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Foreign Influences on Medieval English


Edited By Jacek Fisiak and Magdalena Bator

The volume is a selection of papers presented at the International Conference on Foreign Influences on Medieval English held in Warsaw on 12-13 December 2009 and organized by the School of English at the Warsaw Division of the Academy of Management in Łódź (Wyższa Szkoła Przedsiębiorczości i Zarządzania). The papers cover a wide range of topics concerning the impact of Latin, Scandinavian, French and Celtic on Old and Middle English from orthography, morphology and syntax to lexical semantics and onomastics.


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Hans Sauer (University of Munich (LMU)/Wyzsza Szkoa Zarzdzania Marketingowego, Katowice) - Patterns of Loan-Influence on the Medieval English Plant Names, with Special Reference to the Influence of Greek With gratitude for M LC 1970 55


Patterns of loan-influence on the Medieval English plant names, with special reference to the influence of Greek Hans Sauer, University of Munich (LMU) / Wysza Szkoa Zarzdzania Marketingowego, Katowice ABSTRACT Medieval English is here understood in the sense of Old English plus Middle English. About 2500 Medieval English plant names are attested, ca. 900 Old English ones and ca. 1800 Middle English ones – the discrepancy in the sum stems from the fact that many OE plant names died out, but ca. 200 survived into Middle English. For a number of reasons it is impossible, anyway, to give precise numbers: For example, it is not always clear whether a Latin or French word should be regarded as a loan-word into English or as a foreign word used in an English context. Some of the OE and ME plant names were common and frequently used, whereas others are attested rarely or just once (hapax legomena). Many OE and ME plant names are native or formed with native elements, but many are also due to loan-influence. During the OE period, Latin was the main donor language; during the ME period, French was the main donor language. The influence of Celtic and Old Norse on plant names was very small, almost negligible. Typologically, the following distinctions can be made: loan-words (which formed the majority); loan-formations (with subdivision into loan-translations, loan-renditions, and loan- creations); loan-meanings (very rare among the plant names); borrowed word-formation patterns (rare); borrowed morpho-semantic patterns (apparently also rare), and hybrid formations. The...

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