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I am not a linguist. I do not know German nor French. The majority of English vocabulary is derived from Romance languages. Given these facts, I ask for a simple and convincing demonstration (using an example) that the "basic structure" of English is of Germanic, rather than Romantic origin.

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migrated from Jun 11 '14 at 0:55

This question came from our site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts.

English coalesced from the language dialects spoken by Germanic immigrants (Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Danes) who came to England from c. 450. – TheMathemagician Jun 10 '14 at 16:33
Your "Danes" were the Angles and Jutes. The fourth group was the Frisians (an island chain off what is now the Netherlands). I watched The Story of English (Jim McNeil) and it's amazing how close Frisian and (to a lesser extent) Danish is to English. – Phil Perry Jun 10 '14 at 17:09
If you look at examples of English prior to 1066CE, you'll find significantly less Romance influence. This is because it was during the Norman Conquest that a vast majority of borrowings and influence occurred during their rule. – Andy Jun 10 '14 at 18:27
Languages are usually classified by common ancestry. One could try to define synchronous language groups by select common features, as found in WALS, but I don’t think that leads anywhere. – Crissov Jun 10 '14 at 22:46
This is the first time I've ever seen an accepted answer with negative votes. – Miles Rout Oct 9 '14 at 0:20

13 Answers 13

up vote -4 down vote accepted

There is a common assumption in all the answers so far, which I think is mistaken. It is that the question has a well-definied, categorical answer, that English is either Germanic or Romance, and cannot be some mix of the two. The assumption is clearly enunciated in some of the answers, but it is present in all, even in Janus very good answer, when he speaks of an early pre-viking "stage of English", as is a language has at any time T in the past a unique and well-defined ancestor.

We should remember that language have no parent like a bacteria has one parent and a human being has two. They are complicated structure with not so-well defined boundaries which evolves over time in part by borrowing a lot form other language. Most of the time, however, it is true that it is a very good approximation of the reality to suppose that a language has a unique ancestor at a given time of the past. For instance, it is relatively safe to say that the ancestor of Modern french at time 50BC is Latin, because even if there has been much vocabulary borrowing in French since 2064 years, it is marginal and most of the vocabulary and almost all of the grammars can be traced back from Latin.

But English has a very special history. At some point, French-speaking Normans invaded England and became the ruling class of the country. Progressively their French language mixed with old English of the former inhabitants, to give a new language which will in turn evolve into modern English. Now we need to turn to facts to see if this language comes mainly from Old English with some French influence, or from French with some Old English influence, or anything in between.

Most of the facts have been recalled by Janus, but let me reiterate them here and add new ones:

  • A majority of the vocabulary of Literary English comes from French while an important minority is of germanic origin.

  • A majority of the vocabulary of everyday spoken English comes from common Germanic but an important minority comes from French (for example, current words such as arm, table, chair, plate, car, flower, to push, to cry, etc.)

  • The grammar also shows the double influence: some traits, like the Saxon genitive "The man's car" are clearly Germanic, while some other, like the fact that most nouns take an s in plural comes from French. [This is to be seriously nuanced. See the comments.]

So I believe it is safe to say that English has both a Romance and Germanic origin, arguably slightly more Germanic in view of the importance of the Germanic words in its basic vocabulary, and of the form if Germanic origin in its grammar (as a more precise analysis would show). Remember that it is only a convenient approximation to say that a language is "the genetic continuation" of some language of the past, sometimes a very good approximation ("Polish comes from common Slavic"), sometimes just a decent approximation ("French comes from Latin", but 10% of its basic vocabulary is of Germanic origins, and some of its grammar too, like the "passé composé"), sometimes really an over-simplification ("English comes from common Germanic").

