I am doing an english project and can't find any information on this topic. Help is much appreciated!! thanks

  • 3
    Excluding proper names and compounds, the general tendency is that the more syllables it has, the more likely it comes from Latin or Greek. If you want information about this, go get David Crystal's Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language; it ought to be in every English classroom in the world. – John Lawler Sep 25 '14 at 15:45
  • 1
    @JohnLawler Has to be good! DC was ten years at my alma mater the University of Reading. – WS2 Sep 25 '14 at 20:31
  • This question is easy. They come from the English language. All of them. ;-) – Drew Sep 26 '14 at 3:18

An interactive graphic at the top of blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2014/03/borrowed-words shows source-language proportions of words borrowed into English, either cumulatively or per 50-year period. As Latin and French have provided by far the largest proportions of loan words (and because Latin and French words often are multisyllabic) they have also provided the largest numbers of high-syllable-count words.

Also see:
rice.edu/~kemmer, Major Periods of Borrowing
• wikipedia, Foreign language influences in English
anglik.net, A Brief History of the English Language

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.