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DOI:10.26855/er.2017.04.004

The Necessity of Compiling a Learners’ German-English Etymological Dictionary for Chinese Students

Date: December 18,2017 |Hits: 764 Download PDF How to cite this paper

Abstract

Although historic phonology sounds highly theoretical, its principles are actually ap-plicable in current language teaching practice in China. While students who major in English are expected to choose a second foreign language as a required course, West-ern European languages like German, French and Spanish are usually their most fre-quent choice due to their formal similarity and historical proximity to English. But un-like French that has exported a large vocabulary to English, the cognates between German and English are more typically reflexes from a shared ancestral Germanic language than results of direct borrowing. As a result, in English vocabulary it is often more difficult to recognize a German cognate than a French one, because phonological and semantic evolution has concealed much of their formal similarity. Quite often, learners do not automatically benefit more from the fact that German and English belong to the same branch of the Germanic language family. Therefore, students who begin to learn German after they become advanced learners of English may need a new type of etymological dictionary that facilitate their learning. This dictionary is not merely designed for the “élite” students who will deepen in theoretical linguistics, but for a larger group of learners who intend to grasp more effectively the vocabulary of a second foreign language. The present paper aims to explore how historical phonology is applied in preparing such a dictionary and what etymological information should be presented in this dictionary.

References

How to cite this paper

The Necessity of Compiling a Learners’ German-English Etymological Dictionary for Chinese Students
Qu Changliang
School of International Business, Dalian University of Foreign Languages, China
Corresponding author: Changliang Qu, Ph.D., School of International Business, Dalian University of Foreign Languages, Dalian, China.
How to cite this paper: Qu, C. L. (2017). The Necessity of Compiling a Learners’ German-English Etymological Dictionary for Chinese Students. The Educational Review, USA, 1(4), 101-106. http://dx.doi.org/10.26855/er.2017.04.004
Full Text:PDF DOI:10.26855/er.2017.04.004
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