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English Loan Translations in Polish

Word-formation Patterns, Lexicalization, Idiomaticity and Institutionalization

Series:

Alicja Witalisz

This volume on language contact is a corpus-based descriptive and theoretical study of the Polish translations of English one- and multi-word polymorphemic expressions. The formation of loan translations is unique among strategies in lexical development as it involves three processes: borrowing, word-formation and semantic change. The study explores morphosyntactic, semantic and extralinguistic issues in the context of set expressions that are loan translated from a foreign language. It offers a typology of loan translations, loan identification criteria as well as a dictionary of over 500 loan translations from the English language.
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Chapter 3. English loan translations in Polish

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Chapter 3.  English loan translations in Polish

Polish expressions that have been loan translated from English do not form a homogenous set, both in terms of their internal structure and the exactness of translation. It becomes necessary then to establish such criteria of their description and division that will take into account both formal and lexical types of deviation from the foreign model.

Before this is done, we offer a brief overview of loan translations in the history of Polish, which serves several purposes. First of all, it shows that English linguistic influence in the form of calqued expressions and senses is relatively recent, which quite agrees with the major waves of foreign influences on Polish and with the influx of English loanwords, the growing numbers of which were observed in Polish throughout the 20th century, especially after the Second World War. Another aim is to point to the fact that calquing as a subtype of the borrowing process and as a method of enriching the lexical stock is almost as old as Polish itself but that it was rather infrequently used in the past. Thirdly, the process of calquing is not restricted to languages that are in immediate contact through physical coexistence of two communities or to languages that are in close genetic relationship.

3.1 Loan translations in Polish: a diachronic account

Looking at the lexical development of Polish, one can see that throughout the centuries foreign linguistic influences manifested themselves...

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