Etymological Background of the English Vocabulary. Words of Native Origin.
Many peculiarities of the English word-stock may be explained by its etymological diversity.
There are two layers of the modern English Vocabulary:
- Native words.
- Borrowed (loan) words
A native word – only relatively started with the English literature tradition (VIII
- Family relation: father, mother, brother, son
- Parts of human body: foot, nose, lip, heart
- Animals: cow, swine, goose.
- Plants: tree, birch, corn
- Time of day: day, night
- Heavenly bodies: sun, moon, star.
- Numerous adjectives: red, new, glad, sad, hard, quick, slow
- The numerals from one to a hundred, 1000
- Some pronoun: personal (we, our); demonstrative
- Verbs denoting the most important actions: be, stand, sit, eat, know, bear.
- Common Germanic Origin
- Natural phenomena: rain, frost
- Seasons of the year: winter, spring, summer
- Landscape features: sea, land
- Human dwelling, furniture and clothes: house, room, bench, hat skirt
- Sea-going vessels: boats, ship
- Adjectives: green, blue, grey, small, thick, high, old, good
- Verbs: see, hear, speak, bake, give
- Mineral recourses: ore, coal, iron, led
- Abstract nouns: scare, hope, life, need
- Pronouns: possessive, personal (I, they, them, their)
Native words are only 500 words in the language, but they comprise the basic vocabulary.