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Twentieth-Century Borrowings from German to English

Their Semantic Integration and Contextual Usage


Julia Schultz

While there are plenty of studies on the impact English has exerted on the German language, the reverse contact situation has been relatively neglected. This monograph sets out to shed light on the German influence on the English lexicon in the twentieth century. It provides the first systematic appraisal of the semantic integration and contextual usage of the words adopted from German in the past few decades. The results presented in this study are based on the evaluation of a comprehensive lexicographical corpus of 1958 twentieth century German borrowings retrieved from the Oxford English Dictionary Online. The present-day usage of the borrowings is illustrated with linguistic documentary evidence collected from a wide range of English language corpora.
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Chapter Three Summary and Conclusion


This investigation contributes to present day research in the field of English lexicology. It constitutes an up-to-date study of a significant proportion of the foreign words in the English language: the sum of German borrowings entering English during the twentieth century.

On the basis of the extensive linguistic evidence provided by the OED and additional electronic databases and corpora, it was possible to give a comprehensive overview and a detailed description of the great variety of the lexical items adopted from German into English in the recent past.

The body of German borrowings included in this study encompasses 1958 items. Of these, only 121 words and meanings (i.e. 6.2%) are part of the core vocabulary attested in EFL dictionaries (For a list of all the German borrowings included in EFL dictionaries such as the LDOCE and/or the OALD see the appendix of the present analysis).

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