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-1 As the other answers explain, the categorization of languages into families if historical and genetic, and only concerns how the language evolved rather its present state. – Anixx Jun 11 '14 at 20:20
Anixx, what does "genetic" means? – Joël Jun 11 '14 at 20:25
"like the fact that most names take an s in plural comes from French." Whether French influenced the fact -s is now the only productive plural, I don't know, but the -s itself is definitely inherited from Germanic: – dainichi Jun 12 '14 at 5:34
The answers aren't above anymore. Clearly the OP prefers their own interpretation of history and language evolution. In fact, the hardest things to change in a language are its grammar; words are stolen every day, but grammar changes like groweth to grows happen once a century or so, and so gradually nobody notices. So English is a rather irregular Germanic language, having gained 50% or so Latin vocabulary, and having lost almost all Germanic inflections, but retaining Germanic syntax and word formation. – jlawler May 3 '15 at 0:36
I don't think the situation with English is that special. Japanese has a ton of words of Chinese origin, and currently there are a bunch of loanwords coming in from English as well, but this will never cause the language to be the same in origin as Chinese or English. Literary vocabulary is of no importance in the classifying of a language's origins. – sumelic May 4 '15 at 7:24

Classification of languages is a historical thing, rather than a synchronic one. Just like genetic classification of humans—someone who marries into a new family and goes and lives with them is nonetheless still genetically related to the family they came from.

The majority of the total vocabulary in English may be borrowed rather than inherited, but the majority of the most common and basic vocabulary is inherited. This includes such things as numbers (all inherited), most pronouns (except they, which is Germanic, but not inherited), many basic non-administrative nouns (wood, name, stone, man, woman, ship, way, ox, hound, house, etc.), and many basic verbs (be, have, should, can, will, go, do, live, die, think, bear, etc.).

Much of this basic vocabulary is also among the most irregular in the language, which usually indicates it's been around much longer. Words borrowed from other languages tend to be force-fitted into the borrowing language's most regular morphology, while inherited words suffer no such restrictions.

If you go back to Old English from before the Vikings settled in England, you can clearly see a language (or several closely related languages, if you prefer) that has a high degree of resemblance to other West Germanic languages of the time, in almost every aspect. This (and the fact that this language can be reconstructed back to the common Proto-Germanic language that all Germanic languages go back to) is really the best direct indicator that English is genetically Germanic, rather than Romance. You won't find a stage of English where it is almost identical to any stage of any Romance language.

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Your wording suggests that it is irrelevant to classification how similar a language is to other languages today. I think it would help to add that vocabulary is quite a superficial trait of language (it's easy to borrow words from another language), and that when it comes to grammar or pronunciation (phonology, stress), English is much closer to other Germanic languages than to French. – reinierpost Jun 10 '14 at 10:29
@Morg. And yet, with the way English has evolved, there are quite a few features English now shares with French and Spanish, but not with, say, German (no cases, no grammatical umlaut, no distinction between reflexive and non-reflexive possessives, no verb-final word order, etc.). – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jun 10 '14 at 12:13
@Phil Accented letters is a matter of orthography; it's irrelevant to genetic affiliation (compare Hindi and Urdu: basically twin languages, but one written in Devanāgarī, the other in the Arabic script). Romance languages have all lost non-pronominal cases, too (except Romanian). – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jun 10 '14 at 17:35
@Voo I meant grammatical in the narrower sense that umlaut does not play a part in any regular morphological processes in English anymore. All instances of umlaut are one-offs, irregular plurals and derivations. In German, on the other hand, it is still morphologically function (ich laufe, du läufst, for example). – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jun 10 '14 at 21:25
@dainichi My German is not great, so you may be right; I thought paradigmatic umlaut was regular in a particular group of strong verbs in German, unlike in English where it's completely fossilised and appears only in a very small and random subset of words. And no, umlaut is not an orthographic concept: it is a phonological process that happens to be represented in a particular way in the (German) orthography. Ablaut is a different thing altogether. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jun 12 '14 at 8:31

If you don't want to get into details of linguistics (which I take it you don't) the best way to see the family resemblance is to take a comparative look at English's closest linguistic relative found on mainland Europe: Frisian.

Some sample words in Frisian, English, Dutch, and German:

  • dei, day, dag, Tag
  • rein, rain, regen, Regen
  • wei, way, weg, Weg
  • neil, nail, nagel, Nagel

Frisian is of course indisputably a Germanic language, and just from the above its pretty clear both that these very basic words are all related, and that the Frisian variant looks far closer to the English than the other two.

As someone who has never learned other languages, it might be an easy mistake to think that vocabulary is all there is to a language. However, that would be wrong. There's far far more going on structurally in a language than simple word choice.

