Institutional Scholarship

English Loans in German and the Borrowing of Meaning

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dc.contributor.advisor Sanders, Nathan Lane, Mary 2012-06-21T13:17:50Z 2012-06-21T13:17:50Z 2012
dc.description.abstract There are many English loans in German, which fall under the categories of (i) phonetic and semantic borrowings (e.g., Computer 'computer', downloaden 'to download'), (ii) phonetic borrowings (e.g., Handy 'cell phone', Long-Drink 'mixed drink'), and (iii) semantic borrowings, or calques (e.g., Sinn machen 'to make sense'). All of these loans are naturalized into German and undergo phonological and morphosyntactic changes. I provide an overview of the integration process that loans undergo and a description of how these words appear in German. When words are borrowed into German from English, secondary or metaphorical meanings of the English are not necessarily borrowed. Most often, the primary, literal meaning of the English word is the meaning the loan takes on, e.g., the loan Baby means 'baby, infant' in German, but not 'coward, wuss,' as it can in English. I report the findings of a survey of native German speakers, investigating the borrowing of meanings of English words. Through the examination of seven loans and the comparison of their meanings in English and German, I show that generally, only the primary meaning of an English word is transferred to a loan in German.
dc.description.sponsorship Tri-College (Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore Colleges). Department of Linguistics
dc.language.iso eng
dc.subject.lcsh German language -- Foreign words and phrases -- English
dc.subject.lcsh German language -- Etymology
dc.subject.lcsh German language -- Foreign elements -- English
dc.title English Loans in German and the Borrowing of Meaning
dc.type Thesis
dc.rights.access Open Access

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