LINGUIST List 14.2343

Fri Sep 5 2003

Review: Historical Linguistics: G�rlach (2002)

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  1. branko socanac, An Annotated Bibliography of European Anglicisms

Message 1: An Annotated Bibliography of European Anglicisms

Date: Thu, 04 Sep 2003 14:20:57 +0000
From: branko socanac <>
Subject: An Annotated Bibliography of European Anglicisms

G�rlach, Manfred (2002) An Annotated Bibliography of European
Anglicisms, Oxford : Oxford University Press.

Announced at

Lelija Socanac, The Linguistic Research Institute, Zagreb, Croatia.
e-mail address:


It has already been widely acknowledged that English has become the
lingua franca of Europe as the language of international
communication, the language of the media and the Internet, popular
culture, entertainment and fashion that is enthusiastically embraced
by young people all over Europe. English is also widely used as one of
the working languages of international organizations; it is commonly
spoken at international conferences and it is the language of the
largest number of scientific publications today.
The first waves of interest in the English language and culture in
Europe can be traced back to the 18th century, but the massive impact
began to be felt after the World War II. It can be said that English
in Europe spread from the north to the south, which is reflected in
the levels of language proficiency and frequency of use. After the
fall of the Berlin Wall English is spreading very fast throughout
Eastern Europe. It should be noted, however, that even during the
communist period the impact of English was not held up by the Iron
Curtain. In East European countries, English loanwords were often used
with a higher degree of intentionality than in the West. Generally
speaking, purist efforts of different ideological persuasions have
only had a limited effect in trying to stop the spread of English.

The ways in which English loanwords have entered European languages
could be quite intricate: languages in closer contact with English,
such as French and German often took on the role of intermediaries,
with French transferring the English borrowings to other Romance
languages and German to languages of Central Europe. Today, due to the
wide access to English and the growing language proficiency, the role
of intermediary languages has sharply diminished.

As a result of massive lexical borrowing, a large number of European
anglicisms have acquired the status of internationalisms. Once adopted
in a language, English loanwords often start life of their own,
sometimes becoming unintelligible to native speakers of English due to
various changes in form or meaning.

In a world of rapid change and unprecedented technological progress,
new words have to be coined on an almost daily basis, most of them
coming into being in English-speaking countries, primarily the
U.S.A. It is often the case that general dictionaries and even
dictionaries of anglicisms or neologisms can hardly follow this pace,
so that new editions have to be published within short spans of time
in an attempt to keep up to date.

In addition, a number of popular and scholarly articles and books have
appeared discussing various aspects of the English influence on
individual European languages. Bibliographies recording these
developments exist for some European languages. Apart from the
annotated bibliography edited by late Rudolf Filipovic (1996)
recording the research results of numerous contributors at his
international project ''The English Element in European Languages''
there has been no comprehensive bibliography containing the data for a
large number of European languages. The best approximation are
references included in books and articles (such as the impressive list
for German in Carstensen and Busse (1993-6).


''An Annotated Bibliography of European Anglicisms'' edited by Manfred
Gorlach, certainly fills this gap. It is a companion volume to ''A
Dictionary of European Anglicisms'' and ''English in Europe'', also
edited by M. G�rlach and published by the Oxford University Press.
It covers roughly the same range of languages as the two companion
volumes: Albanian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Danish, Dutch, Finnish,
French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Norwegian,
Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish and Catalan. The selection
comprises four Germanic languages (Icelandic, Norwegian, Dutch, and
German), four Slavic (Russian, Polish, Croatian, and Bulgarian), four
Romance (French, Spanish, Italian, and Romanian) and four other
languages (Finnish, Hungarian, Albanian, and Greek) This selection
allows the analysis of a number of contrasts, such as purist vs. open
speech communities, Western vs. Eastern countries, regional
comparisons (Scandinavia, the Balkans), and the impact of mediating
languages (French and German in particular).

