Influence of Native Element in English Language

Influence of Native Element in English Language
Anyone curious to trace the history of English vocabulary
must assign its true place to the native element. So large is the number of
foreign words in English that, from a certain point of view, it might be
supposed that English had lost its Teutonic character. When one goes to study
the foreign element in dictionary, it will be found to be far in excess of the
native stock. However, one should not look over the fact that the Teutonic
element still holds a fundamental place not only in the language of common life
but also in literature. It is the basis of all good speaking and writing since
the foundation or framework of the sentence is always Teutonic.
Moreover, the native element persists even in those writers
who are most under the influence of foreign tongues. G. P. Marsh in his book
Lecture on the English Language has made such a calculation and has
placed the leading authors in the chronological order to ascertain the native
element.
Author
Names
Native
Elements
90%
The Bible
94%
Edmund Spenser
86%
John Milton
81%
Addison
82%
Jonathan Swift
75%
Alexander Pope
80%
Johnson
72%
Hume
73%
Gibbon
70%
Macaulay
75%
Tennyson
88%
G. B. Shaw
73%
Galsworthy
75%
T. S. Eliot
74%
Aldous Huxley
77%

These figures are borne out further by a similar analysis of
modern writings made by Dr. J. H. Jagger and are mentioned in his book Modern English (1925).
 Besides the use of
English vocabulary we also use English grammar. We have to keep one thing in
mind that in ordinary conversation or even writing too, the number of words we
use is limited and that we do not use more than 3 to 5 thousand words. Mr.
Ogden has exemplified this true fact by manufacturing his Basic English
containing 850 words only in all.
It is possible to talk and write numerous
sentences without applying any borrowed terms. But it is almost impossible to
speak or to write without using native elements. Believe it or not, the fluency
and proficiency attained in the mother tongue cannot be attained in a foreign
language how-so-ever well-learnt.

It is worth noting that a larger number of native words are
mono-syllabic. Pure English words are the following:
1.            a)
Demonstrative adjectives, pronouns and numerals.
                b) All
auxiliary verbs.
                c) Prepositions
and conjunctions.
                d)
Nouns forming their plurals by change of their vowels, such as tooth, foot,
goose, mouse etc.
                e)
Verbs forming their past tenses by change of their vowels, such as give, eat,
run, take etc.
                f)
Adjectives forming their degrees of comparison irregularly, such as
good-better-best, bad-worse-worst etc.
2. Grammatical inflexions as mentioned bellow:
                a)
Plural suffixes ending in ‘s’ and ‘es’.
                b)
Verbal inflexions of past and present tenses.
                c)
Suffixes denoting degree of comparison.
3. Many suffixes:
                a) Suffixes of nouns
                                Child + hood=
childhood
                                Captain + ship=
captainship
                                Free + dom=
freedom
                                Calm + ness=
calmness
                                School + ing=
schooling
               
                b) Suffixes in adjectives
                                complete + ly=
completely
                                beauty + ful= beautiful
                                quarrel + some=
quarrelsome
                c) suffixes of verbs, as ‘em’ or
‘en’.

4. Numerous
prefixes, such as al, be, under, on and out.

So also the
names of the elements and their changes, of the seasons, the heavenly bodies,
the divisions of time, the features of natural scenery, the moods of bodily
action, the most common animals, the words used in early childhood, ordinary
terms of traffic, the simpler emotions of the mind, terms of peasantry, satire,
contempt, indignation, invective and anger are for the most part unborrowed.
Similarly, words relating to art, singing and dancing, familiar action, feeling
and qualities remain intact in native.

Sometimes we
find English words combined with foreign elements. Such words are termed as
‘hybridism’, are in many in number, such as ‘hindrance’ ‘bondage’, ‘goddess’,
‘shepherdess’, ‘songster’ etc. There are results of mutual adjustment in the
spirit of give and take during ups and downs English had to experience in its
long and eventful history.   
             ~~~~~*~~~~~  

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