Authors: Tamara M. Green
Tags: #Language Arts & Disciplines, #Linguistics, #General, #Vocabulary, #Etymology
GREEK & LATIN
GREEK & LATIN
Tamara M. Green
ROWMAN & LITTLEFIELD
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First edition 1990. Second edition 1994. Third edition 2003. Fourth edition 2008.
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British Library Cataloguing in Publication Information Available
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Green, Tamara Marcus, 1944– author.
The Greek & Latin roots of English / Tamara M. Green. — Fifth edition.
Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN 978-1-4422-3327-0 (pbk. : alk. paper) — ISBN 978-1-4422-3328-7 (electronic)
1. English language—Foreign elements—Greek. 2. English language—Foreign elements—Latin. 3. Greek language—Influence on English. 4. Latin language—Influence on English. 5. English language—Roots. I. Title. II. Title: Greek and Latin roots of English.
The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of American National Standard for Information Sciences—Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI/ NISO Z39.48-1992.
Printed in the United States of America
“Language is a city to the building of which every human being brought a stone.” Ralph Waldo Emerson's words are a recognition that the development of language and the ways in which we use it have been, in large measure, historically and culturally determined. But it is also true that not only do individuals and cultures shape language but language shapes us; the way we speak and what we say define us and allow us to articulate our worldview. Ideas take on life only when we can give them expression, and one of the ways by which we do this is through our ability to use language. The more adept we are at this, the greater are our opportunities to explore and create and interpret the variety of our experiences.
Because language is a social product, it is constantly changing, not only structurally, but in the very meaning of words. No language perhaps offers a better opportunity to understand linguistic change than English, especially in the realm of vocabulary. English has absorbed vocabulary from other languages, but as a result of both the accidents of history and the great esteem in which ancient Greek and Roman culture had been held in the European tradition, over 60 percent of all English words have Greek or Latin roots; in the vocabulary of the sciences and technology, the figure rises to over 90 percent. Thus, through the study of the Greek and Latin roots of English, students not only can expand their knowledge of English vocabulary, but also come to understand the ways in which the history of the English language have shaped our perceptions of the world around us.
The approach of this text is thematic: vocabulary is organized into various topics, including politics and government, psychology, medicine and the biological sciences, literature, ancient culture, and religion and philosophy. Unlike those textbooks that treat Latin and Greek roots separately, these lessons present the two vocabularies as an organic whole. Thus, the emphasis is placed on language and the way in which it has developed and changed, rather than on single words, or even groups of words. The exercises at the end of each chapter are cumulative, reinforcing both vocabulary already learned and analytical skills developed in previous lessons. In addition to teaching vocabulary skills, the text has another, perhaps more subtle, aim. It is hoped that through the study of the Greek and Latin roots of English, students will begin to learn the pleasures (and pitfalls) of language study.