Your attitudes towards “purity” and loan-words

This is our main forum. Here, anything related to languages and linguistics can be discussed.

Moderator: Forum Administrators

User avatar
hlysnan
Posts: 3112
Joined: 2010-04-04, 6:21
Real Name: J.
Gender: male
Location: Sydney
Country: AU Australia (Australia)

Re: Your attitudes towards “purity” and loan-words

Postby hlysnan » 2010-12-10, 5:13

KingHarvest wrote:Why would a native speaker besides a 3 year old never have experienced these words before? This is a ridiculous example.

I probably didn't know colleague until I was done with primary school. What about cygnet as opposed to swanling then? I bet if you ask people on the street, half of them wouldn't know what the first is.

KingHarvest
Posts: 4168
Joined: 2008-03-21, 5:46
Gender: male
Location: New York
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Your attitudes towards “purity” and loan-words

Postby KingHarvest » 2010-12-10, 5:26

Yeah, no one's vocabulary is complete by that age, and maybe you should learn to recognize obvious hyperbole.

How many people even need to know or care what a cygnet is? Probably most people don't know what a wight or barrow is, perhaps we should ban all those pesky Anglo-Saxon words from our language so that we can peacefully only use Latinate words..
Most men are rather stupid, and most of those who are not stupid are, consequently, rather vain.
-A.E. Housman

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 24219
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Your attitudes towards “purity” and loan-words

Postby linguoboy » 2010-12-10, 15:06

Yasha wrote:What about cygnet as opposed to swanling then? I bet if you ask people on the street, half of them wouldn't know what the first is.

I don't know that they'd recognise "swanling" either. IME, what most people would say spontaneously is "baby swan". It's nice to have these terms for technical or poetic purposes or whatever, but they're hardly necessary for ordinary communication.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

Ludwig Whitby
Posts: 3665
Joined: 2009-03-30, 13:44
Gender: male
Location: Belgrade
Country: RS Serbia (Србија)

Re: Your attitudes towards “purity” and loan-words

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2010-12-10, 15:47

I just thought of a good example where loan words do complicate things.
In English you say 'sun' and 'moon', yet you say 'solar' and 'lunar'. You say 'pig' and 'calve' yet you say 'pork' and 'veal'.

User avatar
mōdgethanc
Posts: 10661
Joined: 2010-03-20, 5:27
Gender: male
Location: Toronto
Country: CA Canada (Canada)

Re: Your attitudes towards “purity” and loan-words

Postby mōdgethanc » 2010-12-10, 20:42

What would the adjectival form of "sun" be? Any ideas?

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 24219
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Your attitudes towards “purity” and loan-words

Postby linguoboy » 2010-12-10, 20:55

Talib wrote:What would the adjectival form of "sun" be? Any ideas?

It depends what it's modifying. In some cases, a noun-noun compound or possessive phrase would do the trick, e.g. "sun('s) eclipse", "sun('s) radiation". Or even a compound adjectival form, e.g. "sun-gathering panel".

ETA: Some examples from a less Romance-influenced Germanic language:

Sonnenfinsternis "solar eclipse"
Sonnenenergie "solar energy"
Sonnenkollektor "solar panel"
mit Sonnenenergie betrieben "solar-powered"
Sonnensystem "solar system"
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

User avatar
mōdgethanc
Posts: 10661
Joined: 2010-03-20, 5:27
Gender: male
Location: Toronto
Country: CA Canada (Canada)

Re: Your attitudes towards “purity” and loan-words

Postby mōdgethanc » 2010-12-10, 21:31

It was also a stealth pun, since we already have "sunny", but that would never be used in scientific literature.

Any relation between "betrieben" and "retrieve"?

User avatar
hlysnan
Posts: 3112
Joined: 2010-04-04, 6:21
Real Name: J.
Gender: male
Location: Sydney
Country: AU Australia (Australia)

Re: Your attitudes towards “purity” and loan-words

Postby hlysnan » 2010-12-10, 21:38

Talib wrote:Any relation between "betrieben" and "retrieve"?


Related to "drive".