The bibliography records an international range of foreign-word
dictionaries, etymological dictionaries, and general dictionaries,
books and articles devoted to the influence of English on the language
in question, works restricted to individual levels of influence
(e.g. phonology, morphology, graphemes, etc.), works dealing with
English in specific fields, in individual styles, regions, or social
classes, corpus-oriented studies, such as major studies of anglicisms
in newspaper or advertising language and major works documenting
earlier influences of English and the cultural background. References
which have not been taken into consideration comprise ephemeral
articles in newspapers and magazines or discussions of individual
words, entries in general encyclopaedias, papers written in languages
neither easily understood nor accessible to the general user, and
papers devoted to related topics whose focus is outside the proper
field (etymology, language contact, pidginization, historical
linguistics, non European languages, general aspects of cultural
history, the development of individual disciplines and general
dictionaries) since they do not belong in a specialized bibliography.

In addition, the selection of bibliographical items was rigorous for
languages such as German which has a large number of titles to choose
from, whereas for languages lacking an extensive scholarly tradition,
the admission of titles was more liberal, which means that the
criteria of inclusion could not be the same for all the languages. All
chapters were written by ''A Dictionary of European Anglicisms'' (DEA)
contributors or scholars closely associated with the project. Some
languages, however, do not correspond to those included in the DEA
volume. Thus, since the literature for Albanian was very scarce, a
section on Danish was additionally included. (To my knowledge, some
additional articles and MA theses could be found for the English
influence on Albanian related to late R. Filipovic^'s project ''The
English Element in European Languages''). Swedish, Czech and
Portuguese have not been included either, although I must say I find
it difficult to believe that ''there is not enough evidence available
to justify a separate section on these languages'' (These languages,
however, were not included in ''A Dictionary of European Anglicisms''

The active collection of titles for the bibliography ended in 1995 (as
for the dictionary data in ''A Dictionary of European Anglicisms'');
as a result, only a small number of more recent entries have been

The first section is devoted to general discussions and monographs
comparing the English influence in more than one language. The
sections that follow are devoted to anglicisms in individual languages
listed in the alphabetical order. The annotations provide very useful
information about the contents of the included bibliographical
items.They are of varying length and structure, probably due to the
fact that they were written by a large number of contributors.
Regrettably, annotations are completely lacking for some of the items.

A system of cross- references is used for collections of papers
comprising several articles on different languages. The same system is
used for general discussions comparing the influence in more than one
language, with cross-references from the chapters devoted to the
individual language.

The Bibliography is supplemented by an ''Index of Topics'' and an
''Index of Words'', quoted by page and entry number. The former is a
very useful indicator of the fields of interest concerning the English
influence on European languages. Among the topics with the largest
number of bibliographical items are those on dictionaries and
lexicography, which indicates that the focus of interest of most
publications has been the lexical impact of English on individual
languages. A large number of titles is devoted to morphology,
phonology, spelling and meaning showing the interest in the adaptation
of loanwords on the main linguistic levels. Historical studies are
also prominent, as well as those dealing with different aspects of
purism. It can be noted that most works are devoted to borrowing,
with only two studies focusing on code switching, for
instance. Sociolinguistics is not represented very extensively in
terms of the number of bibliographical items. A number of units are
devoted to topics such as journalese and sports as the fields
traditionally exposed to English influence. ''The Index of Words''
lists frequent individual anglicisms discussed in the included items,
such as baby, budget, design, handicap, jeans etc.

To conclude: with its wealth of information, the bibliography is an
invaluable research tool for scholars interested in various aspects of
the English influence on European languages, as well as for
lexicographers, language planners and anyone interested in the
topic. Since new publications on the topic appear in large numbers on
an almost daily basis, it is to be hoped that new updated and revised
editions of this important work will be published in years to come.


Carstensen, Broder; Busse, Ulrich (1993-1996),
Anglicismen-W�rterbuch. Der Einfluss des Englischen aufden deutschen
Wortschatz nach 1945 (3 vols) .- Berlin: de Gruyter.

Filipovic, Rudolf (ed.); Muhvic-Dimanovski, Vesna; Prohaska-Kragovic,
Miljenka, Socanac, Lelija (1996), Engleski element u europskim
jezicima (The English Element in European Languages), vol. 4,
Anotirana bibliografija (An Annotated Bibliography) (1958-1995)


Lelija Socanac is a researcher at the Linguistic Research Institute,
Zagreb, Croatia. She has a PhD in linguistics. She has worked on the
project "The English Element in European Languages" which was directed
by late Rudolf Filipovic. She is currently directing the project
"Croatian in Contact with European Languages". Her research interests
include contact linguistics, sociolinguistics and lexicography.
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