Delving into the murky waters of linguistics a bit more, we find that Germanic languages actually share a lot of pronunciation and structural features that are not found in Romance languages. Taking it further, West Germanic languages share features not found in North Germanic languages, and Anglo-Frisian languages share features not found in the other West Germanic languages. Based on all that, its fairly easy to classify English as Germanic, further as West Germanic, and further still as Anglo-Frisian.

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This context is really asking for the following Afrikaans sentence, which means exactly what you think it means: My hand is in warm water. Afrikaans is sort of a simplified Dutch with a little African influence and a different spelling system influenced by English. – Hans Adler Jul 29 '14 at 1:43

"It's a historical thing" and "it's a genetic thing" mean the same thing, which is that it doesn't matter how French-like a language looks if its lineage traces back to Proto-Germanic. The way it happened was that people were in Britain speaking Old English, a clearly Germanic language, and then the Normans invaded and Old English was influenced by the French of the ruling class to become Middle English. When you hang out with someone who speaks another language, you're more likely to borrow their words than you are to borrow their grammar. So a side effect of English's Germanic lineage is that its grammar is more Germanic than Romance. For instance, this is why you can end a sentence in a preposition in English even though you can't in (most dialects of) French or Latin.

Of course, if you look back further, Germanic and Romance languages are themselves related as Indo-European languages, so you have to keep that in mind when looking for examples of how Romance-like English is.

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Your answer (as well as Morg's answer) misses the point. You say as if it was obvious that English is a Germanic language influenced by the French of the ruling class during the middle age, but that's exactly what you are asked to justify. Why not say that English is the French of the ruling class influenced by the germanic language of the peasant during the middle age? Of course, there are reasons not to say so, and they are well summarized by Janus, but it is only after you have given these reasons that you're logically allowed to say that the lineage of English is Germanic. – Joël Jun 11 '14 at 19:23

It's a genetic thing, not a historic one.

Future civilizations analyzing languages in the European area would make the exact same conclusions without access to our current knowledge.

English is clearly derived from the Proto-Germanic language and it's quite obvious as it shares a LOT of similarities with other germanic languages and just about none with French.

Notice how "Ceci est" shares no similarities with either german or english.

EN: This is a dog.

DE: Das ist ein hund.

FR: Ceci est un chien.

Notice how both German and English use almost the same words, none of which look like the French words.

EN: Good Day.

DE: Guten Tag.

FR: Bonjour.

Notice the order of verb and reflexive pronoun (if that's how it's called)?

EN: I bought myself a pair of socks.

DE: Ich kaufte mir ein Paar Socken

FR: Je me suis acheté une paire de chaussettes.

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These are all random, superficial similarities and disparities in modern languages. They show absolutely nothing about genetic relations between languages. Your first example might easily lead you to conclude that French and German are more closely related, for example: est and ist look much closer than is and ist to a passing eye (although of course all three of them are exact equivalents). – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jun 10 '14 at 12:17
@JanusBahsJacquet, if you find enough random superficial similarities and disparities it certainly starts to suggest something about genetic relations between languages. – Samuel Edwin Ward Jun 10 '14 at 14:00
@Morg. One could give similar examples in favor of the opposite conclusion. Like your third one, concerning word order. EN: I think that I am strong. FR: Je pense que je sues fort. GE: Ich denke dass ich stark bin. Here English agrees with French, but not with German. – Joël Jun 11 '14 at 20:12
@Relaxed and what? It is an international word. If you take Russian, you'll get "konstitutsia". – Anixx Jun 16 '14 at 21:38
@Anixx What's an “international word”? It's certainly not used in German! It's a word of latin origin, I don't actually know but I suspect Russian might have borrowed it from French. In any case, my point was merely that random examples can be used to show anything… – Relaxed Jun 16 '14 at 22:00

For what is worth it is important to remember that all languages are, to one degree or another, blends of earlier languages. Some scholars have described modern English as a "creole" of old English and Norman French. Indeed some scholars have described the Romance languages of Western Europe (Italian, Spanish, French, etc.) as creoles of Latin and Gothic (Germanic). French, of course, got a second heavy Germanic blending as a result of the Franks. In the case of English, grammatically the language has been heavily influenced by French but, overall, its grammar is still somewhat more Germanic, though truthfully English grammar has morphed so much that a lot of it resembles neither French nor German. Certainly one can argue that English derives a lot more vocabulary from Latin than its Saxon roots but still the core of the language still resembles its Saxon roots more than its Latin influences (similarly one could point to the fact that Maltese has more Latin vocabulary than Arabic, but any linguist would tell you that, at its core, Maltese is Arabic).,

