Apr
24
2013

loanword

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

lon wuhrd

noun

definition: a word that one language has adopted from another and at least partly naturalized.

English, a Germanic language at its origins, has absorbed words from over 300 languages, with Latin and French as major contributors. The process by which loanwords are adopted into a language is called “borrowing,” despite the fact that these words are never, as it were, given back. The stages in the gradual assimilation of a foreign word into a language are summarized well by linguist Suzanne Kemmer here: Borrowed words in English. Every loanword starts off as simply a “foreign word” with which English-speaking people come into contact and are motivated (for a variety of reasons) to understand or use.

 

 

 

 

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