- Apr 2015
- Pyrinos Polemos
All Slavic languages have a common layer of ancient Germanic and Iranic loanwords
But some linguists instead of the category of loanwords use two categories - loanwords and linguistic infiltrations.
Viktor V. Martynov defined the difference between a loan and an infiltration as follows (in short):
Inflitration is when there already exists a native term for a thing in a language, but a foreign term which is its exact synonym infiltrates. After that some kind of "struggle" for domination between two exact synonyms starts, as the result of which one disappears or changes its meaning. Loans - unlike infiltrations - are when there is no native term for a given thing, and a foreign term is adopted to fill "empty space".
A loanword was for example Slavic word for "cross", as Slavs did not have any crosses before Christianization.
According to L. Godecki, loans do not require direct contact with speakers of a language from which a term originated. Loans can be passed indirectly from one linguistic groups to another, and so on, and so on. As the result of cultural exchange, spread of technology.
On the other hand, infiltration of terms from one group to another usually implies that the two groups were direct neighbours.
Infiltration may also indicate existence of a transitional bilingual region, where lived people who spoke both languages.
For example an infiltration (not a loan) was the replacement of Old English "leode" by Old French "peupel", which is now "people".