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Language Contact Around the Globe

Proceedings of the LCTG3 Conference


Edited By Amei Koll-Stobbe and Sebastian Knospe

The fifth volume in the series Language Competence and Language Awareness in Europe unites a collection of peer-reviewed papers delivered at the Third Conference on Language Contact in Times of Globalization (LCTG3) at the University of Greifswald in 2011. The papers are arranged in five thematic sections: Part I studies lexical and grammatical borrowing and pseudo-loans. Part II looks at code-switching and language intertwining in different contexts, while Part III is concerned with the power, political backup and use of different languages in multilingual settings. This is followed by Part IV which comprises three articles on the Linguistic Landscapes of different urban areas. Finally, Part V focuses on language choices in literature and institutional settings.
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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.

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