Borrowing (i.e. loan)

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A borrowing is a linguistic item that has been copied from another language, with the phonological and semantic properties basically remaining intact.


('core borrowing' and 'cultural borrowing' are known especially from Myers-Scotton's work.)


English borrowings from the 18th century

(cf. Görlach 2001)

  • from German: cobalt, quartz, spath, feldspar, sinter, gneiss, hornblende, nickel, meerschaum (from the lexical field of mineralogy); landau, pumpernickel, seltzer, waltz;
  • from Low German/Dutch: schooner, pea-jacket, caboose (all nautical); from Cape Dutch: steenbok, springbok, klipspringer, hartebeest;
  • from Italian: cantata, duetto, finale, soprano, viola, violoncello, adagio, crescendo (and dozens of other musical terms); colonnade, arcade, loggia, alfresco, picturesque, terra-cotta, torso (from architecture and art); influenza, malaria, extravaganza, lotto.
  • from Spanish: albino, domino, fandango, flotilla, jade, merino, stevedore


  • Glahn, Richard. 2002. Der Einfluss des Englischen auf gesprochene deutsche Gegenwartssprache. (= Angewandte Sprachwissenschaft 4, ed. by Rudolf Hoberg). Frankfurt am Main: Lang.
  • Görlach, Manfred. 2001. Eighteenth-Century English. Heidelberg: Winter.
  • Görlach, Manfred. 2002. Einführung in die englische Sprachgeschichte. Heidelberg: Winter.
  • Grzega, Joachim. 2003. 'Borrowing as a Word-Finding Process in Cognitive Historical Onomasiology', Onomasiology Online 4: 22-42.
  • Riehl, Claudia Maria. 2004. Sprachkontaktforschung. Eine Einführung. Tübingen: Narr.
  • Thomason, S.G. and T. Kaufman. 1988. Language Contact, Creolization and Genetic Linguistics. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Thomason, S.G. 2001. Language Contact: An Introduction. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
  • Winford, D. 2003. An Introduction to Contact Linguistics. London: Blackwell.

See also

Other languages