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Etymological doublets.

Sometimes a word is borrowed twice from the same language. As the result, we have two different
words with different spellings and meanings but historically they come back to one and the same word.
Such words are called etymological doublets. In other words, two or more words in the same language
are called doubletsoretymological twins(or possibly triplets, etc.) when they have the same
etymological root but have entered the language through different ways. They differ to a certain degree
in form, meaning and current usage.

Etymological twins are usually a result of chronologically separate borrowing from a source language. In
the case of English, this usually means once from French during the Norman invasion, and again later,
after the word had evolved.

e.g. warranty(гарантия) andguarantee.

In English there are some groups of them:

Latino-French doublets.

Latin English from Latin English from French

 uncia inch ounce

 moneta mint money

 camera camera chamber

Franco-French doublets

doublets borrowed from different dialects of French.

Norman Paris

 canal channel

 captain chieftain

 catch chaise

Scandinavian-English doublets

Scandinavian English

 skirt shirt

 scabby shabby

Another possibility is borrowing from both a language and its daughter language (usually Latin and some
other Romanic language). In many cases involving Indo-European languages, words such asbeefandcow,
the oneGermanicthe otherRomance, actually do share the sameproto-Indo-Europeanroot. The forward
linguistic path also reflects cultural and historical transactions; often the name of an animal comes from
Germanic while the name of its cooked meat comes from Romanic language. Since English is unusual in
that it borrowed heavily from two distinct branches of the same linguisticfamily tree, it has a relatively
high number of this latter type of etymological twin.

Examples in English include:

 shirtandskirt(both Germanic, the latter fromOld Norse)

 chiefandchef(both from French at different times)

 secure and sure (from Latin, the latter via French)

 plant and clan (from Latin, the latter via Old Irish)

 right, rich, raj (господство), regalia, reign and real(from Germanic, Celtic, Sanskrit, Latin, French
and Portuguese cognates respectively)

 ward and guard (from Germanic, the latter via French); also warden and guardian.

There are also etymological doublets which were borrowed from the same language during different
historical periods, such as French doublets: gentil - любезный, благородный, etymological doublets
are: gentle - мягкий, вежливый and genteel - благородный. From the French
word gallant etymological doublets are : ‘gallant - храбрый and ga’llant - галантный, внимательный.

Sometimes etymological doublets are the result of borrowing different grammatical forms of the same
word, e.g. the Comparative degree of Latin «super» was «superior» which was borrowed into English
with the meaning «high in some quality or rank». The Superlative degree (Latin «supremus») in English
«supreme» with the meaning «outstanding», «prominent». So «superior» and «supreme» are
etymological doublets

Semantic change

Changes in meaning are as common as changes in form. Like the latter they can be internally or
externally motivated. The equivalent to the paradigm in morphology is, in semantics, the word
field in which words and their meanings stand in a network of relationships. The alteration of
meaning occurs because words are constantly used and what is intended by speakers is not
exactly the same each time. If a different intention for a word is shared by the speech
community and becomes established in usage then a semantic change has occurred.

There are different types of change which will be discussed presently. The most neutral way of
referring to change is simply to speak of semantic shift which is to talk of change without
stating what type it is. To begin with a series of shifts are presented to familiarise students with
what is possible in the realm of semantic change.
Old English fæger ‘fit, suitable’, Modern English fair came to mean ‘pleasant, enjoyable’ then
‘beautiful’ and ‘pleasant in conduct’, from which the second modern meaning ‘just, impartial’
derives. The first meaning continued to develop in the sense of ‘of light complexion’ and a third
one arose from ‘pleasant’ in a somewhat pejorative sense, meaning ‘average, mediocre’,
e.g. He only got a fair result in his exam.
Gentle was borrowed in Middle English in the sense of ‘born of a good-family, with a higher
social standing’. Later the sense ‘courteous’ and then ‘kind, mild in manners’ developed
because these qualities were regarded as qualities of the upper classes.
Lewd (Old English læwede) originally meant ‘non-ecclesiastical, lay’, then came to mean
‘uneducated, unlearned’ from which it developed into ‘vulgar, lower-class’ and then through
‘bad-mannered, ignorant’, to ‘sexually insinuating’.
Sophisticated meant ‘unnatural, contaminated’ but now has the sense of ‘urbane,
discriminating’. The word sophistry (from Old French sophistrie) still has its original meaning of
‘specious, fallacious reasoning’.

