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  • A loanword is a word borrowed from a donor language and incorporated into a recipient

  • language without translation. It is distinguished from a calque, or loan translation, where

  • a meaning or idiom from another language is translated into existing words or roots of

  • the host language. Examples of loan words in English include:

  • café, bazaar, and kindergarten. The word loanword is itself a calque of the German

  • term Lehnwort, while the term calque is a loanword from French.

  • Problems with the term 'loanword' Lexical adaptations are frequently in the

  • form of phrases, for which the term "loanword" is less apt, e.g. déjà vu, an English loan

  • from French. For simplicity, adopt/adoption, adapt/adaption, or lexical borrowing are thus

  • used by many linguists. Strictly speaking, the terms borrow and loanword,

  • although traditional, conflict with the ordinary meaning of those words since something is

  • taken from but nothing is returned to the donor languages. This metaphor is not isolated

  • to the concept of loanwords, but also found in the idiom "to borrow an idea," and even

  • in the mathematical term "borrowing" used in subtraction.

  • Loanwords entering a language Donor language terms frequently enter a recipient

  • language as a technical term in connection with exposure to foreign culture. The specific

  • reference point may be to the foreign culture itself or to a field of activity where the

  • foreign culture has a dominant role. External associations

  • A foreign loanword is arguably still outside the recipient language, and not yet a "loanword"

  • when it is fixed in the local culture. What is "exotic" varies from language to language.

  • Thus, English names for creatures not native to Great Britain are almost always loanwords.

  • Loanwords from a dominant field of activity Examples of loanwords from a dominant field

  • of activity: ArtsMost of the technical vocabulary

  • of classical music is borrowed from Italian, and that of ballet from French.

  • BusinessEnglish exports terms to other languages in business and technology.

  • Philosophymany technical terms, including the term philosophy itself, derive from Greek

  • dominance in philosophy, mathematics, linguistics, economic theory and political theory in Roman

  • times. Examples include democracy, theory and so on.

  • Religionreligions may carry with them a large number of technical terms from the

  • language of the originating culture. For example: Arabiccaliph, hajj, jihad, Qur'an

  • Greekbaptisma has entered many languages, e.g. English baptism.

  • HebrewSome terms in the Hebrew Bible have been carried into other languages as

  • borrowings rather than translated. For example Hebrew shabbat has been borrowed into most

  • languages in the world: in Greek the word is Σάββατο; Latin sabbatum; Spanish

  • and Portuguesebado; and in English Sabbath. The major exceptions are languages like Chinese,

  • Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese, where Chinese characters are used and words are often translated

  • rather than transliterated; for example, "Sabbath" is translated as "(peaceful) rest day" rather

  • than transliterated. Latinmissa and communio have entered

  • English as mass and communion. Sanskritguru

  • Sciencemedicine uses a large vocabulary of Latin terms, as a result of medieval advances

  • in medical science being conducted in Latineven if some of the earliest Latin medical

  • texts were translations from Greek and Arabic. Loanword passing into general use

  • When a loanword loses foreign cultural associations it has passed into general use in the language.

  • This is the case with a vast number of English language terms for which a dictionary entry

  • will show that the etymology is French and not of Anglo-Saxon origin.

  • Loanword-resistant areas By contrast, function words such as pronouns,

  • and words referring to universal concepts, are the most static words within each language.

  • These function words are borrowed only in rare cases such as English they from Old Norse

  • þeir. Sometimes only one word from an opposite pair is borrowed, yielding an unpaired word

  • in the recipient language. Linguistic classification

  • The studies by Werner Betz, Einar Haugen, and Uriel Weinreich are regarded as the classical

  • theoretical works on loan influence. The basic theoretical statements all take Betz’s nomenclature

  • as their starting point. Duckworth enlarges Betz’s scheme by the typepartial substitution

  • and supplements the system with English terms. A schematic representation of these classifications

  • is given below:

  • On the basis of an importation-substitution distinction, Haugen distinguishes three basic

  • groups of borrowings: “(1) Loanwords show morphemic importation without substitution.

  • [. . .]. Loanblends show morphemic substitution as well as importation. [. . .]. Loanshifts

  • show morphemic substitution without importation”. Haugen later refined his model in a review

  • of Gneuss’s book on Old English loan coinages, whose classification, in turn, is the one

  • by Betz again. Weinreich differentiates between two mechanisms

  • of lexical interference, namely those initiated by simple words and those initiated by compound

  • words and phrases. Weinreich defines simple wordsfrom the point of view of the bilinguals

  • who perform the transfer, rather than that of the descriptive linguist. Accordingly,

  • the categorysimplewords also includes compounds that are transferred in unanalysed

  • form”. After this general classification, Weinreich then resorts to Betz’s terminology.

  • Models that try to integrate borrowing in an overall classification of vocabulary change,

  • or onomasiological change, have recently been proposed by Peter Koch and Joachim Grzega.

  • In English

  • The English language has often borrowed words from other cultures or languages. For example:

  • Some English loanwords remain relatively faithful to the donor language's phonology, even though

  • a particular phoneme might not exist or have contrastive status in English. For example,

  • the Hawaiian word ʻaʻā is used by geologists to specify lava that is relatively thick,

  • chunky, and rough. The Hawaiian spelling indicates the two glottal stops in the word, but the

  • English pronunciation, or , contains at most one. In addition, the English spelling usually

  • removes the ʻOkina and macron diacritics. The majority of English affixes, such as un-,

  • -ing, and -ly, were present in older forms in Old English. However, a few English affixes

  • are borrowed. For example, the agentive suffix -er, which is very prolific, is borrowed ultimately

  • from Latinarius. The English verbal suffix -ize comes from Greek -ιζειν via Latin

  • -izare. In languages other than English

  • English loanword exports to other languages Direct borrowings, calques, or even grammatical

  • constructions and orthographical conventions from English are called anglicisms. This leads

  • to a virtual pseudo-dialect where language consists of words from two vocabularies. In

  • French, for example, the result of perceived over-use of English words and expressions

  • is called franglais. Some English terms in French include le week-end, le bifteck, and

  • le job or la job. Spanglish is the English influence on the Spanish language, while Denglisch

  • is the English influence on German, and Dunglish is the English influence on the Dutch language.

  • Conversely, words are oftentimes borrowed from other languages by English speakers.

  • For example, a straight clone from Swedish into Englishlike the word smörgåsbord

  • is called a sveticism. Loanword transmission in the Ottoman Empire

  • During more than 600 years of the Ottoman Empire, the literary and administrative language

  • of the empire was Turkish, with many Persian, and Arabic loanwords, called Ottoman Turkish,

  • considerably differing from the everyday spoken Turkish of the time. Many such words were

  • exported to other languages of the empire, such as Albanian, Bulgarian, Serbian, Greek,

  • Hungarian and Ladino. After the empire fell in World War I and the Republic of Turkey

  • was founded, the Turkish language underwent an extensive language reform led by the newly

  • founded Turkish Language Association, during which many adopted words were replaced with

  • new formations derived from Turkic roots. This was part of the ongoing cultural reform

  • of the time, in turn a part in the broader framework of Atatürk's Reforms, which also

  • included the introduction of the new Turkish alphabet. Turkish also has taken many words

  • from French, such as pantolon for trousers and komik for funny, mostly pronounced very

  • similarly. Word usage in modern Turkey has acquired a political tinge: right-wing publications

  • tend to use more Islamic-derived words, left-wing ones use more adopted from Europe, while centrist

  • ones use more native Turkish root words. Dutch words in Indonesian

  • Almost 350 years of Dutch presence in what is now Indonesia have left significant linguisitic

  • traces. Though only a small minority of present-day Indonesians have a fluent knowledge of Dutch,

  • the Indonesian language inherited many words from Dutch, both in words for everyday life,

  • and as well in scientific or technological terminology. One scholar argues that 20% of

  • Indonesian words can be traced back to Dutch words.

