[Ads-l] on the origins of the (muttly [not in OED]) English language

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Nov 18 19:30:51 UTC 2015


> On Nov 18, 2015, at 11:19 AM, Joel Berson <berson at ATT.NET> wrote:
> 
> Well, one more comment -- I like "This muttly vocabulary" ... particularly since (am I correct?) McWhorter has constructed an adverb.  To convey a sense of action?
> 
> 
> Joel

Well, an adjective (cf. "friendly", "westerly", "motherly").  

As for the article, there's a bit of oversimplification--"English started out as, essentially, a kind of German" is no more valid than vice versa, or--if the thought is that German has changed less over the centuries than English has from the Proto-Germanic roots--we could say that English and German started out as, essentially, kinds of Icelandic.  Or maybe, since that's a more distant cousin, English started out as a kind of Dutch.  Hard to write such an article without cutting a few corners.  (Is do-support *really* attributable to the Celtic substratum, lying dormant for several centuries before someone pushed the switch to activate it in the early modern period?  Seems unlikely, but I'm no expert.)

LH

>      From: Bill Mullins <amcombill at HOTMAIL.COM>
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU 
> Sent: Wednesday, November 18, 2015 10:19 AM
> Subject: [ADS-L] on the origins of the English language
> 
> I don't know how much to trust this article, but it was fascinating:
> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__aeon.co_essays_why-2Dis-2Denglish-2Dso-2Dweirdly-2Ddifferent-2Dfrom-2Dother-2Dlanguages&d=AwIFaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=7c4PXi2zhUAQc69tuep9c6RoY4CyW2_zJkRev1PcMKs&s=G8dhNgmQXeAJwcjlChJaIljedpcQ8vnBVV13bAuYVJQ&e= 
> 
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> The American Dialect Society - https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.americandialect.org&d=AwIFaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=7c4PXi2zhUAQc69tuep9c6RoY4CyW2_zJkRev1PcMKs&s=4OVRNrk1I-VP_eRGbNCDL-3Yw3t5joYpIwf4xBf7Rfg&e= 
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