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Loanwords in English - Essay Example

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This paper "Loanwords in English" focuses on the loanwords - words borrowed from one language and used by speakers in another language. Words borrowed to fill a conceptual gap in the borrowing language are called necessary loans, whereas loanwords used to indicate prestige are known as luxury loans. …
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Loanwords in English
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Download file to see previous pages It is a direct usage of the actual foreign lexicon, rather than a simple rendering of the translation, which would be called a calque. Incidentally, the word ‘loanword’ itself is a loanword derived from the Old Norse word lán. The word ‘borrowing’ is interchangeable with ‘loanwords’. Dr Danesi distinguishes two types of loanwords viz. necessary and luxury. Necessary loans he describes as filling conceptual gaps, whereas the latter suggest reasons of prestige.
Mean up to date, both of which are French words. French and Latin are by far the greatest source of loanwords in English. The major developments that led to large-scale adoption of loanwords included the invasions of England by the Romans, Vikings and Normans. The Normans introduced many of the French words into English. And, copious borrowings were made earlier from Latin because it “was the language of prestige in the modern world. To borrow its words was perceived as a means of enriching the lexicon of any emerging vernacular.” (Danesi, M) The process of borrowings continues unabated even today but from an enlarged source from several other languages of the world.
Since studying this course, I’ve become more observant of the vocabulary that people use, both in conversations in which I am a participant as well as noting others. Furthermore, living in a multi-cultural society and having an acquaintance of international friends have enriched my knowledge and experience tremendously. In my own and my family’s vocabulary too, I can pick out many examples of loanwords. At one mealtime, we discussed this at length after guessing whether certain words were native to English or borrowed from another language.
After researching on whether or not a particular word is a loanword, I discovered that loanwords are more common than I thought. One estimate I read stated: “Today, over two-thirds of English vocabulary is ultimate of foreign origin.”    ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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