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Review of An Annotated Bibliography of European Anglicisms
Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2003 05:31:59 -0700 (PDT) From: branko socanac Subject: An Annotated Bibliography of European Anglicisms
Görlach, Manfred (2002) An Annotated Bibliography of European Anglicisms, Oxford : Oxford University Press.
Reviewed by Lelija Socanac, The Linguistic Research Institute, Zagreb, Croatia. e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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).
OVERVIEW "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. Görlach 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^Òs 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" either).
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 included.
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-Wörterbuch. 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)
ABOUT THE REVIEWER:
ABOUT THE REVIEWER 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.