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English -sh

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  • Jan van Steenbergen
    Hello! Just a quickie: does anyone know where the ending -sh in Latin-derived English words like accomplish , perish , relinquish etc. comes from? This
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 2, 2009
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      Hello!

      Just a quickie: does anyone know where the ending -sh in Latin-derived English words like "accomplish", "perish", "relinquish" etc. comes from? This thought just occurred to me, and I haven't the faintest idea myself.

      Cheers,
      Jan
    • cardmaker1of3
      My understanding had always been that it was derived via French -ir verbs with the -iss- infix. I know accomplir and finir in French both have the infix; I
      Message 2 of 3 , Oct 2, 2009
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        My understanding had always been that it was derived via French -ir verbs with the -iss- infix. I know accomplir and finir in French both have the infix; I don't know offhand the other two verbs.

        Nat

        --- In romconlang@yahoogroups.com, Jan van Steenbergen <ijzeren_jan@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hello!
        >
        > Just a quickie: does anyone know where the ending -sh in Latin-derived English words like "accomplish", "perish", "relinquish" etc. comes from? This thought just occurred to me, and I haven't the faintest idea myself.
        >
        > Cheers,
        > Jan
      • Carl Edlund Anderson
        ... Bizarrely enough, it comes from the -isc- of inceptive verbs in Latin (which may have some cunning PIE background, though I m not cunning enough to know
        Message 3 of 3 , Oct 2, 2009
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          On 02 Oct 2009, at 06:12 , Jan van Steenbergen wrote:
          > Just a quickie: does anyone know where the ending -sh in Latin-
          > derived English words like "accomplish", "perish", "relinquish" etc.
          > comes from? This thought just occurred to me, and I haven't the
          > faintest idea myself.



          Bizarrely enough, it comes from the -isc- of inceptive verbs in Latin
          (which may have some cunning PIE background, though I'm not cunning
          enough to know what it might be; I'd have to root around in Sihler or
          something to try to find out!). This was extended analogically
          through original Latin -ire/-ere verbs in Gallo-Iberic Romance --
          critically, for English, for -ir verbs in French (e.g. perir "to
          perish") where it was reflected as -iss- in forms like the present
          participle (perissant) and 3rd person plural present indicative
          (perissent). From here, it seems to have been adopted/adapted into
          English as part of the English verb stem, as -is(s)(e) (e.g. "to
          peris(s)", "to peris(s)e", etc.), usually later becoming -is(c)h(e),
          whence the regular Modern English form -ish. In Scots, the earlier
          forms developed to -eis or -eise (before usually being analogically
          replaced by standard English -ish), and indeed some standard English
          verbs of French origin of this type (-ir) have -ise/-ize instead of -
          ish. Other French verbs borrowed into English from other French verb
          classes have been assimilated to this -ish pattern (e.g. distinguish,
          relish, publish, etc.).

          So when we need to "publish or perish" (in English) we have borrowings
          into English of different forms of Romance verbs that have
          nevertheless ended up with the -ish ending for different reasons (the
          former essentially "etymologically", while the latter essentially
          analogically).

          And, of course, it goes without saying that this -ish is different
          from the adjectival -ish from Germanic *-iskaz. :)

          Cheers,
          Carl

          --
          Carl Edlund Anderson
          http://www.carlaz.com/
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