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Is English Romance?

 
 
Reply Fri 5 Aug, 2016 05:15 pm
Linguistics is based on opinion. Linguists attempt to classify languages into one family each. Do the classifications tell us everything about ancestry? Absolutely not. They tend to shortcut history, misleading all who listen.

Is English a Romance Language? English has part Romance blood in it, but it is not classified as Romance. Thus, linguists have established that partiality is measured as invalidity. Since English is only partially Germanic, that should be partiality ignored too. It turns out, Germanic is the closest language family in which English fits. Dominant ancestry makes a language belong to a family.
What is a language family? “A language family is a group of languages related through descent from a common ancestor, called the proto-language of that family.” Thus, English seems like it should be Latin because of its Latin ancestry.
What is a Romance language? A Romance language is a language that is developed from Latin. In the 11th century, Latin partially developed the English language making English partially a Romance language. “The Romance languages are a language family in the Indo-European languages. They started from Vulgar Latin. The biggest Romance languages are Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, Romanian, and Catalan. They are called "romance languages" because they originate from a language spoken by Romans.” If English is to be Romance, it must start from Vulgar Latin. English did not begin from Vulgar Latin. To be completely fair, Spanish did not directly begin from Vulgar Latin either. Spanish is a dialect of the Castilian languages, and it is a far descendant from Vulgar Latin. This goes for all of the Romance languages. Thus, right there, it appears that Wikipedia has contradicted itself. “Also, Romanic. Also called Romance languages. the group of Italic Indo-European languages descended since a.d. 800 from Latin, as French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Provençal, Catalan, Rhaeto-Romanic, Sardinian, and Ladino. Abbreviation: Rom.” Keyword here is descended. French is a descendant of Latin as are all the rest listed in this definition. So is much of English descendant from Latin.
“About 80 percent of the entries in any English dictionary are borrowed, mainly from Latin. Over 60 percent of all English words have Greek or Latin roots. In the vocabulary of the sciences and technology, the figure rises to over 90 percent. About 10 percent of the Latin vocabulary has found its way directly into English without an intermediary (usually French)” . Thus a good portion of English is a descendent of Latin. Thus, by this definition, it appears that English is partially Romance.
The classification of languages into language families is not perfect. Linguists strive to classify a language into only one language family. As I have demonstrated, English has its primary ancestry through Germanic, and much vocabulary ancestry through Latin. My conclusion that English is a Romance language, at least in part, is met with only opposition so far. The reason they give is that many languages contain mixtures of family languages as if this is a direct rebuttal of my conclusion which it is not.
Why is English Germanic? “…the Romance languages are not as closely related to English as the Germanic languages are” . Thus, the dominant trait is the deciding factor. Whichever family contributes more is the one that is the ancestor and language family – Germanic. Is this a fair way to classify a language? It sure is much less complicated and Black and White. But one cannot ignore the gray area. It just doesn’t go away.
“Wait a minute! There are plenty of English words that are almost exactly like their French or Italian equivalents…Rather than evolving solely from the Germanic root language, some words arrived through intermarriage.
“Linguists use many factors, such as grammar, phonology, and vocabulary, to determine the historical ancestry of modern languages. The overall composition of English reveals strong Germanic roots. It’s official: English is a proud member of the West Germanic language family!” .
English has strong Germanic roots. Hence, it is Germanic. “Linguists use many factors, such as grammar, phonology, and vocabulary, to determine the historical ancestry of modern languages.” English it is Latin because of its strong Latin roots. But linguists claim it is not Romance. Can you see the serious logic flaw here? It is a complete lack of Latin recognition, but a complete recognition of Germanic. To call English both Germanic and Latin is okay, one cannot deny the Latin roots. But to call English Germanic and Romance is a sin.
In summary, the lack of Romance recognition is unsatisfactory. Linguists recognize the dominant language. Perhaps it is subjective to say Germanic is more influential than Latin. I do not know because I am not a linguist. But to sit back and let the linguists do all the work in classification and not let the students know even why, is not satisfactory for those wanting to know why English is classified as it is.
Is English a creole? “The concept of "Proto-Human" presupposes monogenesis (evolution from a common ancestor) of all natural languages apart from pidgins, creoles, and sign languages” . English obviously has two ancestors. “The Middle English creole hypothesis is the concept that the English language is a creole, i.e. a language that developed from a pidgin. The vast differences between Old and Middle English have led some historical linguists to claim that the language underwent creolisation at around the time of the Norman Conquest. The theory was first proposed in 1977 by C. Bailey and K. Maroldt and has since found both supporters and detractors in the academic world.[1]” . Obviously, this hypothesis makes sense. Why do people say it is not? “However, many say that English is probably not a creole because it retains a high number (283) of irregular verbs.[3]” . It is the grammar that makes the difference. Thus, again, a language family is based on grammar and not vocabulary. English has more than one ancestor. A family does not include vocabulary.
“A language family is a grouping of linguistically linked languages, stemming from a common ancestral mother-language called Protolanguage” . “A language family is a set of languages deriving from a common ancestor or "parent"” . This does not include vocabulary. Mention that. You notice they don’t. A language family is categorized only by grammatical similarities. If two languages have similar vocabulary, they are not necessarily in the same family. This is not something linguists tell you. The rare times this is applicable and the only time I have found is when English is not a Romance language. Then linguists go into their whole, “grammar is the deciding factor thing.” But why vocabulary is discounted entirely is beyond me. Yes, I agree that grammar is more influential, but to ignore vocabulary, that is unfair. And the only response to this is, that’s that and there is no more discussion. A complete ignorance of the facts!
The conclusion: Linguistics is arbitrary. It is really based on opinion. This opinion is rather narrow, but they try to classify family languages in ways that will give the student an idea of how family languages are classified, spoon fed. Do the classifications tell us everything about ancestry? Absolutely not. I am therefore not altogether interested in the study of classification. It tends to shortcut and take a simplistic approach even misleading. Research is very important. Don’t just look at what other people say. Find out the facts for yourself.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language_family
https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romance_languages
http://www.dictionary.com/browse/romance?s=t

