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Triplewords in English - Forum anglais - Forum Babel
Triplewords in English
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Dino



Inscrit le: 09 Oct 2006
Messages: 479
Lieu: Αθήνα – Ελλάδα

Messageécrit le Thursday 08 Feb 07, 22:15 Répondre en citant ce message   

I started questioning myself quite a long time ago about
When, Where, Why, How, did these triplewords start in english and, specifically, their spelling into one single word?
Examples which I do remember for the time being:

notwithstanding;
whatsoever;
nevertheless;
nonetheless;
insomuch;
insofar;


Of course, there are many more examples and others of doublewords also, but I find the triple ones much more interesting and intriguing.
Can anybody help?
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Romanovich



Inscrit le: 05 Dec 2006
Messages: 340
Lieu: Poitiers

Messageécrit le Sunday 11 Feb 07, 19:23 Répondre en citant ce message   

Well Dino if nobody answered that's maybe because what you revealed is something no babelian can explain...
According to Etymonline :
Notwithsatanding : c.1380, notwiþstondynge, from not + prp. of the verb withstand (q.v.). A loan-translation of L. non obstante "being no hindrance."
Nonetheless : 1847, as phrase none the less; contracted into one word from c.1930.
That's enough...
The more striking is probably that this phenomenon happens before English had been fixed and also in the twentieth century. Obviously the answer (if there's one) is not something about a time of creation but surely a need of simplification of the language. Those phrases were decided to be simplier when contracted.
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semensat



Inscrit le: 20 Aug 2005
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Messageécrit le Sunday 11 Feb 07, 21:38 Répondre en citant ce message   

Insomuch et insofar me font penser à l'allemand insoweit et insofern, peut-être faut-il creuser par là pour ces mots ?
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Dino



Inscrit le: 09 Oct 2006
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Messageécrit le Monday 12 Feb 07, 15:15 Répondre en citant ce message   

Romanovich a écrit:
...The more striking is probably that this phenomenon happens before English had been fixed and also in the twentieth century. Obviously the answer (if there's one) is not something about a time of creation but surely a need of simplification of the language. Those phrases were decided to be simplier when contracted.

The striking feature, as you say, is that it happened a very long time ago, when english was still a phonetic language, i.e., spelled as spoken. Nevertheless, I will keep searching, notwithstanding the different theories, because up to now I found no completely satisfying answer whatsoever. Thanks for your help.

@Semensat: Allemand Mein Deutsch ist nicht sehr gut. Kann ich nicht sagen.
Français Mon Allemand n'est pas très bon. Je ne peux pas dire.
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Poisson rouge



Inscrit le: 08 Sep 2006
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Lieu: Hansestadt Hamburg (Allemagne)

Messageécrit le Tuesday 13 Feb 07, 13:53 Répondre en citant ce message   

I'm wondering whether it's not a German influence (or let's say remains of German in English). German is much more flexible, you can create words by "gluing" things together, and that's why you get words like "insofern" (=in so far). I read an article about that a few months ago and the linguists was saying that it is a specific type of evolution in German, when words from the descriptive field, i.e. words used to describe the world (she talks about 6 language "fields"/"Felder") goes into the grammatical field, and that this happens particularily with deictic expression. For example in German:
-insofern: in+so+fern => "so" is deictic (=refers to something)
-derzeit = der + zeit => "der" is deictic
etc

I don't know whether that helps you or not, but as you said, this phenomenon happend a very long time ago, and that's why I think it might be linked to germanic influences. After all, not long before Shakespear, English sounded pretty muck like German!
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Romanovich



Inscrit le: 05 Dec 2006
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Messageécrit le Tuesday 13 Feb 07, 14:27 Répondre en citant ce message   

Can you give us the reference of this article ?
By the way, I'm wondering about the word 'tripleword' you used as title. I'm not sure it is the best way to describe it, since it's nowadays a 'one-word word'.
Finally, the deictic explaination doesn't work for all of our phrases, we may find something more general.
As I don't know how it is called, that's quite hard to search for articles and references. I havn't found anything else so far.
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Le garde-mots



