Motives for Adopting English Vocabulary in Other Languages
Judith Rosenhouse, Rotem Kowner
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- 22 May 2008
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- explores motives for lexical borrowing from English in 12 different languages
- examines whether this English lexical 'invasion' is an inevitable process
This volume accounts for the motives for contemporary lexical borrowing from English, using a comparative approach and a broad cross-cultural perspective. It investigates the processes involved in the penetration of English vocabulary into new environments and the extent of their integration into twelve languages representing several language families, including Icelandic, Dutch, French, Russian, Hungarian, Hebrew, Arabic, Amharic, Persian, Japanese, Taiwan Chinese, and several languages spoken in southern India. Some of these languages are studied here in the context of borrowing for the first time ever. All in all, this volume suggests that the English lexical 'invasion', as it is often referred to, is a natural and inevitable process. It is driven by psycholinguistic, sociolinguistic, and socio-historical factors, of which the primary determinants of variability are associated with ethnic and linguistic diversity.
Rosenhouse and Kowner’s book is a welcome addition to the literature on the global impact of English and to the research on lexical borrowing. The case studies are interesting as such, each providing a wealth of information on the status and role of English in their respective language communities in carefully contextualised analyses of the borrowing process.
Reviewed by PAIVI PAHTA in World Englishes, Vol. 30, No. 1, pp. 151-163, 2011.
For almost a decade, Prof. Judith Rosenhouse and Prof. Rotem Kowner have led a multi-member research project on the motives for borrowing foreign lexicon, culminating with the publication of this book. Rosenhouse is a noted Israeli linguist specialized in Arabic and Hebrew, who recently retired from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology and has joined Swantech Ltd.; Kowner is an Israeli Japanologist who focuses on Japanese attitudes and response to foreign culture, the West in particular, in modern times. Currently he serves as the chair of the Department of East Asian Studies at the University of Haifa.
Postgraduate, Research / Professional, Undergraduate