http://blog.dictionary.com/word-origins/

https://www.grammarly.com/blog/why-e...anic-language/

https://www.grammarly.com/blog/why-e...anic-language/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Human_language
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle...ole_hypothesis
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle...ole_hypothesis
http://www.sorosoro.org/en/all-about...-of-languages/

http://grammar.about.com/od/il/g/languagefamilyterm.htm
 
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Fri 5 Aug, 2016 07:44 pm
While your references to many of the origins of English vocabulary are reasonable, that does not make English a Romance language. Compare, for example, English pronunciation to French pronunciation (never mind orthography)--consonants in English are explosive, as is the case in all Germanic languages. This is not true in French, and in fact, the French make jokes about how the people of Alsace and Lorraine pronounce their language. Furthermore, you cannot properly construct phrases, clauses and sentences in English without using Anglo-Frisian syntax, from which English syntax derives. Finally, the loan words from French, Latin and Greek which are so common in English are almost exclusively the province of higher order concepts and academic borrowings. When speaking English and not referring to technical concepts, about 90% or more of your vocabulary will be derived from Anglo-Saxon--Old English--rather than French or Latin or Greek.

"Bread, butter and green cheese is good English and good Fries" is modern English. "Brea, bûter en griene tsiis is goed Ingelsk en goed Frysk" is both ancient West Frisian and ancient Anglo-Frisian, from which English derives.

We say sisters, but we say brethren (sometimes) rather than brothers, because the -en is an Old English plural. No one says "there were ten childs there," rather, we say children, because that is an Old English plural form which has never been changed. The -en form is also used in past participles, because, once again, it derives from Old English. You may be indebted to someone, because you owe them money or a favor. But you will be morally beholden for their support of you. These forms are common to this day, and owe noting to any Romance language.

Not all opinions are created equal. You need to learn a hell of a lot more about the English language before you pontificate as you have done here. Linguists do not categorize English as a Romance language for the good and sufficient reason that it is not. It is a Germanic language, more specifically a West Germanic language and most specifically an Anglo-Frisian language. It is not even remotely a Romance language.
Gordon410
 
  2  
Reply Wed 10 Aug, 2016 08:25 pm
@Setanta,
Sorry if I appeared arrogant in the OP. My conclusion may be premature. But I have many questions that are difficult to answer. What determines that English is Germanic? Is it grammar, vocabulary, etc.? Well, obviously, both. Now I do know that grammar is more important, but vocabulary cannot be ignored. Is English Romance because of the Romance vocabulary?
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2016 12:58 am
@Gordon410,
English has a Germanic grammar, Germanic syntax, Germanic pronunciation, Germanic orthography and Germanic forms of verb conjugation--it's not just some vague blanket term loosely called grammar. As for vocabulary, English uses loan words from all over, does that make English the "language from all over?" We use alfalfa, alcohol, admiral, magazine, bizarre and bazaar--which are all from Arabic. Does that make English a Semitic language? Conversely, the French borrow words from us--le weekend, le parking, faire du skiing. That doesn't make French an English dialect. We have borrowed the French verb rapeller, which means to call back. But we use it specifically to mean descending a rock face using an anchored rope. And we use our traditional Germanic structure with it. We say rappelled and rappelling because we have adapted it to our language.

Linguists are not just offering an idle opinion. They are giving an expert opinion. Using words borrowed from another language does not make English suddenly a member of the language group which spawned that word.
Gordon410
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2016 06:10 am
@Setanta,
"Using words borrowed from another language does not make English suddenly a member of the language group which spawned that word."

Why not?
Walter Hinteler
 
  3  
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2016 07:50 am
@Gordon410,
Well, you certainly can make up a new definition of language groups.
(German would be a Romance language by that definition as well - even an earlier "member" than English.)
Gordon410
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2016 05:28 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Who is making a new definition?
Setanta
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2016 05:36 am
@Gordon410,
Think what you like. Don't be surprised, however, if no one wants to discuss the subject with you.
0 Replies
 
Gordon410
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2016 06:00 am
@Setanta,
"Using words borrowed from another language does not make English suddenly a member of the language group which spawned that word."

Is there an English word borrowed from another language?
Walter Hinteler
 
  5  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2016 06:22 am
@Gordon410,
Gordon410 wrote:
Is there an English word borrowed from another language?
You've got a great sense of humour.
Gordon410
 
  2  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2016 09:52 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Well? Is there? Borrowing denotes giving back in the future. English has not borrowed words, they have taken them and will never give them back. Now Romance, since 1066 from the Normans, is ancestry. Ancestry=family. Romance family marries Old English = Birth to what we call modern English.
Walter Hinteler
 
  3  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2016 11:11 am
@Gordon410,
Well, what is your definition of loanword?

And do you think that Old Norse is a Romance language?
InfraBlue
 
  3  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2016 01:33 pm
@Gordon410,
Another definition of "borrow" is "to adopt or use as one's own; appropriate."
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2016 03:19 pm
@Gordon410,
Gordon410 wrote:
English has not borrowed words, they have taken them and will never give them back.


the source languages stopped using the words?

0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2016 03:20 pm
@Gordon410,
Gordon410 wrote:
Linguistics is based on opinion.


not so much
0 Replies
 
Gordon410
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Aug, 2016 07:45 pm
@Gordon410,
"Who is making a new definition?"

?
0 Replies
 
Gordon410
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 14 Aug, 2016 07:24 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Loanword: a word adopted from a foreign language with little or no modification.

Hmmm....odd. Why would it be called a loanword if we never return it?
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Sun 14 Aug, 2016 08:35 am
@Gordon410,
Loanword

Loan: from Middle English lone, lane, from Old Norse lán ‎(“loan”), from Proto-Germanic laihną ‎(“that which is lent, loan, fief”), from Proto-Indo-European leykʷ- ‎(“to leave, leave over”). Cognate with Icelandic lán ‎(“loan”), Swedish lån ‎(“loan”), Danish lån ‎(“loan”), German Lehen ‎(“fief, feudal estate”), Dutch leen ‎(“fief, feudatory, something lent”), West Frisian lien ‎(“something borrowed, loan”), North Frisian leen ‎(“fief, loan, office”), Scots lane, lain, len ‎(“loan”), Old English lǣn ‎(“loan, borrowing, lease, grant, gift, present, benefit”).

Word: From Middle English word, from Old English word ‎(“word, speech, sentence, statement, command, order, subject of talk, story, news, report, fame, promise, verb”), from Proto-Germanic wurdą ‎(“word”), from Proto-Indo-European wr̥dʰom, zero-grade form of werdʰo- ‎(“word”). Cognate with Scots wourd, wird ‎(“word”), West Frisian wurd ‎(“word”), Dutch woord ‎(“word”), German Wort ‎(“word”), Danish, Norwegian and Swedish ord ‎(“word”), Icelandic orð ‎(“word”).


I'm not sure, but does e.g. emprunt mean, you give it back?
Gordon410
 
  0  
Reply Sun 14 Aug, 2016 09:22 am
@Walter Hinteler,
I don't think so...typically loaning something is a temporary thing. If one does not return a loaned item by the due date, it becomes overdue. If the borrower continues to keep the item or word it is typically considered theft. So in a sense, the term "loanword" is inaccurate. Should be called "stolenword".
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Sun 14 Aug, 2016 09:47 am
@Gordon410,
Gordon410 wrote:
I don't think so...typically loaning something is a temporary thing.
Typically in today's meaning - that's why I gave the etymology. (Not really Romance in my opinion, btw.)
 

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