[Corpora-List] Most common non-Romance, non-Germanic words in English

Krishnamurthy, Ramesh r.krishnamurthy at aston.ac.uk
Thu Apr 10 13:26:08 CEST 2014


Assuming you overcome the problem of deciding what 'English' is...

...isn't the main problem with etymology that we have such incomplete historical evidence for the exact path taken by any individual wordform (and of course the form itself often changes during the journey)... so many texts (and even languages) are no longer extant (or remain undeciphered - eg Indus Valley script - or even as yet undiscovered)...

...so many individual etymologies are unreliable... i once heard a distinguished linguist deliver a lecture in which he claimed that the Spanish word 'supermercado' was derived 'from Latin super-' and 'from Latin<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_language> mercātus<http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/mercatus#Latin> (“trade, market”), from mercor<http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/mercor#Latin> (“I trade, deal in, buy”), itself derived from merx<http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/merx#Latin> (“wares, merchandise”)'... whereas most people would suggest that it was nativised from English, as at http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=supermarket : "supermarket (n.)<http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=supermarket&allowed_in_frame=0> 1933, American English, from super-<http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=super-&allowed_in_frame=0> + market<http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=market&allowed_in_frame=0> (n.). The 1933 reference is in an article that says the stores themselves began to open around 1931."

best ramesh



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