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International Words

Degrees of assimilation.

According to the degree of assimilation borrowings are classified into the following groups.

 

1. Completely assimilated borrowings which underwent all types of assimilation.

 

2. Partially assimilated borrowings which lack one of the types of assimilation:

a) words not assimilated semantically (denote objects of the country from which they came);

b) words not assimilated grammatically (e.g.: nouns from Latin, which keep their original plural forms);

c) words not assimilated phonetically;

d) words not assimilated graphically.

 

3. Barbarisms which are completely non-assimilated borrowings, used by English people in the original, though they have corresponding words and expressions in English.

 

 

 

It is often the case that a word is borrowed by several languages, and not just by one. Such words usually convey concepts which are significant in communication.

Many of them are of Latin and Greek origin. Most names of sciences are international, e. g. philosophy, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, linguistics, lexicology. There are also numerous terms of art in this group: music, theatre, drama, tragedy, comedy, artist, primadonna.

It is quite natural that political terms frequently oc­cur in the international group of borrowings: politics, policy, revolution, progress, democracy, communism, anti-militarism.

20th c. scientific and technological advances brought a great number of new international words: atomic, antibiotic, radio, television, sputnik. The latter is a Russian borrowing, and it became an international word (meaning a man-made satellite) in 1961, immedi­ately after the first space flight by Yury Gagarin.

The English language also contributed a consider­able number of international words to world languag­es. Among them the sports terms occupy a prominent position: football, volley-ball, baseball, hockey, cricket, rugby, tennis, golf, etc.

Fruits and foodstuffs imported from exotic coun­tries often transport their names too and, being simul­taneously imported to many countries, become inter­national: coffee, cocoa, chocolate, coca-cola, banana, mango, avocado, grapefruit.

It is important to note that international words are mainly borrowings. The outward similarity of such words as the E. son, the Germ. Sohn and the R. cuh should not lead one to the quite false conclusion that they are international words. They represent the Indo-European group of the native element in each respec­tive language and are cognates, i.e. words of the same etymological root, and not borrowings.

 


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