LINGUIST List 10.11

Tue Jan 5 1999

Sum: Lexical Borrowing

Editor for this issue: Scott Fults <>


  1.>, Third Summary, Lexical Borrowing

Message 1: Third Summary, Lexical Borrowing

Date: Sat, 26 Dec 1998 19:36:34
From:> <>
Subject: Third Summary, Lexical Borrowing

Dear linguist, 

I'd like to thank all persons who sent me in response to my query
(9,1777 Qs:lexical borrowing) through the linguist. This is the third
summary of some contributions that I received.

I owe many thanks to the following persons:

Artan Pernaska
Dan Moonhawk
Dan Myres
Dr.Moses Nyongwa

Some References:

- Marcel Dansi " Loan words and phonological methodology" (a book)

- Myres,Dan 1997, Teaching culture with language:Words of foreign origin and linguistic purism
Journal oh the Chinese Languages
Association 32:2. 41-55

- Opening Chapter of Michael Picones entitled" Anglicisms,neologisms & dynamic French"
Amesterdam, John Benjamins
Ph.D dissertation

- Ph.D dissertation on Word Formation in Bantu Languages
The dissertation is written in French and is still to be published. 
 Here is its whole title: Aspects theoriques de la creation lexicale: le cas du bamileke,
 Ph.D. Dissertation, Universite du Quebec a Montreal, 1995, Montreal (Quebec), Canada. The English abstract of this dissertation on Linguist
 dissertation Abstracts (Internet).
By: Moses Nyongwa

- Hans Henrich Hock 1988 "Principles of historical linguistics" 
(a section pp.380-426)


1- Pan Ning: 
 You can use the theories of such as the X-tier theory, the moraic theory to analyse the phonological adaptation.I'm a Chinese, you see,onset consonants
 clusters are prohibited in my language. So to translate English names which has onset C.clusters.such as "strong", we simply
 insert vowels to turn the monosyllabic words into a three-syllable word-[sit6lang](i is a dental front high vowel, 6 is
 schwa). My language doesn't allow obstruent coda, then to tranlate the name [luk], we insert a schwa at the end-[luk6],
 hence break one syllable into two syllables. Hope this information might be useful to you.

2- Moonhawk:
 I'll put before you a rather exotic case, of Sign being borrowed into the
 lexicons of languages in North America as different as English and Chinese
 who found themselves bumping into each other on the Great Plains.

 This should be filed under "work in progress" rather than "definitively
 cited somewhere".

 In an anthropological linguistic "core vocabulary" view, the word for
 "God" in any language has to be considered a highly cultural/linguistic
 problematic -- mostly usually conservative in our experience, but then
 what beyond that?

 What would it take for a whole language of Western European descent to
 change its word for what in English we say as "God" (with a capital G,
 which automatically confers a certain "sanctity" to that which it
 graces!), Deo, Deus, Gott, Dieu, or whatever? And yet that's what I
 conclude must have happened with either the Cheyenne or the Sioux and many
 other tribes who used Plains Indian Sign Language.

 How else is one to explain that Ch. "ma?he-o?o" [great/big-animate/spirit]
 and totally unrelated Lakota "wakan tanka" [spirit large] correspond
 significantly with a Sign language which I conclude was prior to either
 one of those tribes historically entering the Plains, where our Noun-God
 equivalent is motioned as the three Signs for "big", "medicine" and
 "above"? The question we're left with is: is that synchronicity something
 that came with successive contact with Plains Sign, in which case they
 changed the morphemes within their respective languages to correspond with
 the locally "common" way of morphemically referring to a process-God, or
 did they both independently bring this morphemically similar phrase from
 languages in Native America as different as English and Chinese?

 I don't know the "absolute" answer, but either would be interesting. If
 they did change on contact with the Plains (as did some of the Creation
 stories, which moved in locus to the Black Hills of SD), what were the
 Pre-Plains-Sign morphemes for "God" in those languages?

