Linguistic Borrowing & Loan Words: Theoretical Considerations

Topics: English language, Linguistics, Historical linguistics Pages: 10 (3104 words) Published: November 20, 2013

Linguistic Borrowing & Loan Words: Theoretical Considerations One of the fundamental features of language is that it is always changing. Language change is the manner in which the phonetic, morphological, semantic, syntactic and other features of a language are modified over time. Two linguistic disciplines concern themselves with studying language change: Historical Linguistics and Socio Linguistics. Historical linguists examine how a language was spoken in the past and seek to determine how present languages derive from it and are related to one another. Sociolinguists are interested in the origins of language changes and want to explain how society and changes in society influence language. 1.1 Language Contact

Language is always changing across space and social groups. Language also varies across time. Generation by generation, pronunciations evolve, new words are borrowed or invented, the meaning of old words drifts, and morphology develops or decays. The rate of change varies, but whether the changes are faster or slower, they build up until the "mother tongue" becomes arbitrarily distant and different. After a thousand years, the original and new languages will not be mutually intelligible. After ten thousand years, the relationship will be essentially indistinguishable from chance relationships between historically unrelated languages. 1.3. Sociolinguistics and Language Change

The sociolinguist Jennifer Coates describes that linguistic change occurs in the context of linguistic heterogeneity. She explains that “Linguistic change can be said to have taken place when a new linguistic form, used by some sub-group within a speech community, is adopted by other members of that community and accepted as the norm.” (Coates, 1992: 169). . 1.4.Linguistic Borrowing: Some Aspects

One of the major sources of linguistic change is borrowing. Linguistic borrowing may take place at any level: phonological, morphological, syntactic and semantic. The morphological borrowing may include assimilation of the words from the contact or the target language. It may also result in the change in the structure of words .The term borrowing is used to refer to the instance of implantation of a foreign element in the receiving language, whether it is phonological, grammatical, or lexical. Borrowings can be whole words, "dispetcher" (dispatcher), or individual morphemes, "-graf" (-graph). 1.4. 1 Induction of the New Concepts

Words which a borrower language adopted or adapted from English or any other source language directly, particularly during the 20th century such as Secretary (skatar), Captain (kaptaan) 1.4.2 Internationalisms

Words, usually Latin- or Greek-based, which the source languages and the borrower language have in common, but which did not originate in either- such as ‘stadium’, ‘gymnasium’ so-called internationalisms. They exist in most West European languages. Some areas with much internationalism are 1) Science & Technology 2. Astronomy 3. Computer Science 1.4.3. Loan Words refer to Foreign Things

Thus loan words are words that are borrowed from other languages. They often refer to foreign things – food, sports, gadgets, organizations, associations, legal bodies or the ways of thought, – that become popular or well known in the borrower speech community. ‘Chow mien’ a food item is from Chinese, “Bonsai’ a kind of plantation is from Japanese, ‘Tomato’ is from Mexico, ‘vodka’ from Russian and so on. 1.4.4. Element of Prestige

Linguistic borrowings are used for denoting new concepts, but there is also a strong fashion influence. The borrower seizes on foreign words for creative purposes. European loan words, particularly English words, seem to bear some sort of cachet or prestige. This is seen most clearly in the enthusiasm of young Punjabi people...
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