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#258: Kreole words from English: Eistrup replies to Bellegarde-Smith

From: ole eistrup <eistrup@mail.telepac.pt>

Bellegarde-Smith suggests a series of words that might have entered Kreole
via English.
Now, the fact that a similarity exists does not prove that this is how it
happened. There are a number of ways a word can enter a language. Take
"kanif" (which B-S suggests should come from English "knife") This word a a
good old French word (canif), and as far as I know it does not originate
from Latin, but from the language the Franks (a Germanic tribe) in Gallia
(present France) spoke when they were pushed back by the Romans shortly
before J.C. So, even if the word somehow does come from English (and Frank
- and Danish, Swedish and Norwegian!), its original intrusion is into
French, not Kreole.
In general, one has to be careful when deciding about influence from
English, because the occurrence of a great number of originally Latin words
in English (and I am not talking about recent loans) is due to the fact
that England was the only geographical region speaking a Germanic language
that was occupied by the Romans for a long period of time and thus
assimilated af number of Latin words.
Ole Eistrup