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#119979 - 01/14/04 05:12 PM Romanes eunt domus?
sjmaxq Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/20/03
Posts: 3230
Loc: Te Ika a Maui
Elsewhere, capfka queried whether French "crept" into English, and my sympathy with the question (at least as it relates to the speed with which the French language affected the English language) set me wondering: What about the Romans? I am proudly omnascient, but I have always assumed that the bulk of any Latinate influence in English came from the Frenchified Vikings who caught Harald's eye in 1066. So, what about the Romans? How much of an impact did they have, linguistically? I realise that their presence predates the Angles and the Saxons, but surely they couldn't have hung around for a couple of centuries without leaving some discernible mark on the language?

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noho ora mai
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#119980 - 01/14/04 05:32 PM Re: Romanae eunt domus?
jheem Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/06/04
Posts: 1474
Loc: California
Well, the Romans were in Britain for about 400 years, and they did have an impact on the languages spoken on the island. There are many Latin loanwords in Welsh, Cornish, Breton (off the isle), and Irish. (There's a famous book by a French linguist, but I've spaced on his name and the title.) When the Roman Empire pulled its legions out of Britannia to go shore up it crumbling western provinces, it left a vacuum that some Germanic tribes decided to fill (whether by invitation or their own initiative). I think that if the Romano-Britons, (i.e., those Britons living in the Roman province in cities and villas, who culturally identified with Romans, speaking Latin, etc.) had held off the invading Teutons, then the landmass known today as the UK might today might be speaking a Romance language. But the invading Germans didn't so much conquer the Britons as push them aside (i.e., into Wales, Cornwall, and Scotland). They usually created new settlements near the old Roman towns (which they feared were haunted), and since they weren't Christians yet, they didn't have much contact with Latin. Later, when Billy the Bastard nuked Harold from orbit (rather than creeping in like a mouse), there was plenty of time for some fearsome verbal lending from the Norman variety of Middle French.

BTW, I love that scene in <i>The Life of Brian</i> to which your subject refers.

<A HREF="http://members.chello.se/hansdotter/romanes.html" target="_new">http://members.chello.se/hansdotter/romanes.html</A>



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#119981 - 01/14/04 05:36 PM Re: Romanes eunt domus?
sjmaxq Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/20/03
Posts: 3230
Loc: Te Ika a Maui
In reply to:

Well, the Romans were in Britain for about 400 years, and they did have an impact on the languages spoken on the island. There are many Latin loanwords in Welsh, Cornish, Breton (off the isle), and Irish.


Thanks for that. I figured that their legacy would be most visible in the British languages. Do you know of examples where that influence has percolated through to AS and on to English?



Thanks for the link. I've corrected the subject line. Cheers.

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http://maxqnzs.com/References.html

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#119982 - 01/14/04 05:51 PM Re: Romanae eunt domus?
jheem Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/06/04
Posts: 1474
Loc: California
The book I was thinking of in the last entry was: Joseph Loth, Les mots latins dans les langues brittoniques (gallois, armoricain, cornique), phonetique et commentaire, avec une introduction sur la romanization de l'ile de Bretagne, 1892. There's also Joseph Vendryes, De hibernicis vocabulis qvae a latina lingua originem duxerunt, 1902.


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#119983 - 01/14/04 06:07 PM Re: Romanes eunt domus?
jheem Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/06/04
Posts: 1474
Loc: California
Do you know of examples where that influence has percolated through to AS and on to English?

Well, there's mile, wine, street, church (from Greek via Latin), anchor, abbot, sack (from saccus, though it's a loan into Latin from Greek and finally from Semitic), plaster, martyr, master (though with some interference from the French), Chester (though a city name). The modern spelling have been affected by the classical spellings. There's a nice Latin loanword chapter in Campbell's Old English Grammar which is still in print. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0198119437/qid=1074125239/sr=1-4/ref=sr_1_4/102-3552399-0616950?v=glance&s=books



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#119984 - 01/20/04 07:17 PM Re: Romanae eunt domus?
hibernicus Offline
journeyman

Registered: 01/19/04
Posts: 79
Loc: Dublin, Ireland
In reply to:

Well, the Romans were in Britain for about 400 years, and they did have an impact on the languages spoken on the island. There are many Latin loanwords in Welsh, Cornish, Breton (off the isle), and Irish.


In the case of Irish at least, it was ecclesia and not imperium that left a legacy of Latin loan-words, and in fact any infuence on Irish dates from after the withdrawal from Britain. The influence of Latin is most evident in vocabulary that relates to church (eaglais) and school (scoil).

It's worth noting that the Bretons were actually on the island during the Roman occupation, and subequently migrated to Brittany.


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#119985 - 01/20/04 07:34 PM Re: Romanae eunt domus?
jheem Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/06/04
Posts: 1474
Loc: California
Thanks for the clarification. My favorite Latin loanword into Irish is pax into pogue (in its Anglo-Irish spelling). The kiss of peace during the mass which has now turned into shaking hands and hugging the person next to you. I thought there were some Latin loans into Irish that predated the church. I realise that the etymology of clan from planta is not uncontroversial. But St Patrick was in Ireland in the early fifth century, wasn't he? So it's in the same timeframe as the Brythonic languages. But, yes, Ireland was not a province of Rome.


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#119986 - 01/21/04 02:04 AM Re: Romanes eunt domus?
stales Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/13/00
Posts: 866
Loc: Perth, Western Australia
WHAT DID THE ROMANS EVER DO FOR US?

stales


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#119987 - 01/21/04 02:10 AM Re: Romanes eunt domus?
Capfka Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/28/02
Posts: 1624
Loc: Utter Placebo, Planet Reebok
WHAT DID THE ROMANS EVER DO FOR US?

Well, lemme think. There was a rumour that they began to migrate to Sydney in hordes. There's that many pizzerias and spaghetti houses there, after all. So it's prolly true.


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#119988 - 01/21/04 08:28 AM Re: Romanes eunt domus?
Father Steve Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/06/00
Posts: 2788
Loc: Seattle, Washington, USA
WHAT DID THE ROMANS EVER DO FOR US?

The Wall is rather lovely.



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