 We know now that all Native American (and maybe pan-indigenous) notions
 of "God", no matter what they look like in order to make sense to English
 speakers, are really verbs rather than nouns -- processes, relationships
 and transformations as primary instead of "things" in a Newtonian way.
 Actually, some are more like 'roots' than either verbs or nouns, but
 that's a nuance for further thought. And we know now that this is totally
 in line with the insights of 20th Century physicists such as Heisenberg,
 who bemoaned "We have reached the limits of our language" while
 exemplifying by saying, "We know an atom only by its radiating -- but
 there is no THING there radiating [caps added]."

 Quantum/relativity scientists must abandon their daily language (usu.
 English or another Western European language), languages which emphasize
 fragmentation, and must temporarily adopt a mathematical language of
 wholeness (non-euclidean geometry) in order to see wholeness. Native
 Americans never "grew" languages of fragmentation, but (as in the movie
 "Dances with Wolves") live daily various languages of wholeness -- bare
 predicates with no specific subjects or objects, exactly equivalent to the
 structure of "quantum eventing". What might it be like to have such a
 human language as a DAILY language, rather than speaking a daily language
 one must flee from in order to apprehend wholeness?

3- James Kirchner:

- Phonological adaptation of loan words in recepient language 

 Czech adapts loanwords to its own phonological system, naturally substituting 
 the closest sound in its own language for that in the donor language. The 
 unusual thing in Czech, as opposed to Russian, for example, is that the 
 front/back feature of a vowel is regarded as more important than the rounding 
 feature. When borrowing from French, therefore, you get things like this: 

 French Czech 
 bureau [biro] 
 menu [meni:] 
 buffet [bife]/[bufet] 
 deja vu [deZa vi:] 
 masseur [mase:r] 

 The list goes on. There are also some spelling pronunciations, which have 
 become reflected in Czech spelling: 

 English Czech 

 cowboy kovboj 

 >- Morphological adaptation of loan words in recepient (or different) 
 > languages 

 All foreign words ending in "-ation" in Czech take the suffix "-ace" [atse]. 
 As far as I know, this suffix is only found on loanwords from Romance 

 cooperation kooperace 
 provocation provokace 

 Czech often ads a feminine or neuter diminutive ending when adapting
 a foreign term, evidently in order to make it declinable.

 English Czech 
 Keds (gym shoes) kecky (many Czechs don't know this is a loanword) 
 IBM [ajbijemko] 
 JVC [dZejvisiCko] 

 They also add feminine endings for making a feminine equivalent of the word: 

 kovboj kovbojka (cowgirl) 
 byznysman byznysmanka (businesswoman) 

 And they add augmentative suffixes for various purposes: 

 puberta (puberty) 
 pubertak (a male, of any age, who acts like his hormones are 
 making him act crazy) 

 bufet (cafeteria) 
 bufetak (a man who stands around a cafeteria and eats the remains 
 of customers' meals; a man who eats from 
 garbage cans) 

4-Artan Pernaska:

Just for an example, I am listing below few borrowings of different periods 
into Albanian. You can contact me for more examples. 

Alb. "tapet/-i" from Lat. "tapetum" 
Alb. "diatez/-a" from Gr. "" 
Alb. "gjeografi/-a" from Gr. "" 
Alb. "aranxhat/-a" from It. "" 
Alb. "peshkatar/i/[-ja]" from It. "pescatore" 
Alb. "bulevard/-i" from Fr. "boulevard" 
Alb. "inauguroj" from Fr. "inaugurer" 
Alb. "shampanj/-a" from Fr. "champagne" 
Alb. "kros/-i" from Engl. "cross" 
Alb. "blu xhins/-e" from Engl. "blue jeans" 
Alb. "xhus" from Engl. "juice" 
Alb. "Hivzi" "Ivzi" from Turkish "" 
Alb. "dyfek" from Turkish "tfeng" 
Alb. "qilim" from Turkish "kilim" 
Alb. "konak" from Turkish "konak" 
Alb. "qitap" from Arabic "kitab" 


Thank you again,

Noran Galal 
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