Inscrit le: 22 Dec 2005
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Messageécrit le Tuesday 13 Feb 07, 14:28 Répondre en citant ce message   

If you analyze this words the literal way, it seems easy to understand they have been created as a single word after having been written as a part of a sentence ("never the less", for example). Thus the problem is mainly a matter of writing them "all in one".
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Romanovich



Inscrit le: 05 Dec 2006
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Messageécrit le Tuesday 13 Feb 07, 14:37 Répondre en citant ce message   

Sure, that something that happens in many ways (neologism as whodunnit, gotta, etc.) but what I'd like to know is why those expressions (and only those one) were contracted into a single word, and try to find the system that rules it.
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José
Animateur


Inscrit le: 16 Oct 2006
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Messageécrit le Tuesday 13 Feb 07, 15:14 Répondre en citant ce message   

I'm definitely not sure someone could explain WHY a language is changing. One cannot really explain why mankind is changing but just how. We had that discussion before in another thread and one conclusion was that new forms and expressions impose themselves because they fulfill a need or a void, or out of sheer laziness from the speakers.

According to me, those words became triplewords because the original 3 words were usually or always used together and as time went by, they just ended up forming one and the same word.

@ Romanovitch : when you say "since it's nowadays a one-word word", did you realise that "nowadays" itself is a triple-word? It used to be spelled "nou A dayes" and later on "now adayes" (= during the days).
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Romanovich



Inscrit le: 05 Dec 2006
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Messageécrit le Tuesday 13 Feb 07, 17:40 Répondre en citant ce message   

I'm okay with the laziness, which is the 'normal' tendency of any language (to simplify the language). However (double-word) phraseology should study those kind of fixation.

@ José : well done, I even didn't realize I was using one of them.
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Dino



Inscrit le: 09 Oct 2006
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Messageécrit le Tuesday 13 Feb 07, 18:55 Répondre en citant ce message   

It only took a few days on Babel to clarify my doubts thanks to the help of you all. I'm in debt.
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Poisson rouge



Inscrit le: 08 Sep 2006
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Lieu: Hansestadt Hamburg (Allemagne)

Messageécrit le Tuesday 13 Feb 07, 20:18 Répondre en citant ce message   

Romanovitch, here is the article:
http://www.sign-lang.uni-hamburg.de/fb07/GermS/Personal/Redder/Publikationen/05_Redder-wortarten.PDF

The linguist is Angelika Redder and what is particularily interesting is the first part (explaining the different fields) and the 5th part (=field transposition, literaly). I don't know what your German is like, if you've got any questions let me know, I can explain what the article is about a bit more precisely. Unfortunatly, it's about German, and not about English, obviously, but I do think it can be interesting to compare both languages in this perspective.
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semensat



Inscrit le: 20 Aug 2005
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Messageécrit le Wednesday 14 Feb 07, 13:34 Répondre en citant ce message   

Je pense vraiment qu'il y a quelque chose à voir avec l'allemand, car on trouve souvent ces "triples-mots" en allemand et en anglais de même formation/sens : nowadays correspond exactement à heutzutag. Il faudrait que quelqu'un nous dise si des structures équivalentes existent en néerlandais, ou en frison, voire en scandinave. Je vais pour ma part chercher si je trouve quelque chose en gotique.
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Romanovich



Inscrit le: 05 Dec 2006
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Messageécrit le Wednesday 14 Feb 07, 13:46 Répondre en citant ce message   

Thanks for the article. I'm gonna have a look at it later (when german will allow me to understand it). I don't know that much about this kind of phraseology but i will search for it in some classical books.
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Leo



Inscrit le: 23 Jul 2006
Messages: 137

Messageécrit le Saturday 24 Feb 07, 22:29 Répondre en citant ce message   

Here is a fourfold French word: au-jour-d-hui.
Looking further back in time it's even a fivefold word: a-l-jor-d-huy
And tracking Latin's roots it's a sixfold word, since huy is from hodie, from ho-die.
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