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The Etymological Structure of English Vocabulary

The native element1

The borrowed element

I. Indo-European element

I. Celtic (5th — 6th c. A. D.)

II. Germanic element

II. Latin 1st group: 1st с. В. С. 2nd group: 7th c. A. D. 3rd group: the Renaissance period

III. English Proper element (no earlier than 5th c. A. D.)

III. Scandinavian (8th — 11th c. A. D.)

IV. French 1. Norman borrowings: 11th — 13th c. A. D. 2. Parisian borrowings (Renaissance) V. Greek (Renaissance) VI. Italian (Renaissance and later) VII. Spanish (Renaissance and later) VIII.German IX. Indian X. Russian And some other groups

The table requires some explanation. Firstly, it should be pointed out that not only does the second column contain more groups, but it also implies a greater quantity of words. Modern scholars estimate the percentage of borrowed words in the English vocabulary at 65—70 per cent which is an exceptionally high figure:

1 By the native element we mean words which were not borrowed from other languages but represent the original stock of this particular language.

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