LINGUIST List 13.1897

Thu Jul 11 2002

Diss: Socioling: Ngom "Lexical Borrowings..."

Editor for this issue: Karolina Owczarzak <>


  1. ngom, Socioling: Ngom "Lexical Borrowings as Sociolinguistic..."

Message 1: Socioling: Ngom "Lexical Borrowings as Sociolinguistic..."

Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 17:56:02 +0000
From: ngom <>
Subject: Socioling: Ngom "Lexical Borrowings as Sociolinguistic..."

New Dissertation Abstract

Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Program: Department of French
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2002

Author: Fallou Ngom 

Dissertation Title: 
Lexical Borrowings as Sociolinguistic Variables in Saint-Louis, Senegal

Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics 

Subject Language: Korean

Dissertation Director 1: Douglas A Kibbee
Dissertation Director 2: Zsuzanna Fagyal
Dissertation Director 3: Daniel Silverman
Dissertation Director 4: Eyamba G. Bokamba

Dissertation Abstract: 

Although lexical borrowing has always been a central topic in
linguistic research, its study has suffered from three major
limitations: 1) It has failed to consider social variations in
patterns of borrowings. 2) It has assumed a model of two languages in
contact. 3) Researchers mostly collect data from communities
regardless of the social strata, the political and ideological
motivations of the subjects, and conclusions are generalized to the
whole community. This study challenges these assumptions by using a
quantitative and qualitative approach to study lexical borrowing in a
socially diverse multilingual community, the northern and Southern
districts of Saint-Louis, Senegal. In so doing, I explore new
methodological and theoretical terrain with broad implications for
future research since the vast majority of the world's population
today lives in such socially and linguistically diverse communities
where language use is often socially, politically or ideologically
conditioned. The primary goal of this research is to demonstrate
that in post-colonial francophone multilingual societies such as
Saint-Louis, Senegal, loans and the linguistic incorporation processes
that accompany them are sociolinguistic variables. This study sheds
light on the linguistic nature and the social, cultural, historical,
political and ideological importance of lexical borrowing in the
multilingual Saint-Louisian speech community in particular and
sub-Saharan African communities in general (where multilingualism is
the norm).

By means of a quantitative and qualitative methodology, the study
demonstrates that there are strong relationships between lexical
borrowings and age groups in multilingual communities, and that
linguistic processes that go along with lexical borrowings also follow
the same pattern. Finally, this study contributes to our understanding
of how linguistic, cultural, political and ideological systems around
the world articulate with one another through lexical borrowing in
both pragmatic and theoretical ways. It also gives us a deeper
understanding of the actual linguistic, social, political and
ideological nature of lexical borrowings, and provides empirical
methodology to future quantitative and qualitative studies of lexical
borrowing in the field of linguistics, sociolinguistics and linguistic
anthropology. Above all, this study provides a window on the abiding
theoretical problem of the study of lexical borrowings as
sociolinguistic variables.
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