7. Old English Lexicon

1.How is the associative/homogeneous principle reflected in the structure of Old English vocabulary? Are loan-translations in Old English part of this reflection?

The vocabulary is based on transparency of formation, etymology is recognizable in the word

Wordformation: mainly derivation, compounding

There are only some 3% of loan words

Loan translation = calque = In linguistics, a calque (/ˈkælk/) is a word or phrase borrowed from another language by literal, word-for-word, or root-for-root translation. It reflects the homogenous nature of the language because there is a tendency to make the process of the word formation transparent.

2. How can we support the claim about the stability of OE vocabulary in diachrony?

core vocabulary remained (high frequency items)

– many recognizable items:

little or no change: stān, strǣt, his; god, gold, hand, helm, land, under, winter,

word changes in sound, spelling and morphology: munuc (‛monk’), hēafod (‛head’), bēc (‛books’), hlōh (‛laughed’)

change of meaning (e.g. drēam (‛joy x dream)

hidden relics (in phrases and idioms): one man’s meat is another man’s poison

3. Name some of the reasons for the loss of Old English vocabulary in the later history of English.

Lexical losses (Middle English)

a) institutional replacement → tungolcræft (‛astronomy, astrology’)

b) structural replacement (change of word formation)

c) losses of common items through domestic competition

d) through replacement by loans → Latin (OE gylt (‘crime’ >‘sin’), Old Norse (OE dréam (‘joy’ > ‘dream’)

4. Using the diagram on p. 14 of the presentation, identify the most important sources of Old English vocabulary.

Proto-Indo-European → foot (OE fōt), eye (ēage), mother (mōdor),snow (snāw)

Proto-Germanic/Northwest Germanic → bath (bæð), ship (scip), drink (drincan), hand (hand)

Later Indo-European → loaf (=‛bread’- hlāf); devil (deofol)

Old Norse → take (tacan), root (OE rōt); die, sky, skirt, sister

Old Frisian → proud (OE prūd)

Non-Indo-European (e.g. Finnish (Uralic))

Celtic → lead (OE léad)

Latin → wine (OE wīn); camp (OE camp), street (OE strǣt)

Unknown origin