KingHarvest
Posts: 4168
Joined: 2008-03-21, 5:46
Gender: male
Location: New York
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Your attitudes towards “purity” and loan-words

Postby KingHarvest » 2010-12-10, 21:42

It depends what it's modifying. In some cases, a noun-noun compound or possessive phrase would do the trick, e.g. "sun('s) eclipse", "sun('s) radiation". Or even a compound adjectival form, e.g. "sun-gathering panel".


"Eclipse of the sun" and "radiation from the sun" are surely better English? At least to me "sun's eclipse" sounds like the sun is eclipsing something else.
Most men are rather stupid, and most of those who are not stupid are, consequently, rather vain.
-A.E. Housman

User avatar
mōdgethanc
Posts: 10661
Joined: 2010-03-20, 5:27
Gender: male
Location: Toronto
Country: CA Canada (Canada)

Re: Your attitudes towards “purity” and loan-words

Postby mōdgethanc » 2010-12-10, 21:46

"Total eclipse of the heart."
Related to "drive".
Wow, I was way off. I need to read that article on the High German consonant shift again.

thoughtsafar
Posts: 118
Joined: 2010-03-28, 17:08
Gender: male
Location: Akron
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Your attitudes towards “purity” and loan-words

Postby thoughtsafar » 2010-12-10, 21:51

Talib wrote:It was also a stealth pun, since we already have "sunny", but that would never be used in scientific literature.


If you want to go the Ander-Saxon route, I would use "sunly" or "sunnish."

I can brook sunly might by sunboards to becraft my reckoner for to come upon Unilang.

:D
Comfortable: English, German, Dutch
Working on: Italian, Mandarin
On hiatus: Swedish, Spanish, French, Russian
Ancient languages: Latin, Ancient Greek, Old English
Waiting not-so-patiently to start: Welsh, Romanian, Slovene, Zulu

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 24219
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Your attitudes towards “purity” and loan-words

Postby linguoboy » 2010-12-10, 21:56

KingHarvest wrote:
It depends what it's modifying. In some cases, a noun-noun compound or possessive phrase would do the trick, e.g. "sun('s) eclipse", "sun('s) radiation". Or even a compound adjectival form, e.g. "sun-gathering panel".

"Eclipse of the sun" and "radiation from the sun" are surely better English? At least to me "sun's eclipse" sounds like the sun is eclipsing something else.

Seems to me that there's a similar inherent ambiguity to "solar eclipse". The convention is to interpret this as "the eclipse of the sun by something else" but I see no bar to reading it as "the eclipse of something by the sun". Compare "parental invitation".
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

KingHarvest
Posts: 4168
Joined: 2008-03-21, 5:46
Gender: male
Location: New York
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Your attitudes towards “purity” and loan-words

Postby KingHarvest » 2010-12-10, 22:17

I frankly have no idea what a parental invitation is (or rather, I don't understand in what context it would be used), though point taken as I would interpret a royal invitation as an invitation from the king.
Most men are rather stupid, and most of those who are not stupid are, consequently, rather vain.
-A.E. Housman

User avatar
mōdgethanc
Posts: 10661
Joined: 2010-03-20, 5:27
Gender: male
Location: Toronto
Country: CA Canada (Canada)

Re: Your attitudes towards “purity” and loan-words

Postby mōdgethanc » 2010-12-11, 3:38

If you want to go the Ander-Saxon route, I would use "sunly" or "sunnish."

I can brook sunly might by sunboards to becraft my reckoner for to come upon Unilang.
I would have thought "reckoner" meant a calculator for sure.

User avatar
hlysnan
Posts: 3112
Joined: 2010-04-04, 6:21
Real Name: J.
Gender: male
Location: Sydney
Country: AU Australia (Australia)

Re: Your attitudes towards “purity” and loan-words

Postby hlysnan » 2010-12-11, 4:06

Talib wrote:
If you want to go the Ander-Saxon route, I would use "sunly" or "sunnish."

I can brook sunly might by sunboards to becraft my reckoner for to come upon Unilang.
I would have thought "reckoner" meant a calculator for sure.


