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LANGUAGE CONTACT AS A SIGNIFICANT SOCIAL PHENOMENON IN TEACHING ENGLISH
Турмаханова Перуза Паманшаевна
№110 жалпы орта мектебінің ағылшын тілі пәні мұғалімі
Languages, like cultures, are rarely sufficient unto themselves. The necessities of intercourse bring the speakers of one language into direct or indirect contact with those of neighboring or culturally dominant languages. The intercourse may be friendly or hostile. It may move on the humdrum plane of business and trade relations or it may consist of a borrowing or interchange of spiritual goods—art, science, religion. It would be difficult to point to a completely isolated language or dialect, least of all among the primitive peoples.
The tribe is often so small that intermarriages with alien tribes that speak other dialects or even totally unrelated languages are not uncommon. It may even be doubted whether intermarriage, intertribal trade, and general cultural interchanges are not of greater relative significance on primitive levels than on our own. Whatever the degree or nature of contact between neighboring peoples, it is generally sufficient to lead to some kind of linguistic interinfluencing.
Frequently the influence runs heavily in one direction. The language of a people that is looked upon as a center of culture is naturally far more likely to exert an appreciable influence on other languages spoken in its vicinity than to be influenced by them.
Chinese has flooded the vocabularies of Corean, Japanese, and Annamite for centuries, but has received nothing in return. In the western Europe of medieval and modern times French has exercised a similar, though probably a less overwhelming, influence.
English borrowed an immense number of words from the French of the Norman invaders, later also from the court French of Isle de France, appropriated a certain number of affixed elements of derivational value (e.g., -ess of princess, -ard of drunkard, -ty of royalty), may have been somewhat stimulated in its general analytic drift by contact with French, and even allowed French to modify its phonetic pattern slightly (e.g., initial v and j in words like veal and judge; in words of Anglo-Saxon origin v and j can only occur after vowels, e.g., over, hedge). But English has exerted practically no influence on French.
It is often the case that a word is borrowed by several languages, not just by one. Such words usually convey concepts which are significant in the field of com¬munication. Many of them are of Latin and Greek origin.
Most names of sciences are international (e. g. philosophy, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, linguistics, lexicology). There are also numerous terms of art in this group: music, theatre, drama, tragedy, comedy, artist, primadonna, etc.; and the sports terms: football, volley-ball, baseball, hockey, cricket, rugby, tennis, golf, etc. It is quite natural that political terms frequently oc¬cur in the international group of borrowings: politics, policy, revolution, progress, democracy, communism, anti-militarism. 20th century scientific and technological advances brought a great number of new international words: atomic, antibiotic, radio, television, sputnik (a Russian borrowing). Fruits and foodstuffs imported from exotic coun¬tries often transport their names too and become inter¬national: coffee, cocoa, chocolate, banana, mango, avocado, grapefruit, etc.
The similarity of such words as the English “son”, the German “Sohn” and the Russian “сын” 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 respec¬tive language and are cognates, i. e. words of the same etymological root, and not borrowings.
The words originating from the same etymological source, but differing in phonemic shape and in meaning are called etymological doublets [1, p.75-80].
They may enter the vocabulary by different routes. Some of these pairs consist of a native word and a borrowed word: “shrew”, n. (E.) – “screw”, n. (Sc.). Others are represented by two borrowings from dif¬ferent languages: “canal” (Lat.) - “channel” (Fr.), “captain” (Lat.) — “chieftain” (Fr.). Still others were borrowed from the same language twice, but in different periods: “travel” (Norm. Fr.) - “tra¬vail" (Par. Fr.), “cavalry” (Norm. Fr.) - “chivalry” (Par. Fr.), “gaol” (Norm. Fr.) - “jail” (Par. Fr.).
A doublet may also consist of a shortened word and the one from which it was derived: “history” - “story”, “fantasy” - “fancy”, “defence” - “fence”, “shadow” - “shade”.
Etymological triplets (i. e. groups of three words of common root) occur rarer, but here are at least two ex¬amples: “hospital” (Lat.) — “hostel” (Norm. Fr.) — “hotel” (Par. Fr.), “to capture” (Lat.) — “to catch” (Norm. Fr.) — “to chase” (Par. Fr.).
