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

Joel Berson berson at ATT.NET
Thu Nov 19 00:31:35 UTC 2015


I was thinking:

mutt (n.) = mongrel.

mutty (adj.) = like a mutt.

muttly (adv.) as in "a vocabulary constructed muttly."  


Although perhaps the adverb would be created as "muttily", which would not fit well in "a muttily vocabulary", proving Larry is right that "muttly" is the adjective.


Joel 
 ----- Original Message -----
 From: Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
 To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
 Sent: Wednesday, November 18, 2015 2:30 PM
 Subject: Re: [ADS-L] on the origins of the (muttly [not in OED]) English language
 
> 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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