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  1. #1
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
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    Default Anglo-Saxon vs Latinate vocabulary

    I am about to try to show my students what a huge difference there is between the Anglo-Saxon words and the French words in English.

    Do any of you know of a good example of a "parallel text" using the two vocabularies? I believe that Sir Walter Scott did something with this. I also believe that something was done like this with one of Churchill's speeches.

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    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anglo-Saxon vs Latinate vocabulary

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Antonson View Post
    I believe that Sir Walter Scott did something with this.
    You may be thinking of the passage in Ivanhoe when somebody remarks that the Saxon peasants rear the sheep (Germanic) but it is the Norman lords who eat the mutton (French); there are other examples. If that is the one you are thinking of, it's not really a parallel texts.

    Sorry I can't expand - I can't find my Ivanhoe.

    ps. - just found an online version. It's not too far into this: http://scott.thefreelibrary.com/Ivanhoe/1-1
    Last edited by 5jj; 05-Mar-2011 at 19:19. Reason: ps added

  3. #3
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Anglo-Saxon vs Latinate vocabulary

    A friend or mine offered me this by George Orwell:

    "Here is a well-known verse from Ecclesiastes:
    I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
    Here it is in modern English:
    Objective considerations of contemporary phenomena compel the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account."


    But I don't really mean to ridicule Latinate vocabulary -- just show the dicotomy English.


    My students will soon be choosing whether or not to study Spanish, French, or Latin next year. Most of them and their parents have no understanding of the depth of French (and Latin) within English. The same, of course, is not true of Spanish.







  4. #4
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anglo-Saxon vs Latinate vocabulary

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    You may be thinking of the passage in Ivanhoe when somebody remarks that the Saxon peasants rear the sheep (Germanic) but it is the Norman lords who eat the mutton (French); there are other examples. If that is the one you are thinking of, it's not really a parallel texts.

    Sorry I can't expand - I can't find my Ivanhoe.

    ps. - just found an online version. It's not too far into this: Sir Walter Scott: Ivanhoe: CHAPTER I - Free Online Library
    Yes, I think that is the one I mean. It is useful to show the class difference which can become apparent with the frequency of the use of Germanic words.

  5. #5
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Anglo-Saxon vs Latinate vocabulary

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Antonson View Post
    I am about to try to show my students what a huge difference there is between the Anglo-Saxon words and the French words in English.

    Do any of you know of a good example of a "parallel text" using the two vocabularies? I believe that Sir Walter Scott did something with this. I also believe that something was done like this with one of Churchill's speeches.
    The Churchill one was something I did as an attachment to a post I made reporting on a test of the Text Analyser: http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/te...tml#post295684

    (French wasn't my only - or main - source of long words. And I wasn't pointing the finger at big words per se - so much as the woolly thinking and bad writing habits that can be given a gloss of respectabilty by the use of fancy language.)

    b

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    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anglo-Saxon vs Latinate vocabulary

    I know this is not what you are looking for, but you might find some ideas here: Readings in Basic English

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    ibeto is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Anglo-Saxon vs Latinate vocabulary

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Antonson View Post
    I am about to try to show my students what a huge difference there is between the Anglo-Saxon words and the French words in English.

    Do any of you know of a good example of a "parallel text" using the two vocabularies? I believe that Sir Walter Scott did something with this. I also believe that something was done like this with one of Churchill's speeches.
    You will find an example in "Alice's adventures in Wonderland"
    "In that case, said the Dodo solemnly, I move that the meeting adjourn, for immediate adoption of more enegetic remedies"
    you can recognize french words :solennelle, ajourner,immédiat, adoption,énergétique,remèdes.
    That is why the Eaglet ,said "Speak English"
    hope that will help

  8. #8
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anglo-Saxon vs Latinate vocabulary

    Thanks.

    That helps.

    This is a subject to which I may return when the heat of the moment is not so much upon me and my class.

    How to make this subject interesting????????

    I LOVE the subject. Back in 1966 a teacher of mine told us that "etymology is the icing on the vocabulary cake". I did not immediately believe it, but I soon did. How to share that awakening with a bunch of 14-year-olds, other than by simply testifying to the idea????

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    Default Re: Anglo-Saxon vs Latinate vocabulary

    Hmm. 14... Do they know what 'metaphors' are? This is a good starting point: http://poetryfoundation.org/harriet/athensvan.jpg . Deutscher (forgotten his first name) called vocabulary 'a reef of dead metaphors' (brilliant meta-metaphor).

    b

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    BookAddict is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Anglo-Saxon vs Latinate vocabulary

    - Most probably all words ending in -tion are from Latin through French
    - all shorter words (get, put, set) are of Germanic origin
    - longer words, usually from Latin (beautiful, extraordinary)

    - Though the territory was occupied by Normans and French was spoken by the higher classes, the English element survived. Pronouns (personal, possessive, interrogative, reflexive) are Saxon (I think 'them' and 'their' is from Norse)

    - declination of nouns (four cases) - Saxon
    - etc.

    hmmm .. it's a topic for a couple of weeks.

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