Complexifying sentences structure

I responded to the question (embedded in the response) with trepidation b/c this series of blogs on WordPress rates responses and kicks you off and downgrades you if “they” don’t like your response. I just unsubscribed from the Russian one, but maybe Russians are just snarkier than linguists. Here it is:
With trepidation I write: my Old Norse professor explained to us the difference between oral literature written down and stuff that starts out written. Written language can be more complex in sentence structure because it is easier to follow but requires substantial coordinating words, which are often borrowed from a prestige language like Greek (for Slavic), Persian (for Urdu), and Latin (for Western Europe), either directly or as calques. The question was: Is this a result of translation from the Latin? My reading tells me that participial constructions like the ablative absolute and “while watching” instead of “as they watched” would have seeped into English via deadly translation exercises from Latin to English, lending a Latinate tone to English sentence structure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *