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date: 05 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

After providing a general introduction to loan phenomena, which may be phonological, grammatical and syntactic, morphological or lexical, and commenting on the degree to which various different languages have borrowed elements from other languages, this chapter concentrates on the main types of semantic change triggered by language contact, and underlines the frequency of these processes. First, loanwords are distinguished from loan creations, which are new coinages made from loan material. Then pure loanwords are contrasted with loanblends. Pure loanwords are adopted wholesale, with little phonological or morphological change, while loanblends adopt only part of the form of a foreign lexical item. Loanshifts borrow the meaning, but the form is native. These include pure loan translations (calques), where the original morphemes are translated item by item. The more fanciful among these are called loan renditions, in which the translation of the foreign word is freer and less than literal. In semantic loan (semantic calque), a native word undergoes extension of its meaning on the model of a foreign counterpart. The second half of the chapter deals with the causes of semantic borrowing, and shows that it is often induced by formal similarity of cognates. In this section, attention is paid to pressure from the native language in second language acquisition, and the influence exerted on dialect by the standard language, or vice versa. The chapter ends with some examples of pragmatic borrowing.

Keywords: loanword, linguistic borrowing, semantic borrowing, pragmatic borrowing, linguistics, sociology of language, language contact, loan translation, second language acquisition, dialect

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