Die hier archivierte Mail kann, muss sich aber nicht auf den Themenkomplex von Oekonux beziehen.

Insbesondere kann nicht geschlossen werden, dass die hier geäußerten Inhalte etwas mit dem Projekt Oekonux oder irgendeiner TeilnehmerIn zu tun haben.


Message 01491 [Homepage] [Navigation]
Thread: choxT01491 Message: 1/1 L0 [In date index] [In thread index]
[First in Thread] [Last in Thread] [Date Next] [Date Prev]
[Next in Thread] [Prev in Thread] [Next Thread] [Prev Thread]

[chox] International Words. out of ia.org.

------- Weitergeleitete Nachricht / Forwarded message -------

International Words. ? 

In the widest sense, an international word is a word which occurs in more 
than one national language. The German words Haus and Automobil, for 
example, are identical with the English words house and automobile despite 
slight differences in spelling and pronunciation. Their meanings are of course 
essential parts of them. If they were semantically distinct, as are English also 
and German also for example, they could not be viewed as identical words.
There are two types of international words. German and English Haus and 
house represent a type which owes its international range to the common 
descent of two or more languages; words of this type are international by 
cognateship in the restricted sense of the term. On the other hand, the 
internationalism of German and English Automobil and automobile is due 
to the transition of words from one language to another; words of this type, 
though sometimes loosely called cognates, should be distinguished as 
international by loan and diffusion.
In its most comprehensive sense, the term "international word" would take in 
a huge number of words which occur in but a very few languages of minor 
significance. International words differ strikingly in their range. From a 
practical point of view only those international words need be considered 
which have a fairly wide range of occurrence throughout the regions of the 
world inhabited by peoples who participate in international intercourse and 
are consequently apt to take an interest in its simplification.
If international words differ as to their range, they may likewise be grouped 
as to their language of origin or "center of radiation." There are important 
and unimportant centers of radiation, and words of wide international range 
spring from either.
The word igloo for instance has a very respectable range. It occurs in 
Eskimo, English, French, Russian, and in many other languages. But Eskimo, 
from which the word stems, is not therefore a significant center of radiation.
Such minor "centers of radiation" can be disregarded without a resulting loss 
of important items in the international vocabulary provided it be ascertained 
that the possible contributions of every disregarded center come into 
consideration elsewhere. Neglecting the Eskimo center of radiation will not 
imply the loss of the international word igloo, if English, Russian, French, or 
any of the other languages which know the word, are kept under 
The restriction of the number of languages examined with regard to their 
stock of international words does not imply the exclusion of international 
words of all sorts of remote origins from the resulting list.
For practical reasons the sphere in which "international words" are to be 
collected must be restricted, but the purpose of getting together the most 
generally international vocabulary possible can best be served if the 
restricted sphere fulfills two requirements: first, it must be a powerful center 
of radiation of international words, one that has contributed largely to the 
stock of international words throughout the rest of the world; secondly, it 
must have a high degree of receptivity with regard to the material radiating 
from other languages.
As for the second of these requirements, English represents a well-nigh ideal 
fulfillment of it. Hardly another language can compete with English in its 
"receptive power." Indeed, a list of words of wide international range 
outside the orbit of English would include few important groups with the 
possible exception of a fairly substantial vocabulary "radiated" from the 
Islamic world to Spain, Eastern Europe, and parts of Asia but not to the 
English-speaking world.
The first requirement, concerned with the power of radiation of international 
words, is a more complex matter. There is no one language that stands as 
far above all others in regard to the bulk of its contributions to the 
international vocabulary as does English in regard to its ability to assimilate 
foreign words.
The most important group of international words is doubtless the body of 
technical terms in science and technology. In the large majority of cases the 
international technical
terminology is built up of Latin and Greek or Greco-Latin elements. It is not 
on the whole the contribution of any one language, not even of Greek and 
Latin taken together, for it includes a considerable number of terms which, 
though consisting of classical elements, were completely unknown to the 
native speakers of both the classical languages. Socrates spoke Greek all 
through his life but he never used the telephone and did not know that the 
word for it comes from his mother tongue.
Words of this type may be grouped under the head of their common origin 
in a kind of theoretical Neo-Latin which is not spoken anywhere but 
appears unfolded in the several contemporary Romance languages. Taken 
as a group and viewed as joint executors of the Latin heritage and hence as 
representing most fully the Neo-Latin source of most of the international 
technical vocabulary, the Romance languages are the most potent center of 
radiation of international words.

------- Ende der weitergeleiteten Nachricht / End of forwarded message -------

Web-Site: http://www.oekonux.de/
Organization: http://www.oekonux.de/projekt/
Contact: projekt oekonux.de

[English translation]
Thread: choxT01491 Message: 1/1 L0 [In date index] [In thread index]
Message 01491 [Homepage] [Navigation]