Latin and Greek : borrowing loan-words

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      During the, Renaissance, new Latin and Greek words were borrowed to meet the needs of technical fields. The Renaissance was a period of increased activity and almost every field. The rediscovery: of, Latin and Greek literature led to new activity in the modern languages and directed attention to them as the medium of rary expression. Most of the classical words borrowed were learned words - ie, they were used in writing rather than in ordinary conversation. Some of the Greek words borrowed in the sixteenth century are alphabet, basis, chorus, drama, dilemma, epic, irony, pathos; from Latin are borrowed area, circus, ignorance, vagary etc. The English very often formed words in imitation of words of the classical languages. Most of these clumsy borrowings or native formations on the model of classical words attemptate, factuate, turgidous did not last. But such words as maturity, augmentation, garnish were used and they were considered strange and new.

The wholesale borrowing of words from other languages did not meet with universal favour. This led to what is known as 'the inkhorn controversy. Some scholars considered the use of learned words mere pedantry and tried to drive them out by ridicule, calling them 'inkhorn' terms.
Latin & Greek Loanword

      The wholesale borrowing of words from other languages did not meet with universal favour. This led to what is known as 'the inkhorn controversy. Some scholars considered the use of learned words mere pedantry and tried to drive them out by ridicule, calling them 'inkhorn' terms. Cheke, a purist ot the age wrote: "I am of this opinion that our own tongue should be written.. unmixt and un-mingled with the borrowings of other tongues." This controversy over stuffing one's mother tongue with foreign words continued for sometime till a compromise was reached. It was tacitly accepted as general principle that foreign terms could be introduced only when really necessary. Dry den gives the proper attitude when he says, "I trade both with the living and the dead for the enrichment of our mother tongue. We have enough in England to supply our necessity, but if we will have things of magnificence and splendour, we must get them by commerce."

      Classical words have been invaluable to the English in terms of metaphysics and natural sciences - philology, anthropology, anatomy, biology, philosophy (Sophos wisdom). Tele is distance, Phone is sound or voice, Graphs is writing. (Telephone, telegraph) Greek fragments like thermo, photo, pyro, hyper, -logy, -nomy have become common to juxtapose them to get a new word. Greek scientific words have enriched the language - Geology (Earth-love), thermometer, stethoscope, perambulator etc. Greek and Latin prefixes and suffixes have considerably added to the English vocabulary applaud, comrade, aggravate, bi-weekly, ex-king, international, inter-state etc. Classical formations were useful in getting adjectives -nasal (<nose), Solar (< sun), lunar ( moon), scholastic (< school) paternal, maternal, fraternal are now used as synonyms of fatherly, motherly, brotherly.

      Hybrids are formed with native stems and Greek / Latin suffixes and prefixes- admiration, sedative, popularise, mechanic, demonical etc (prefixes); starvation, talkative, heathenism (suffixes) Jesperson has pointed out that "the classical words adopted since the Renaissance have enriched the English language and have specially increased the number of synonyms. But every 'enrichment' is not an advantage, and this one comprises much that is really superfluous or worse than superfluous, and has, moreover, stunted the growth of native formations." But it cannot be denied that the classical influence on English language has been a great help in the enrichment of the English language though some scholars and writers make their style inflated and pedantic by the use of learned classical words instead of appropriate native words.

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