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Open Access The Semantic Development of Nineteenth-Century French Cookery Terms in English: Tendencies of Borrowings Relating to Dishes, Desserts and Confectionary

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The Semantic Development of Nineteenth-Century French Cookery Terms in English: Tendencies of Borrowings Relating to Dishes, Desserts and Confectionary

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French has long served English as the donor language par excellence in the field of cookery. A considerable number of culinary terms have been adopted into English down the ages (e.g. Chirol, 1973). Since cuisine is a field where France excels, the strong influx of borrowings from this area is by no means surprising. In the nineteenth century, too, French has been the source of a significant proportion of words and meanings which reflect the refinement of French gastronomy. The focus of this paper is on the culinary vocabulary borrowed from French in the nineteenth century. According to the Oxford English Dictionary (henceforth OED ) the term gastronomy itself, the art of preparing fine food, is a nineteenth-century borrowing which was adapted from the French gastronomie. The present study provides an analysis of the sense developments of the various borrowings from their earliest recorded uses in English to the present day in comparison with their equivalents in French. It will be interesting to see whether a) a particular meaning a borrowing assumes after its adoption is taken over from French (due to the continuing impact of French on English) or b) whether it represents an independent semantic change within English. Such a detailed investigation of the semantics of the culinary words of French provenance is missing in existing studies.

Affiliations: 1: University of Heidelberg, Evajulia.Schultz@web.de

French has long served English as the donor language par excellence in the field of cookery. A considerable number of culinary terms have been adopted into English down the ages (e.g. Chirol, 1973). Since cuisine is a field where France excels, the strong influx of borrowings from this area is by no means surprising. In the nineteenth century, too, French has been the source of a significant proportion of words and meanings which reflect the refinement of French gastronomy. The focus of this paper is on the culinary vocabulary borrowed from French in the nineteenth century. According to the Oxford English Dictionary (henceforth OED ) the term gastronomy itself, the art of preparing fine food, is a nineteenth-century borrowing which was adapted from the French gastronomie. The present study provides an analysis of the sense developments of the various borrowings from their earliest recorded uses in English to the present day in comparison with their equivalents in French. It will be interesting to see whether a) a particular meaning a borrowing assumes after its adoption is taken over from French (due to the continuing impact of French on English) or b) whether it represents an independent semantic change within English. Such a detailed investigation of the semantics of the culinary words of French provenance is missing in existing studies.

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2016-07-27
2018-06-22

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