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Borrowings

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  • Peter Collier
    There are quite a few loan words in German from Latin and French. But what about if German were a romance language? Do you think it more likely it would have
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2007
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      There are quite a few loan words in German from Latin and French. But what about if German were a romance language? Do you think it more likely it would have retained it's own Roman version of these words from the beginning (with the relevant sound changes), or do you think they would still be borrowed at a later date?

      Logically, in the case of a loan word there must have been a semantic gap to fill for a previously unneeded/under-used concept (e.g. Aquarium?), which would suggest if there had been an original Germano-romance word it must have dropped out of use some point previously (?). Alternatively some cultural dominance in a certain area led to the adoption of the foreign word in place of the original *here*, which would suggest the same would happen *there*.

      Some words I'm thinking of here would be: Institution, International, Tradition, Typ, Typisch etc.

      As if that were not enough, there's the then the whole question of words in German of Germanic origin, that in other Romance languages had to be borrowed from a Gmc source, and might have to be similarly borrowed by a Germano Romance language...

      How did other people approach this issue?


      Pete

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