  • Cultural aspects In order to provide a more well-rounded understanding

  • of the complexities of loanwords, certain historical and cultural factors must be taken

  • into account. According to Hans Henrich Hock and Brian Joseph, "languages and dialects

  • ... do not exist in a vacuum"—there is always linguistic contact between groups. This contact

  • influences what loanwords are integrated into the lexicon and why certain words are chosen

  • over others. Using the example of Plautdietsch/Mennonite Low German, the influence of many historical

  • and cultural factors can be seen in the loanwords adopted by this unique language. For example,

  • as Mennonites were pushed from the lowlands of Germany into Poland and then on to Russia

  • due to religious persecution, Plautdietsch took vocabulary from Dutch, Frisian, Russian,

  • and Ukrainian and integrated it into their own language. Mennonites also emigrated worldwide,

  • where they took their language with them to four continents and over a dozen countries.

  • Some examples of Plautdietsch loanwords are given below:

  • Loanword transmission patterns Changes in meaning when loaned

  • Words are occasionally imported with a different meaning than that in the donor language. Among

  • the best known examples of this is the German word Handy, which is a borrowing of the English

  • adjective handy, but means mobile phone. Conversely, in English the prefix über-, taken from German,

  • is used in a way that it is rarely used in German. An abundance of borrowed words taking

  • on new meaning can be found in Rioplatense Spanish. For example, the English gerund camping

  • is used in Argentina to refer to a campsite, and the word wok, borrowed from the Cantonese

  • word meaning pan, is used to mean stir-fry. Idiomatic expressions and phrases, sometimes

  • translated word-for-word, can be borrowed, usually from a language that has "prestige"

  • at the time. Often, a borrowed idiom is used as a euphemism for a less polite term in the

  • original language. In English, this has usually been Latinisms from the Latin language and

  • Gallicisms from French. If the phrase is translated word-for-word, it is known as a calque.

  • Changes in spelling when loaned Words taken into different recipient languages

  • are sometimes spelled as in the donor language. Sometimes borrowed words retain original pronunciation,

  • but undergo a spelling change to represent the orthography of the recipient language.

  • Welsh is a language where this is done with some consistency, with words like gêm, cwl,

  • and ded-gifawe. The French expression "cul de sac" is used in English as is, with the

  • same meaning but a spelling pronunciation: the 'l' is mute in French but enunciated in

  • English. Changes in pronunciation when loaned

  • In cases where a new loanword has a very unusual sound, the pronunciation is frequently radically

  • changed, a process sometimes referred to by the archetypal name of the law of Hobson-Jobson;

  • this is particularly noted in words from South Asian and Southeast Asian languages, as in

  • this example. Some languages, such asrriais, have a tendency to apply historical sound-shift

  • patterns to newly introduced words; whilerriais speakers would have little difficulty

  • pronouncing "parki", partchi is the word used, displaying the typical Norman ki → tchi

  • shift. Most languages modify foreign words to fit

  • native pronunciation patterns. Whether or not a change in pronunciation occurs depends

  • on multiple factors such as: if the sounds occur in both the original and target languages

  • and the level of contact between cultures. An excellent example is Japanese, which has

  • an enormous number of loanwords. Japanese often denotes gairaigo in the writing system

  • with the use of カタカナ(katakana). There was a massive ancient influx from China, and

  • then a flow of new words came from European languages, particularly from Portuguese, which

  • was spoken by the first European people whom Japanese encountered in the transition from

  • the Middle Ages to Early modern period. Recently, most gairaigo have come from English, though

  • there have been numerous loanwords borrowed from Dutch, German, French and other languages.

  • There are almost always significant pronunciation shifts.

  • Longer gairaigo are often shortened:

  • In some cases, the original meaning shifts considerably through unexpected logical leaps:

  • buffet → バイキング baikingu: derived from the name of the restaurant "Imperial

  • Viking", the first restaurant in Japan which offered buffet style meals.

  • dress shirt → ワイシャツ waishatsu: derived from the words white shirt and shortened.

  • There are other cases where words are borrowed, seemingly at random, and used in totally inexplicable

  • contexts. This is often the case in the names of small businesses and in anime and manga

  • series such as Bubblegum Crisis. Gairaigo is so large a part of the modern Japanese

  • vocabulary that there are specialized dictionaries for it.

