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  • Titill er á ensku Doublets. A Study of Old Norse Influence on English Vocabulary
  • Bakkalár
  • Útdráttur er á ensku

    Considerable remnants of Scandinavian settlers are to be found in England, not in terms of ruins or such material, but in the English language. The English vocabulary is made up of an estimated 70 percent loanwords from several languages and despite not knowing exactly how many of these words are of Scandinavian origin, it is safe to say that the number is substantial as many of them are in the everyday vocabulary of the English. This means that Scandinavian, or Old Norse, had great influence on the evolution of the English language, and that relationship will be studied to an extent focusing on loanwords and doublets, although the latter will be main subject of this thesis. Loanwords are words of a foreign origin which have been inserted into the language borrowing the word and adapted to its grammar rules. Doublets are word pairs, often of a different origin, standing side by side, co-existing in modern vocabulary. Usually one of the two words has entered the language as a loanword from a different language, in this case Old Norse, whilst the other is a native word. The main focus of this essay will be on doublets and the specific differences between the examined word-pairs as well as plausible reasons for these differences. The findings of the study reveal that the words which make up each doublet pair do not always have the same ancestor, in which case it is quite difficult to understand how the words formed into a doublet. The categorisation of the doublets may shed light on the reason for the pairings, as there are five different groups of doublets; morphological, lexical, cognate, etymological and semantic.

  • 10.9.2015

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