The Story Behind the Lexicon

It took me a long time to figure out the best way to present my findings. I really did not want to just throw a number of statistics and linguistic observances on to a board and call it a presentation. To understand Latin’s influence on the English lexicon, I felt it was necessary to understand how Latin exerted this influence, rather than merely to what degree.

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Recognition of Problems in the Recognition of Latin

So, I woke up today and realized I have fallen way behind in my posting. Namely, I haven’t posted. So to remedy that: here I sit, I can do much other, God help me, Amen.

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Abstract: Recognition of Latin’s Influence on the English Lexicon

With the Catholic Church’s cancellation of the Latin mass in Vatican II, the general populace’s exposure to the Latin language became limited to snippets of legal jargon (thank you Law & Order), historical terminology (anno domini—oh wait . . .C.E. well, so much for that), and scientific  nomenclature. However, any Classicist will jump at the chance to point out that Latin provided a foundation on which many modern lexicons were built—including our very own English. Therefore, the language of Vergil, Cicero, and Ovid is a legacy rather than a living entity. And while few will argue against the existence of this legacy, what exactly does it mean to say that Latin influenced the English Lexicon? What is the exact measure of this effect? How do linguists determine the strength of Latin’s impact on the English lexicon? And, perhaps more importantly, how recognizable is this influence?

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