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On lexical borrowings in the history of english, with Special emphasis on the inkhorn controversy: insights from A selection of early modern english Works
Año del Documento
Máster en Estudios Ingleses Avanzados: Lenguas y Culturas en Contacto
From the early beginnings, the entrance of borrowings in English has remained a constant, but their predominance in the lexicon was during much of its history comparatively low. After the Norman Conquest, however, this trend was dramatically reversed, and borrowing became the general custom. Far from decreasing, this tendency only increased in the Renaissance, with the adoption of classical words for academic writings. This soon became of great concern to some authors who raised the alarm about the worrying drift English was irreversibly taking in their view as a consequence of the alarmingly large number of borrowings flowing into the language. This linguistic awareness eventually gave rise to a nationwide debate about the nature and lexical capabilities of English known as the "inkhorn controversy", in which two antagonist positions were confronted concerning the acceptance of classical borrowings in the language. After two centuries of fierce debate, the position tolerant with borrowings eventually prevailed over the view of the so-called ˈlinguistic puristsˈ, who rejected any foreign influence in the language. The study of the works of some of the most important academic figures of the time has corroborated that among the historical and social factors involved in the matter, the issues of linguistic prestige and long-established social discredit on the English part were the most influential.
Departamento de Filología Inglesa
- Trabajos Fin de Máster UVa 
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