The simplest type of semantic change is a shift. For instance the Latin verb arrivare derives
ultimately from ad ripam ‘at the shore’ but has long lost this meaning. But even such an
innocuous case can be classified. A closer look at all changes in meaning shows that alterations
in meaning can be classified according to type. There are four basic types of semantic change
which on the one hand refer to the range of a word’s meaning and on the other, to the way the
meaning is evaluated by speakers.
1) SEMANTIC EXPANSION Here a word increases its range of meaning over time. For instance in
Middle English bridde was a term for ‘small bird’, later the term bird came to be used in a
general sense and the word fowl, formally the more general word was restricted to the sense of
‘farmyard birds bred especially for consumption’, cf. German ‘Geflügel’. Another case
is horn ‘bone-like protrusion on the heads of certain animals’, then ‘musical instrument’, then
‘drinking vessel’ of similar shape. The instance of arrivare just quoted belongs to this category.
2) SEMANTIC RESTRICTION This is the opposite to expansion. Already to be seen with fowl but
also with many other words, such as meat which derives from Middle English mete with the
general meaning of ‘food’ and now restricted to processed animal flesh. In turn the
word flesh was narrowed in its range to ‘human flesh’ (see above).
Borrowing from another language may be involved here. For instance Old
English sniþan (German schneiden) was replaced by Old Norse cut as the general term and the
second Old English word ceorfanwas restricted in meaning to ‘carve’.
3) SEMANTIC DETERIORATION A disapprovement in the meaning of a word. The
term knave meant originally (Old English) ‘male servant’ from ‘boy’ (cf. German Knabe) but
deteriorated to the meaning of ‘base or coarse person’, having more or less died out and been
replaced by boy. Villain developed from ‘inhabitant of a village’ to ‘scoundrel’. The
word peasant is used now for someone who shows bad behaviour as the word farmer has
become the normal term. In official contexts, however, the term ‘peasant’ is found for small
and/or poor farmers.
4) SEMANTIC AMELIORATION An improvement in the meaning of a word. The term nice derives
from Latin nescius ‘ignorant’ and came at the time of its borrowing from Old French to mean
‘silly, simple’ then ‘foolish, stupid’, later developing a more positive meaning as ‘pleasing,
5) SHIFT IN MARKEDNESS The marked element becomes unmarked and vice versa. Originally
a jet was a special type of aeroplane (a marked item in the semantic sense), now it is the norm
(semantically unmarked) and the propeller machine is regarded as the special kind.
6) RISE OF METAPHORICAL USAGE A very common semantic development is for literal
expressions to acquire figurative usages, for instance the phrase ahead of someone means
literally ‘in front of someone’ but now has the meaning of ‘more advanced, in a better position’
as in She's ahead of her sister now.
7) REANALYSIS The Latin morpheme min- ‘little’ is seen in minor and minus but the
words minimum and miniature led to the analysis of mini- as the morpheme meaning ‘small’
which has become general in English (and German) as a borrowed morpheme,
cf. minibar, minicomputer, miniskirt.
8) TRUNCATION An element is deleted without substitution. Developments in word formation
often show this with some elements understood but not expressed: mini in the sense
of miniskirt. Other cases may involve compound phrases, e.g. documentary film and feature
film have both been reduced by truncation of the head noun film to the
qualifiers documentary and feature which are used on their own. Truncation may also involve
an expansion in meaning. For instance, in American English the term Cologne, from Eau de
Cologne, is often used in the broader sense of ‘perfume for men’.
9) MEANING LOSS THROUGH HOMOPHONY Old English had two verbs lætan ‘allow’
and lettan ‘obstruct, hinder’. These became homophonous and only the meaning ‘allow’
survived. However, in the expression without let or hindrance the original meaning survives.