TCP Shorts: Loan-Words

English is heavily indebted to other languages, on a number of different levels. They can bring new terms (loan-words) into the language, which are usually assimilated over time. The appearance of loan-words can also displace pre-existing words, which share the same semantic space. To use a real-world example, deor (the Old English word for ‘animal’) ended up competing with the Middle French beast. As languages avoid complete synonyms – words which have absolutely the same meanings, including connotations – deor ended up transitioning towards modern English deer. As the general meanings of older words are replaced by the new-comers, only the specific senses are left behind.

comments powered by Disqus

Get the best

Get monthly email updates with the best from The Concepts Project. No spam, ever.

Contact us

Get in touch, we'd love to hear from you:

Greatest Hits

Thinking At The Margin: what to do when you drop your piggy bank in the middle of the forest.

Strategy and Backward Induction: how to win a week of lunches from your unsuspecting colleagues.

What is Multiple Imputation?: when statisticians turn into detectives.

On Shuttle Drivers, Chocolate and NP Completeness: a deliciously difficult problem in computer science.

Rest and Digest vs Fight or Flight: how your body (and medications) help with fighting tigers.

Sites we like

William Shaw, writing about Politics, Theatre, Sci-fi… Mainly Sci-fi.

Better Explained, for maths explanations that click.

Science Non Fiction, a graduate student perspective on science in the news and in our lives.

Clearer Thinking, learn to think more clearly and make better decisions., working to improve the quality of research communications.

Jess Whittlestone, a blog about decision making and behavioural science.