Scandinavian borrowing. And still there is a certain resemblance which reflects their common origin. Their meanings are also different but easily associated; they both denote articles of clothes. Etymological doublets enter the language by different routes. Some of the pairs consist of a native and a borrowed words. Others are represented by two borrowings from different languages which are historically descended from the same root: senior (Lat.)-sir (Fr.); canal (Lat.) – channel (Fr.). Still others are borrowed from the same language twice, but in different period: corpse (Norm.Fr.) - corps (Par. Fr.); travel (Norm. Fr.) – travail (Par. Fr.). The Latin word discus is the origin of a whole group of doublets: dais - (ME deis) - OE deis - Lat. discus- ME dish- OE disc- Lat. discus. Other doublets that for the most part justify their names by coming in pairs show in their various ways the influence of the language or dialect systems which they passed before entering the English vocabulary.

Compare words borrowed in Middle English from Parisian French: chase, chattels, guard with their doublets of Norman French origin: catch, captain, ward.

Etymological triplets (groups of three words of common root) occur rarer: hospital (Lat.) - hostel (Norm. Fr.) - hotel (Par. Fr.). A doublet may consist of a shortened word and the one from which it was derived: history-story, fantasy-fancy, fanatic-fan, defence-fence, shadow-shade. In Ukrainin one may find the following doublets: вензель-вузол, армія-армада, волость-влада etc.

Expanding global contacts result in the considerable growth of international vocabulary. All languages depend upon the cultural and social matrix in which they operate and various contacts between nations are part of this matrix reflected in vocabulary. It is often the case that a word is borrowed by several languages. Words of identical origin that occur in several languages as a result of simultaneous or successive borrowings from one ultimate source are called international words.

Such words usually convey concepts which are significant in the field of communication (Fr. telephone, organization, industrialization, consilium).

International words play an especially prominent part in various terminological systems including the vocabulary of science, industry and art. Many of them are of Greek and Latin origin.



Most names of sciences are international: philosophy, physics, mathematics, chemistry, biology, lexicology. There are also a number of arts of the same origin: music, opera, drama, comedy, artist, philharmonics, prima-donna.

The etymological sources of this vocabulary reflect the history of world culture. For example, the mankind’s debt to Italy is reflected in the number of Italian words connected with architecture, painting and especially music borrowed into most European languages: allegro, aria, arioso, barcarole, baritone, concert, duet, piano. It is quite natural that political terms often occur in the group of international words: policies, policy, revolution, democracy, communism, militarism.

The 20-th century scientific and technological advances brought a great number of new international words: atomic, antibiotic, radio, television, sputnik. The rate of change in technology, political, social and artistic life has been greatly accelerated in the last decade and so has the rate of growth of international wordstock. A few examples of comparatively new words due to the progress of science will suffice to illustrate the importance of international vocabulary: algorithm, antenna, microelectronics, microminiaturization, quasar, ribosome, cybernatics, entropy, gene, genetic code, graph, pulsar. All these show sufficient likeness in English, French, Russian, Ukrainian and several other languages. The international wordstock is also growing due to the influx of exotic borrowed words like anaconda, bungalow, kraal, orang-outang, sari.

The English vocabulary penetrates into other languages. We find numerous English words in the field of sport: football, out, match, tennis, volley-ball, basketball, cricket, golf, time in Ukrainian and other Slavonic languages. A large number of English words are to be found in the vocabulary pertaining to clothes: jersey, pull-over, sweater, tweed. Cinema and different types of entertainment are a source of many international words of English origin: film, jazz, cocktail, club.

At least some of Russian words are borrowed onto English and other languages: balalaika, sputnik, valenki, Bolshevik, mammoth, soviet, cosmonaut, Kremlin, vodka.

Food and fruit imported from exotic countries become international: avocado, coca-cola, banana, grapefruit, chocolate, cocoa, mango, coffee.

It is important to note that international words are not borrowings. The outward similarity of the English word son, the German Sohn and Russian сын and Ukrainian син should not lead one to the quite false conclusion that they are international words. They represent the Indo-European group of the native element in each representative language and are cognates (words of the same etymological roots), not borrowings.

 

Problems for revision:

1. What is contrastive lexicology?

2. What is the place of contrastive lexicology in linguistics?

3. What methods of analysis are used in contrastive lexicology?

1. What are the two approaches to the history of the Ukrainian language?

2. What are the main stages of the English languge development?

3. What are the main sources of borrowings in Ukrainian?

4. What are the main sources of borrowings in English?

5. What types and degrees of assimilation are there?

6. What are international words?

7. What are etymological dublets?

 

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