  • Reborrowing

  • It is possible for a word to travel from the recipient language to another and then back

  • to the original donor language in a different form, a process called reborrowing. Some examples

  • are:

  • See also Cognate

  • Hybrid word Inkhorn debate

  • Language contact Semantic loan

  • Notes

  • References Betz, Werner: Deutsch und Lateinisch: Die

  • Lehnbildungen der althochdeutschen Benediktinerregel. Bonn: Bouvier.

  • Betz, Werner: “Lehnwörter und Lehnprägungen im Vor- und Frühdeutschen”. In: Maurer,

  • Friedrich / Stroh, Friedrich: Deutsche Wortgeschichte. 2nd ed. Berlin: Schmidt, vol. 1, 127–147.

  • Bloom, Dan: "What's That Pho?". French Loan Words in Vietnam Today; Taipei Times, [1]

  • Cannon, Garland: “Problems in studying loans”, Proceedings of the annual meeting of the Berkeley

  • Linguistics Society 25, 326–336. Duckworth, David: “Zur terminologischen

  • und systematischen Grundlage der Forschung auf dem Gebiet der englisch-deutschen Interferenz:

  • Kritische Übersicht und neuer Vorschlag”. In: Kolb, Herbert / Lauffer, Hartmut: Sprachliche

  • Interferenz: Festschrift für Werner Betz zum 65. Geburtstag. Tübingen: Niemeyer, p. 36–56.

  • Gneuss, Helmut: Lehnbildungen und Lehnbedeutungen im Altenglischen. Berlin: Schmidt.

  • Grzega, Joachim: “Borrowing as a Word-Finding Process in Cognitive Historical Onomasiology”,

  • Onomasiology Online 4, 22–42. Grzega, Joachim: Bezeichnungswandel: Wie,

  • Warum, Wozu? Heidelberg: Winter. Haugen, Einar: “The analysis of linguistic

  • borrowing”. Language 26, 210–231. Haugen, Einar: “Review of Gneuss 1955”.

  • Language 32, 761–766. Hitchings, Henry, The Secret Life of Words:

  • How English Became English, London: John Murray, ISBN 978-0-7195-6454-3 .

  • Hayakawa, Isamu, A Historical Dictionary of Japanese Words Used in English, Revised and

  • Corrected Edition, Amazon, Tokyo: Texnai, ISBN 978-4907162313 .

  • Kersley, Leo; Sinclair, Janet, A Dictionary of Ballet Terms, Da Capo Press, ISBN 0-306-80094-2 .

  • Koch, Peter: “Lexical Typology from a Cognitive and Linguistic Point of View”. In: Cruse,

  • D. Alan et al.: Lexicology: An International on the Nature and Structure of Words and Vocabularies/Lexikologie:

  • Ein internationales Handbuch zur Natur und Struktur vonrtern und Wortschätzen. Berlin/New

  • York: Walter de Gruyter, 1142–1178. Oksaar, Els: “The history of contact linguistics

  • as a discipline”. In: Goebl, Hans et al.: Kontaktlinguistik/contact linguistics/linguistique

  • de contact: ein internationales Handbuch zeitgenössischer Forschung/an international handbook of contemporary

  • research/manuel international des recherches contemporaines. Berlin/New York: Walter de

  • Gruyter, 1–12. Shanet, Howard, Learn to Read Music, New York:

  • Simon & Schuster, ISBN 978-0-671-21027-4 . Stanforth, Anthony W.: “Effects of language

  • contact on the vocabulary: an overview”. In: Cruse, D. Alan et al.: Lexikologie: ein

  • internationales Handbuch zur Natur und Struktur vonrtern und Wortschätzen/Lexicology:

  • an international handbook on the nature and structure of words and vocabularies. Berlin/New

  • York: Walter de Gruyter, p. 805–813. Weinreich, Uriel: Languages in contact: findings

  • and problems. The Hague: Mouton. Zuckermann, Ghilad, ‘‘Language Contact

  • and Lexical Enrichment in Israeli Hebrew’’, Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.

  • External links World Loanword Database

  • Discussion on how loan words exacerbate Future Shock

A loanword is a word borrowed from a donor language and incorporated into a recipient

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