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Latin borrowings in English. Periods of borrowings from Latin.

Among words of Romanic origin borrowed from Latin during the period when the British Isles were a part of the Roman Empire, there are such words as: street, port, wall etc. Many Latin words came into English during the Adoption of Christianity in the 6-th century. At this time the Latin alphabet was borrowed which ousted the Runic alphabet. These borrowings are usually called classical borrowings. Here belong Latin words: alter, cross, dean.

In modern times Latin continues to influence English in the sphere of scientific, technical, political and art terminology. New terms are often built on the basis of Latin morphemes: human oid, multi national, micro wave, trans atlantic, etc.
Latin borrowings have specific features by which they can be recognized. To Latin borrowings belong: 1) verbs ending in – ate, derived from Latin participles in – atum (narrate, separate, etc.), 2) verbs in – ute, derived from Latin participles in – utum (constitute, execute, prosecute, etc.), 3) verbs and verbal nouns, derived from Latin infinitival and participial forms (permit/permission, admit/admission, compel/compulsion, reduce/reduction, etc.), 4) adjectives in – ant, – ent (reluctunt, evident, obidient, etc.), 5) adjectives in – ior, formed from Latin stems of the comparative degree (superior, inferior, major, minor, senior, junior), 6) words with x, pronounced [gz] (exam, exert), 7) words with beginning with v (they are either French or Latin, but never native: van, vocabulary.

Latin Loans are classified into the subgroups.

1.Early Latin Loans. Those are the words which came into English through the language of Anglo-Saxon tribes. The tribes had been in contact with Roman civilisation and had adopted several Latin words denoting objects belonging to that civilisation long before the invasion of Angles, Saxons and Jutes into Britain (cup, kitchen, mill, port, wine).

2.Later Latin Borrowings. To this group belong the words which penetrated the English vocabulary in the sixth and seventh centuries, when the people of England were converted to Christianity (priest, bishop, nun, candle).

3.The third period of Latin includes words which came into English due to two historical events: the Norman conquest in 1066 and the Renaissance or the Revival of Learning. Some words came into English through French but some were taken directly from Latin (major, minor, intelligent, permanent).

4.The Latest Stratum of Latin Words. The words of this period are mainly abstract and scientific words (nylon, molecular, vaccine, phenomenon, vacuum).

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