Middle English Names of Professional Entertainers: Etymology and Aspects of Usage

Oksana Jaroslavovna Dobrovolska


The relevance of the research is due to the need for a comprehensive study of the Middle English vocabulary, inparticular of occupational terms as its subsystem. The article is devoted to the general purpose of the study ofthe etymological composition and functional differentiation of the thematic group of Middle English names ofprofessional entertainers. The investigation of the functional differentiation of the Middle English occupationalterms is based on the principles of the historical approach. Middle English occupational terms are distributed intotwo classes – common names (in their classifying function) and proper names, especially family names (in thefunction of identification of the person as the component additional to the personal name in the personal nominationformulas). Within each etymological group of vocabulary we distribute the lexical material according to thefunctional principle and distinguish three groups of occupational terms: those functioning exclusively as commonnouns; those functioning exclusively as proper names in the personal nomination formulas; those functioning ascommon names as well as proper names. According to the functional principle of the distribution of thevocabulary and on quantitative calculations we draw the conclusions about the degree of sustainabilityof the usage of borrowed occupational terms: we consider English words, loan-blends as well as theassimilated borrowings that functioned as the common names and proper names to be the wordswith the established (settled) usage; we consider English words, loan-blends and the assimilatedborrowings that existed only as the proper name in the nomination formula to be the words with theunsettled usage; we consider English words, loan-blends and the assimilated borrowings that existedexclusively as common names to be the words with the restricted usage. It was found out that functionaldifferentiation of the vocabulary is different in English and borrowed occupational terms. Dataobtained in the study under review are valuable as the constituent part of the comprehensive study of theorigin and usage of Middle English vocabulary.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5755/j01.sal.0.31.18644


Keywords: Middle English, occupational terms, professional entertainers, etymology, functional differentiation

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Print ISSN: 1648-2824
Online ISSN: 2029-7203