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Another English History Question (YAEHQ?)

From:Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
Date:Monday, August 7, 2006, 20:19
In modern English, you can induce a current or induct a member; either act
is an example of induction.  (If you induce a reaction, though, that's
generally an inducement instead.)   Similarly, you can deduce a fact or
deduct an expense, and either way you have a deduction.

Synchronically, these appear to be cases of derivational morphology
triggering collisions in the forms of otherwise distinct words.  But what is
the diachronic situation?  Did these pairs originate as the same word and
then diverge along semantic grounds?  Or perhaps the two were borrowed at
different times and/or from different languages with cognate forms?  (Say,
oh, I dunno, just to pick a pair at random, Latin and French)?

Or did we get similar results from different paths?  Based on the etymology
in M-W, the bilingual answer is correct in the case of "induce/"induct":
both ultimately derive from Latin "inducere", but the former entered English
only after becoming French "inducer", while the latter came directly from
the Latin past participle "inductus".  But apparently "deduce" and "deduct"
both came directly from Latin, one from the infinitive and the other from
the participle, with no French involvement..  So were both meanings valid
glosses of the Latin as well?

Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>


Elliott Lash <erelion12@...>
Gary Shannon <fiziwig@...>