By translation-loans we indicate borrowings of a special kind. They are not taken into the vocabulary of another language more or less in the same phonemic shape in which they have been functioning in their own lan¬guage, but undergo the process of translation. It is quite obvious that it is only compound words (i. e. words of two or more stems). Each stem was translated separate¬ly: “masterpiece” (from Germ. “Meisterstuck”), “wonder child” (from Germ. “Wunderkind”), ”first dancer” (from Ital. “prima-ballerina”).
Are etymological and stylistic characteristics of words interrelated?
The answer must be affirma¬tive. Among learned words and terminology the for¬eign element dominates the native.
It also seems that the whole opposition of “formal versus informal” is based on the deeper underlying opposition of “bor¬rowed versus native”, as the informal style, especial¬ly slang and dialect, abounds in native words even though it is possible to quote numerous exceptions.
In point of comparing the expressive and stylistic value of the French and the English words the French ones are usually more formal, more refined, and less emotional: “to begin” – “to commence”, “to wish” — “to desire”, “hap-piness" — “felicity”.
English words are much warmer than their Latin synonyms, they don’t sound cold and dry: “motherly” — “maternal”, “fatherly” — “paternal”, “childish” — “infan¬tile", “daughterly” — “filial”, etc.
Loaning words from another language causes some changes in meaning of the word borrowed.
When a word is taken over into another language its semantic structure as a rule undergoes great changes.
Polysemantic words are usually adopted only in one or two of their meanings. Thus the word ‘timbre’ that had a number of meanings in French was borrowed into English as a musical term only. The words cargo and cask, highly polysemantic in Spanish were adopted only in one of their meanings – ‘the goods carried in a ship’, ‘a barrel for holding liquids’ respectively.
In some cases we can observe specialization of meaning, as in the word hangar, denoting a building in which aero planes are kept and revive, which had the meaning of ‘review’ in French and came to denote a kind of theatrical entertainment in English.
In the process of its historical development a borrowing sometimes acquired new meanings that were not to be found in its former semantic structure. For instance, the word ‘move’ in Modern English has developed the meanings of ‘propose’, ‘change one’s flat’, ‘mix with people’ and others that the French movoir does not possess. The word scope, which originally had the meaning of ‘aim purpose’, now means ‘ability to understand ‘, ‘the field within which an activity takes place, sphere’, ‘opportunity, freedom of action’. As a rule the development of new meanings takes place 50-100 years after the word is borrowed.
The semantic structure of borrowings changes in other ways as well. Some meanings become more general, others more specialized, etc. For instance, the word ‘terrorist’ that was taken over from French in the meaning of ‘Jacobin’ widened its meaning to ‘one who governs, or opposes a government, by violent means. The word umbrella, borrowed in the meaning of a sunshade or pares came to denote similar protection from the rain as well.
Usually the primary meaning of a borrowed word was a retained throughout its history, but sometimes it becomes a secondary meaning. Thus the Scandinavian borrowings wing, root, take and many others have retained their primary meanings to the present day.
Sometimes change of meaning is the result of associating borrowed words with familiar words which somewhat resemble them in sound but which are not at all related. This process, which is termed folk etymology, often changes the form of the word in whole or in part, so as to bring it nearer to the word or words with which it is thought to be connected; e. g. the French sur (o) under had the meaning of ‘overflow’. In English r (o) under was associated by mistake with round and the verb was interpreted as meaning ‘enclose on all sides, encircle’. Etimologization is a slow process; people first attempt to give the foreign borrowing its foreign premonition, but gradually popular use involves a new pronunciation and spelling.
Another phenomenon which must also receive special attention is the formation of derivatives from borrowed words. New derivatives are usually formed with the help of productive affixes, often of Anglo-Saxon origin [2, p.58-79].
LIST OF REFERENCES:
1. Расторгуева Т.А. “A History of English Language” M., 1996.
2. Смирницкий А.И. Лексикология английского языка. М., 1956