The Necessity for Lexical Enrichment

The Early Modern English Period brought about a steady introduction of vocabulary, so that this epoch is famous for the highest increase in new words in the history of the English language.

The wide-spread and in academic research almost sole linguistic usage of Latin and French in the Middle Ages had prohibited the development of the vernacular and its scientific jargon. The interest of the Renaissance in classical languages simultaneously intensified the incentive to examine modern languages and their potential of literary expression. Not just translations of classical works displayed the inadequacy of their (first) mother tongue hence, people borrowed more appropriate words from other languages.

Scientific works tended to be written more and more in the vernacular to describe concepts, techniques and innovations from the Continent adequately. However, compared with the classical languages, it could hardly describe abstract concepts and processes.

Latin and Greek words had to be transferred and naturalized in English. That is, the discoveries of Copernicus, the Reformation or the world-wide explorations of Africa and the Americas fostered the necessity of inventing and borrowing accurate terms for scientific progress as well as overseas customs, animals and plants (cf. Jucker 2000, 50/Crystal 2003, 60).