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Reborrowing is a process in which a linguistic item copied from L1 into L2 is later transferred back from L2 to L1. The word reborrowing is also used (as a count noun) for linguistic items which have undergone the process of reborrowing. Reborrowing is typically associated with specific meaning shifts (e.g. Engl. hamburger/Germ. Hamburger).


The term reborrowing is also applied to calques, e.g. Germ. Vorderradantrieb -> Engl. front wheel drive -> Germ. Frontantrieb (cf. Glahn 2002: 45-46).


  • Glahn, Richard: 2002: Der Einfluss des Englischen auf gesprochene deutsche Gegenwartssprache (= Angewandte Sprachwissenschaft 4). Frankfurt am Main: Lang.