Turnips and paparazzi

April 4th, 2011

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Turnips and paparazzi

Office du Jerriaisdictionary, vocabulary

Press photographer with mammoth lens at III Meeting of Fans of the TV series 'M jak miłość' in Gdynia 2009An interesting Languagehat blogpost, commenting on how borrowings may be reanalyzed, brings to mind a comparable situation in Jèrriais. Much in the same way as the English language has borrowed some plural words which English speakers have reanalyzed as singular (for example: a panini, an agenda, a paparazzi), or created a singular such as, for example, an asset, Jèrriais has some borrowed English plurals reanalyzed as singulars.

  • ban’se = bun
  • bogse = bedbug, bug
  • clomse = clamp
  • dagse = cooper’s dog
  • tournopse = turnip

The Dictionnaire Jersiais-Français is somewhat inconsistent as to whether these words should have an apostrophe before the s or not (so as to indicate clearly the pronunciation of the preceding consonant).

Of course, once words have been borrowed and had the full range of grammatical transformation and suffixation applied to them, they may end up almost unrecognisable. If you hadn’t been told that ticlyie, blégèrdéthie, j’souiqu’thai and dêpliodgi were all based on borrowed English roots, would you ever recognise their origins in d’l’Angliaîchîn?