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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Title: Lexical Borrowings as Sociolinguistic Variables in Saint-Louis, Senegal
Written By: Fallou Ngom
Series Title: LINCOM Studies in Sociolinguistics 05

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.

Publication Year: 2006
Publisher: Lincom GmbH
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Format: Paperback
ISBN: 3895863548
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 198
Prices: Europe EURO 60.00