Proceedings of the LCTG3 Conference
Edited By Amei Koll-Stobbe and Sebastian Knospe
Esme Winter-Froemel (University of Tübingen), Alexander Onysko (European Academy of Bozen / University of Klagenfurt) and Andreea Calude (University of Waikato): Why some non-catachrestic borrowings are most successful than others: a case study of English loans in German
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Why some non-catachrestic borrowings are more successful than others: a case study of English loans in German
Esme Winter-Froemel, Alexander Onysko and Andreea Calude
This paper is concerned with the success of loanwords in a recipient language compared to their native equivalents, and it aims at determining why some borrowings are more successful than others. This issue is explored with the example of highly frequent anglicisms entering German as non-catachrestic loans (cf. Onysko and Winter-Froemel 2011) and co-existing with their native equivalents designating the same concepts. We analyze the relative success of the anglicisms and their equivalents by comparing their frequencies in a large corpus of German (CosmasIIweb). Using a multiple regression statistical model, we then investigate which factors may account for the different behavior of the loans. Word length and lexical field emerge as significant factors determining the success of an anglicism while no clear effects of phonological and graphemic markedness are observed. In the final discussion, we argue that semantic and pragmatic factors may interact with factors related to language economy.