Discuss results - computerized comparative linguistics

Comparative linguistics - English and French - which proximity?
Posted by: Michel on January 26, 2013, 20:37
I wonder about the little genetic proximity between English and French, not because the counting method in use, not even because of what we can observe in both languages, but because of history: French has been spoken in England in the times of William the Conqueror and some time afterward. The Plantagenets presence until the takeover of Anjou by Blanche de Castille and Louis IX should also have left some influence?
Or should we think that geographic and historical proximity doens't influence the genetic proximity)
(Original text in French: Je m'étonne par contre du peu de proximité de l'anglais et du français, non pas à cause du calcul, ni même de ce qu'on observe des deux langues, mais à cause de l'histoire : l'Angleterre a parlé français au temps de Guillaume le conquérant, puis pendant quelque temps. La présence des plantagenets jusqu'à la prise de l'Anjou par Blanche de Castille et Louis IX, devrait laisser des traces ? Ou alors il faut penser que la proximité géographique et historique ne va pas forcément dans le sens de la proximité génétique ?)
Posted by: Vincent on January 26, 2013, 23:43
Yes, geographic and historical proximity influences the languages themselves, by borrowing words for instance, but the core of the language - which is relevant for the genetic proximity remains uninfluenced. The core of the English language is clearly Germanic - whereas French is a Romance language. Latin/French and Celtic influences are widely visible in the language but the very heart of English (to which basic words like the ones used in this study belong) is profoundly Germanic. However, with a genetic proximity of 41, English and French are classified as clearly related - this level of relationship is typical for their classification within the Indo-European language family.
Posted by: Michel on January 27, 2013, 09:01
Thank you, I understand better now - the same will apply for my comment on Estonian and Latvian/Lithuanian...
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