I'm pretty sure it does, but I think it could also mean computer.

thoughtsafar
Posts: 118
Joined: 2010-03-28, 17:08
Gender: male
Location: Akron
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Your attitudes towards “purity” and loan-words

Postby thoughtsafar » 2010-12-11, 16:07

Yasha wrote:
Talib wrote:
If you want to go the Ander-Saxon route, I would use "sunly" or "sunnish."

I can brook sunly might by sunboards to becraft my reckoner for to come upon Unilang.
I would have thought "reckoner" meant a calculator for sure.


I'm pretty sure it does, but I think it could also mean computer.


:whistle: I was making it up as I went along, if anyone has a better Anglish word for computer, I'd love to hear it. I figured reckoner could fit with the original meaning of compute, which has not adequately described what a computer actually does for decades; one could distinguish a calculator as a tellingreckoner, perhaps.

By the way, I've never quite found an answer for this, but what is the position on the early Norse borrowings in the Anglish school of thought? Yes, they're Germanic, but they're not English, and they are foreign borrowings. Although I guess to react against them we'd have to rework the copula and pronouns...
Comfortable: English, German, Dutch
Working on: Italian, Mandarin
On hiatus: Swedish, Spanish, French, Russian
Ancient languages: Latin, Ancient Greek, Old English
Waiting not-so-patiently to start: Welsh, Romanian, Slovene, Zulu

User avatar
mōdgethanc
Posts: 10661
Joined: 2010-03-20, 5:27
Gender: male
Location: Toronto
Country: CA Canada (Canada)

Re: Your attitudes towards “purity” and loan-words

Postby mōdgethanc » 2010-12-11, 18:07

I think anything attested in Anglo-Saxon is okay. (Don't quote me on this.) If we go far back enough we find ourselves having to remove loans from Proto-Germanic, and that's just ridiculous.
I'm pretty sure it does, but I think it could also mean computer.
Not without precedent. 计算机 means "calculator" in Singaporean Mandarin, but "computer" in standard Mandarin.

User avatar
loqu
Posts: 11835
Joined: 2007-08-15, 21:12
Real Name: Daniel
Gender: male
Location: Sevilla [seˈβiʝa] (Andalucía), born in Cádiz [ˈkaði]

Re: Your attitudes towards “purity” and loan-words

Postby loqu » 2010-12-11, 18:34

reckoner? really? That makes me think that Anglish only tries to calque every German word of Germanic origin.
Dir la veritat sempre és revolucionari.

User avatar
JackFrost
Forum Administrator
Posts: 16240
Joined: 2004-11-08, 21:00
Real Name: Jack Frost
Gender: male
Location: Montréal, Québec
Country: CA Canada (Canada)

Re: Your attitudes towards “purity” and loan-words

Postby JackFrost » 2010-12-11, 19:06

Rumpetroll wrote:I just thought of a good example where loan words do complicate things.
In English you say 'sun' and 'moon', yet you say 'solar' and 'lunar'. You say 'pig' and 'calve' yet you say 'pork' and 'veal'.

Depends... "sunscreen" and "moonbeam" are a perfectly and common valid words of Anglo-Saxon origins. It would be weird to say "solar screen" and "lunar beam". "Solar screen" would imply something different to me, like the door... for some reason, not the stuff you use to protect the skin from the strong sun at the beach. "Solar light" would mean something different from "sunlight": it's a type of lamps. Can't say for "lunar light", which could replace "moonlight", but that just comes to me as a bit weird and pretentious.

"Pork" and "veal" would be the meat only. I can't think of any other examples of usage not related to cooking.

Yeah, it does complicate things, as much as it complicates things on concept of basic colours in languages.
Neferuj paħujkij!

KingHarvest
Posts: 4168
Joined: 2008-03-21, 5:46
Gender: male
Location: New York
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Your attitudes towards “purity” and loan-words

Postby KingHarvest » 2010-12-11, 19:34

loqu wrote:reckoner? really? That makes me think that Anglish only tries to calque every German word of Germanic origin.


Talking about a reckoner just makes me think the Second Coming is at hand.
Most men are rather stupid, and most of those who are not stupid are, consequently, rather vain.
-A.E. Housman


Return to “General Language Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest