Latin contribution?

Robin Hamilton robin.hamilton2 at BTINTERNET.COM
Tue Nov 17 15:00:16 UTC 2009

Elly van Gelderen, _A History of the English Language_ (Amsterdam, 2006),
pp. 93-94, citing Serjeantson, has the following statement about Latin words
in English:

"Possibly 170 words are borrowed on the continent, over 100 in Britain
before the Romans left Britain in 410, 150 after the introduction of
Christianity, and thousands in the Renaissance period ... "

But ...

Most of the figures referred to on this thread are taken from studies which
predate the existence of corpora in electronically searchable form.  Has
anything been done using tools which wouldn't have been available before,
say, 1970?  On a simple level, it should be possible to refine the figures a
little by reference to the Ann Arbor Medieval English Dictionary (which is
available online).  This draws on a much more complete range of texts,
albeit stopping before 1400, than does the OED.  The Dictionary of the Older
Scottish Tongue (also free online) was prepared from the entire range of
medieval Scottish texts in digital form, though I'm unsure just how much was
finally included in the dictionary in the citations given.

And then there's _The Historical Thesaurus of English_, if anyone has
actually seen this yet.

Robin Hamilton

----- Original Message -----
From: "David Barnhart" <dbarnhart at HIGHLANDS.COM>
Sent: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 1:27 PM
Subject: Re: Latin contribution?

> ---------------------- Information from the mail
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       David Barnhart <dbarnhart at HIGHLANDS.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Latin contribution?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Perhaps overlooked, I suggest taking a look at Serjeantson (c. 1935) for a
> significant contribution to this thread (Chapter II: "Latin Words Before
> the
> Conquest" pp 11-50).  Or, is this out of date?
> Regards,
> Barnhart at
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> The American Dialect Society -

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