BORROWED TEUTONIC ELEMENTS
From our consideration thus far it is apparent that the history of the native element in the English language is sufficiently complex. Left entirely to its own resources the English language, by natural processes of word composition and extension of meaning, would have been able fairly well to keep pace in development with the expansion in the realm of ideas. But the English language was not left to isolated growth. More than any other of the important modern languages, it has been subjected to external influences, and more than any other modern language it has absorbed foreign elements in its vocabulary. The complexity of the subject is vastly increased by these new elements which, on the one hand, have added to the richness and variety of the language and, on the other hand, by the competition created have been responsible in some cases for the loss of native words, in other cases have contributed toward the narrowing of meaning in the native words, which, as has been shown, have in many cases survived only in restricted meaning or in isolated phrase.
First of all may well be considered the borrowings from the kindred Teutonic languages of the continent. Of these continental languages it is the Scandinavian group from which the earliest and the largest contribution was received. The Anglo-Saxons were hardly settled in their new home, had barely had time to begin the literary cultivation of their language, when they were brought anew into intimate contact with their continental kindred from the North. This new contact was brought about through the well-known