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I agree with this nuanced answer. +1. – Joël May 3 '15 at 16:19

Well, there are a lot of answers here, but I don't see the right one. We classify languages not by similarities of any sort other than shared sound changes in their histories. We inherit this geneological model from the 19th century neogrammarians, along with the assumption that sound changes apply without exception. Then what sound changes does English share with the Romance languages that other Germanic languages do not share? To my knowledge, none at all. There is no evidence to support classifying English as a Romance language.

Perhaps a case can be made that English shares some morphology and some phonology with Romance due to a large influx of loan words, including sets of morphologically related borrowed forms. But I don't know of any phonological rule of English traceable to Romance that could plausibly be classed as an exceptionless sound change.

Maybe the clarity of this issue is hard to see because so much doubt has been cast on the neogrammarian hypothesis of exceptionless sound changes. We could discuss that, I suppose, but I don't see it as an issue, here. That's the assumption that underlies the genetic classification under discussion.

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Not many comparative linguists today would claim that sound changes are exceptionless; rather, they are exceptionless unless there’s a good reason for exceptions to exist. It is also important to note that shared sound changes do not equal genetic affiliation, though the two concepts are not orthogonal either. Sound changes can be shared between non-related languages, and while we use clusters of sound changes to separate groups of related languages, that only really works going forwards, not backwards. Albanian, for example, shares few sound changes with other Indo-European languages→ – Janus Bahs Jacquet Nov 2 '15 at 22:55
→ but is still quite unequivocally classified as Indo-European. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Nov 2 '15 at 22:56
@JanusBahsJacquet, there are some things there I don't agree with. Sound changes are phonological rules added to a phonological system, and so long as they are part of the system, they apply without exception in derived environments, though never in lexical environments. Phonological rules can be shared between non-related languages (being a Stampean, I'd say all of them always are), but I don't believe sound changes can. – Greg Lee Nov 2 '15 at 23:11
I’m not sure I follow you. Sound changes can and do frequently apply in lexical environments, unless I’m misunderstanding what you mean by that. The change in French from [r] to [ʀ], for example, applied without exception in all environments, lexical and derived; whereas the common debuccalisation of [s] to [h] frequently does not apply in certain semantic categories like interjections and onomatopoeia, even when it generally applies both in derived and lexical environments. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Nov 2 '15 at 23:29
@JanusBahsJacquet, I was unclear. The "they" in my statement was intended to refer to phonological rules, not sound changes. A phonological rule is part of the phonological system of an individual. To be an exception to what I said, your example of s->h would have to apply for some people to some lexical /s/s but not others. (I don't really understand how an interjection or onomatopoetic word could fail to provide a lexical environment.) – Greg Lee Nov 2 '15 at 23:48

Thank you for your answer. I would allow myself to add that one could say exactly the same about the transition from Old Frankish to French, and it doesn't impede that french still is a Romance language. The Latin importance in both languages is undeniable. English has grammatical features with other Germanic languages, so has French, and sometimes even where English took the Latin roots instead. Does that make of English a more Latin language than French? I don't think so. There is no misinformations about how languages are classified. I am only talking about the first map that people are usually given when they start being interested in languages. If you study linguistics, you'll see you'll also be given another map derived from the exact same classification of languages, but more precise, on which English and French appear in the same colours as influenced by both Latin and Germanic elements. Italian, Spanish and Portuguese appear in the same colours as more purely Latin and Swedish, Norwegian and Danish appear also in the same colour as more purely north germanic, for western europe. The same is true for other languages in other parts of the world.
Even with its heavy Latin influence, the English language scandinavian influences may justify its presence in the germanic group anyway.

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The classifications of languages is not a precise map, but a map which gives you a first look, an idea of certain elements of a language. You've got to put the limits somewhere. The classification of languages is like a piece of wood that has not been carved yet. Through study of the languages that interest you, you can find more precisely the exact amount of influence there is. So... English? A Romance language? If you want. It is just like saying French is a Germanic language. Both are true to a certain extent. Sometimes the English language has even taken more latin influences than French and French more germanic influences, but the countrary is true too. And English has more Scandinavian influences, and Scandinavian languages are considered north germanic languages.

The everlasting discussion about English being a Romance language or French a germanic language is simply impossible to solve, because both languages and cultures of those countries are very similar and have evolved through the Roman, Germanic, and Scandinavian invasions. In both cases the germanic settlement has been the birth of the nation. The Saxons for the English and the Franks for the French. Saxon is a word of Latin origin. This is how the Romans called the region in Germany where they arrived because of the Rocks there... In modern italian, "rock" ("rocher" in french) is still said "Sasso". Frank on the other hand is a word of germanic origin meaning what it still means in modern English and French: "Frank"... That is to say "honest".

You guys, either English or French, only need to accept you are at a crossroad of culture and language.

Wether grammatically speaking or in vocabulary or in pronunciation, both English and French had to evolve through this melting of germanic and Latin influences. I'm not even evoking the moments when, both languages being still under evolution, influenced each other (The War with the Normands, the Hundred Year war, etc...)

Classifying English in the Romance category or French in the germanic category would make of English the most germanic language of the Latin group and of French the most latin language of the germanic category.

In either case it is not stupid, but as I said earlier: you've got to draw a limit at one point. It is not easy.

At least, with english, we get to have a relatively "fair" position considering that learning either Norwegian, Italian, Spanish or Swedish will remain fairly easy if I may put it that way (not that learning a language is ever easy but you know what I mean). The French find themselves classified with Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, knowing that English is the language with the most similar words to French and that the pronunciation of French is totally central germanic (German is easy to pronounce for a French), as well as certain words and grammatical elements... And they find themselves in the same category as Romanian which is a totally alien language for them to learn (much more alien than German! At least as alien as Swedish and Norwegian if not more.

So... Let's look on the bright side! lol

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The OP’s post contains numerous grammatical errors. It also contains misinformation about how languages are classified. For example, English’s significant romance vocabulary isn’t enough of a reason to classify it as Romance. English still has grammatical features in common with other Germanic languages, including cognates to some closed class words such as pronouns and some determiners. Also, the transition from Old English (unmistakably Germanic) to Middle English to Early Modern & Modern English has written documentation. – James Grossmann Dec 29 '14 at 1:36
Please point out my grammatical errors, and thank you, Mr. Grossman! – Corey Apr 29 '15 at 0:26

The most common English words, including those for "everyday" things, mostly come from German.

It's true the many, perhaps a plurality or majority of words for more advanced concepts come from Romance languages.

But with words weighted for "frequency of use," as opposed to raw numbers, English is more Germanic than Romance.

That is to say there are more Romance words than Germanic words in English, as measured by a dictionary, but measured by everyday use, Germanic words are more frequent than Romance words.

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"Frequency of use" is also "raw numbers", not opposed. Take a set of speech samples, tally each word by etymology. The raw number is the frequency of use. Take a dictionary, tally by etymology. The raw number tells something different. – hippietrail Jun 15 '14 at 1:04

The English spoken in Alfred the Great's England was heavily influenced by the Norse marauders from Norway and Denmark. The English spoken then was Teutonic in origin but evolved into a modified version which dispensed with the elaborate case system of Teutonic languages. The disgusting 4-letter words we use today have clear Germanic origins as do any of the English words beginning with the letters 'KN....' which are Danish in origin. e.g., knife, knock, knight, knob, etc.

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Knock is not Scandinavian in origin, it is an inherited word. Your answer does not really address why English is considered a Germanic language, either—the Scandinavian borrowings are quite irrelevant to that—except to state once that it is, which is a bit circular. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jun 10 '14 at 6:53
I recommend Bill Bryson's Mother Tongue for a well-researched, readable, account of the history of English for the lay person. – WS2 Jun 10 '14 at 7:06
You're telling us that Danish and Norwegian languages are not Teutonic (Germanic) languages?...that Germanic words were 'borrowed' from Scandinavian raiders in a very civilized manner? One look at the front page of a Danish or Norwegian newspaper shows how similar these languages are to German. – user3847 Jun 10 '14 at 17:37
@user3847 I am tellnig you no such thing. I am saying that words that are Danish (or Scandinavian) in origin are just as much loan words in English as words that are French in origin. The only difference is that they were borrowed from another Germanic language. They don’t say anything about whether English itself is a Germanic language, though, any more than the French loan words say anything about English being a Romance language. Whether or not the words were borrowed in a civilised manner is, of course, quite irrelevant to the point. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jun 10 '14 at 20:21
"knife" is quite interesting as it has a French close relative, "canif" = penknife, of Frankish origin. Obviously, that doesn't make French a Germanic language. – jlliagre Jun 11 '14 at 22:55

