#1202. 現代英語の語彙の起源と割合 (2)[lexicology][loan_word][statistics][old_norse]


 [2011-08-20-1]の記事「#845. 現代英語の語彙の起源と割合」で,現代英語の最頻語を借用元言語別に分別した統計値を紹介した.このような語彙統計は,何を資料に使ったか,どのような方法で調査したかなどによって結果が変動しがちであるため,複数の調査結果を照らし合わせて評価するのがよい.Schmitt and Marsden (82) は,Bird による調査結果の統計値を与えている.これをグラフ化してみた.(数値データは,HTMLソースを参照.)

Sources of the most frequent 7,476 words of English

 続けて Schmitt and Marsden (83) は,英語本来語のみで構成された印象深い1節を紹介している.

But with all its manifold new words from other tongues, English could never have become anything but English. And as such it has sent out to the world, among many other things, some of the best books the world has ever known. It is not unlikely, in the light of writings by Englishmen in earlier times, that this would have been so even if we had never taken any words from outside the word hoard that has come down to us from those times. It is true that what we have borrowed has brought greater wealth to our word stock, but the true Englishness of our mother tongue has in no way been lessened by such loans, as those who speak and write it lovingly will always keep in mind.

 [2010-04-20-1]の記事「#358. アイスランド語と英語の関係」のなかで,"Though they are both weak fellows, she gives them gifts." という北欧単語のみで構成された英文(ただし語源について北欧系かどうか疑わしい語も含まれている)を提示したが,これはさすがに不自然で,強引な文だ.しかし,英語本来語で構成された上の文章は十分に自然だ.

 ・ Schmitt, Norbert, and Richard Marsden. Why Is English Like That? Ann Arbor, Mich.: U of Michigan P, 2006.

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