Celtic influence in English

iffr762 at utxvms.cc.utexas.edu iffr762 at utxvms.cc.utexas.edu
Fri Feb 5 03:33:15 UTC 1999

On Tue, 2 Feb 1999 JoatSimeon at aol.com wrote:

>iffr762 at utxvms.cc.utexas.edu

>>Yes.  Isn't it past time we retired the quaint notion that thereis no Celtic
>>influence in English?

>-- "very little", rather than "no".

>>If we know where to look (grammar rather than lexicon or phonology), Celtic
>>influence is pervasive in English.

>-- undemonstrated.  And how did Celtic manage to influence the grammar
>profoundly without adding loan-words?  Lexical influence is easier and more
>common in cases of prolonged language contact than changing grammatical forms.

	The processes of grammatical and lexical influences occur by
different mechanisms and do not necessarily co-occur.  The well-known case
that Emenou discovered(?) in India is a good example:  very high
grammatical influence, very low lexical influence.  Borrowing of words is
volitional, dependent on probable reception and other considerations,
whereas foreign accents are not, being created by very real limitations in
language-acquisistion ability after a point.  Thus it is entirely
conceivable that Britons could have an "accent" in (Old) English,
and yet choose not to carry over any great number of British words,
essentially because of the status differential.


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