I just find all this discussion simply un believable... From my french speaker point of view it seems quite weird that some people here, who are maybe somehow english speakers themselves might ask themselves if their language is germanic or latin. I'm sorry, but from a romance-speaking point of view english look nowhere near being romance language at all. To us, its sounds, structure, grammar, spellings, rythms, all seem so similar to other germanic languages that this question feels as weird as asking if Italian is a germanic language. Those people really seem to have no idea of what a romance language is.

When I was a kid, before I learned English, I was unable to notice any difference between, say, Dutch, swedish German or English. All these languages were to me "those strange languages from the north"...

I realized later that English had borrowed latin-based from french much later when I learned the language at school. Before it never crossed my mind that it had some words of french-based origins into modern English for the simple reason that the very huge majority of the everday language looked so much "weird" as much as dutch and german would... And the pronouciation (and often also its spelling) of latin-based english words is so "germanized" that they are totally unrecognizable to a native romance ear.

I just have some difficulties to understand why so many English speaker on internet forum try so hard to convince themselves that English would somehow very different from other germanic languages. It seem as if it would be more valuable for their pride if english was romance... This is quite ununderstandable to me. German or dutch speakers will never do that, when their languages have also borrowed latin-based words...

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I think it's because in school, English students study the Greek and Latin roots of words in they language, but not the Germanic roots. So people get the idea that most words in English can be explained by reference to Latin. – sumelic Apr 27 '15 at 19:41
Pardon my French, but, "It is a God damn fact." The above sentence (in quotation marks) is a very colloquial English sentence. Nothing could be more English, I might say. There are six words in the sentence. 33% Greek, 33% Latin, and 33% German. If we group Greek-derived and Latin-derived words together, Greek-Latin becomes 67%, while Germanic-derived words only account for 33% of the vocabulary. – Corey Apr 29 '15 at 0:29
-1. This is a rant, not an answer; it’s also utterly wrong. How similar or dissimilar two languages are says very little about how closely related they are. Can you honestly say, as a French speaker, that you find Romanian easier to understand than English? And do you think English children are able to distinguish between Icelandic and Spanish (which are phonetically not that unlike)? Of course not. @Corey I’m not sure how your calculations are working here, but “it is a God damn fact” contains four inherited words and two Latin loans—there are no Greek words in the sentence. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Apr 29 '15 at 17:11

The responses have been interesting despite a tendency on the part of some participants to affect a snarky tone (don't need it). Most of us who have been reading the history of English (Baugh, Cable, Pyle, Bolton, Sweet, Jespersen, Curme, and many others) know the drill: English is a Germanic language that over time borrowed about 70% of its vocabulary from Romance languages but remained resolutely Germanic in its core vocabulary and grammar. John McWhorter and others have questioned this march from Old English to Present Day English as an unbroken Germanic goose-step but I think the best narration of the motives of those linguists is found in Trudgill and Watts Histories of English where they outline the pressures on early linguists to maintain a Germanic and nationalistic and even romantic narrative for the language. Nevertheless, the original question asked for examples and others have given them even though quarrels broke out over said examples. The aforesaid book shook up my decades long assumptions about the "genetic" relationship of English (recall the uncalled for brouhaha over the word "genetic" in the Ebonics controversy). I am reading a lot of Kweyol now and it is certainly made easier by my knowledge of French, but calling it Haitian French Creole does not make it a form of French even though many charts place it as a descendant of French. All of this needs rethinking.

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The tone of this is very conversational... I appreciate the recommended resources, but I feel that this is lacking as a stand-alone answer. It needs more explanation of the concepts and the specific details of English that make it "Germanic" or "not Germanic." – sumelic Mar 24 at 8:31
This is a (rather long) comment, but not an answer. Gather a few more reputation points to gain the priviledge of commenting evrywhere. – jknappen Mar 24 at 9:15

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