222 The Loom of Language group, including English For this reason sentences and expressions mrde up of such words can be used to illustrate giammatical affinities and differences which an American or a Briton with no previous know- ledge of oilier members of the group can iccogm/e without difficulty. The resemblance between members of the group is so close than many linguists speak of them as the Teutonic dialects * Bngksh stands apart from other members of the Teutonic group in two ways. Its grammar has undergone much greater simplification,, and it has assimilated an enormous proportion of words from other language groups, more especially the Latin In fact, if we set out to discover its place in the Indo-European family by mciely counting the Teutonic and Latin root-words (sec p 16) in a large dictionary, we could make a good case for putting it m the Romance group* This conclusion would be wrong I hough it is tiue that more than half the words m a good dictionary aie of Laun ongm, it is also true that nearly all the root-woids which we use mo\t often—the class re- ferred to on pp 127-128—are Teutonic However freely we sprinkle our prose with foreign words, we cannot speak or write Kngksh with- out using native (i e Teutonic) elements Native are (a) all pronouns, (b) all demonstrative and possessive adjectives, (c) the articles,, (fl) the auxiliaries, (c) the strong verbs, (/) nearly all prepositions and conjunc- tions, (#) most of the adverbs of time and place, (A) the numerals, except dozen} million* "billion^ and mtlliaid Native also are the few flexions which English has retained* Thus the majority of words on a printed page, even if it is about technical mutters which rely on a large vocabulary of Latin derivatives, arc Teutonic; and though it is possible to write good English prose in which all, or nearly all, the vocabulary is based on Teutonic roots* it would be difficult to write a representa- tive specimen of sustained and intelligible English containing a bare majority of Latin-French words. * The word dialect is used m two senses In everyday hie we associate it With local variations of pi onuncution and minor local dille* cnccs of vocabulary within a single political unit Since the members of a single political unit are usually able to understand one another in spite of such local variations, dialect diJffercnces also signify differences which do not make it absolutely impossible for people to understand one another In this sense dialects overrun national boundaries The "Doric" oi Robert Burns differs trom Bible English or from Anglo-American both with respect to pronunciation and to spelling conven- tions, as much as Norwegian diners Irom Swedish or Danish Anyone who can read Norwegian can read Swedish or Danish* and Norwegians can understand Swedes or Danes when they speak their own languages. We only, speak of them a<? different languages because they are dialects of dilierent sovereign states It is Impossible to draw a hard-and-fast line between language and dialect differences.