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The Phonology of English Loanwords in German

A Corpus-Based Study

Diplomarbeit 2011 67 Seiten

Englisch - Pädagogik, Didaktik, Sprachwissenschaft


Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Tables

1 Introduction

2 The Phonological Inventories of English and German

3 Loanwords
3.1 Defining Loanwords
3.2 Categorizing Loanwords
3.3 Selected Theories on Loan Phonology

4 The Corpus
4.1 Corpus Content
4.2 Corpus Design

5 Methodology
5.1 Selection of Loanwords
5.2 Lemmatization
5.3 Frequency

6 Analysis of Phonological Characteristics of English Loanwords in German
6.1 The Phoneme Inventory
6.2 Integration into German Phonology
6.3 Evaluation

7 Conclusion

Works Cited


Symbols and Abbreviations

illustration not visible in this excerpt

List of Figures

Figure 1ː English and German vowel inventory

Figure 2: English and German diphthongs

Figure 3: Different types of loanwords

Figure 4: Intersection of the English and German phoneme inventory

Figure 5: Vowels of the 50 most frequent source words of English loans in German

Figure 6ː Diphthongs of the 50 most frequent source words of English loans in German

List of Tables

Table 1: English and German consonantal inventory Table 2: Selected magazines and their genres

Table 3ː Consonants of the 50 most frequent source words of English loans in German

1 Introduction

Can you think of an English loanword in German that originally contains the sounds /ð/ or /θ/? No? One might now spiteful say: luckily not! Jumping on the cliché that Germans are not able to pronounce the th-sounds properly, this saves us a lot of acoustic mishaps. Yet, meanwhile there do exist a few loanwords containing the api- co-dental fricatives /ð/ or /θ/, as for example smoothie /'smuːði/ or thriller /'θrɪlə/. Still their proportion out of the total amount of English loans in German is vanish- ingly small.

Bringing it to linguistic terms, these phonemes exclusively belong to the English phoneme inventory and do not constitute part of the German language system. Therefore the research question of this thesis is: Do phonological features influence the borrowing of a foreign word?

There are a lot of reasons for the adaptation of loanwords and many works in lin- guistics deal with them in great detail (cf. for example Holland 2007: 49ff; Fischer 2008: 1ff).

Speakers borrow words from other languages to fill gaps in their own lexical in- ventory. The reasons for such lexical gaps vary greatly: cultural innovation may introduce objects or actions that do not have a name in the native language; native words may be perceived as non-prestigious; names of foreign cities, institutions, and political figures which were once unknown may have entered the public eye; new words may be introduced for play, etc. (Calabrese and Wetzels 2009b: 1)

Most discussions about the factors that influence the occurrence of a loanword go back to syntactic, lexical, semantic or social circumstances (cf. Fischer 2008: 1f). Having browsed many books about English loanwords,1 only few of them explicitly mentioned phonological features when talking about parameters determining the appearance of loanwords. This study tries to fill this gap by investigating the phonological properties of English loanwords in German.

Being a study within English linguistics, the focus lies on the English etymons that are borrowed into German. With regard to borrowing, the term etymon can be equated with the terms root or source word since it is defined as “lexical form from an earlier stage in the history of a word from which the modern word is derived” (Nord 2002). By approaching the language contact situation from the side of the source language (SL) the corpus-based investigation attempts to detect peculiarities within the phonological material of English source words in comparison with the English system in general. The final aim is then, to draw generalizations from these results and answer the research question.

First of all, in order to achieve this goal, the theoretical framework of this investi- gation has to be provided. Therefore, issues concerning the phonological inventory of English and German are compared. A particular focus is put on the deviations of the intersection of phonemes occurring simultaneously in English as well as in German. Having set up the boundaries with regard to the phonological inventories, the rele- vant features of what constitutes a loanword are determined. As a basic guideline, Betz’s (qt. Zschieschang 2011: 18) categorization that is also widely used in other works2 dealing with English loan material is applied here. Following a structural ap- proach, in accordance with Betz’s categorization, this phonological study concen- trates on form-related borrowings. Finally, the presentation of selected theories on loan phonology provides a background knowledge for the final discussion of the in- vestigation results.

With regard to the practical analysis, a bottom-up approach is applied. This implies that actual language data is systematically examined. Afterwards, possible conclusions are drawn under consideration of linguistic theories (cf. Sakel and Matras 2008: 67). Therefore, the data that serves as investigation basis is withdrawn from a newly built corpus, compiled according to basic principles of corpus design in order to follow a usage based approach (cf. Mukherjee 2009: 25).

The text compilation consists of recent German magazine cover stories out of nine popular genres. This selection is meant to provide a cross section of the German magazine language in general. Additionally, since such text types are very likely to reflect authentic language use in general (cf. for example McLoughlin 2000: 73f), the concluding chapter of this paper attempts to draw generalizations from this inherently specific data to the behaviour of English loans in German.

The decision for written texts as basic analysis material reflects the focus of this study on the language system and in particular on the properties of the abstract pho- nological characteristics of English etymons and their interaction with the German language system.

In speech, interference is like sand carried by a stream, in language, it is the sed- imented sand deposited on the bottom of a lake. The two phases of interference should be distinguished. In speech, it occurs anew in the utterances of the bilin- gual speaker as a result of his personal knowledge of the other tongue. In lan- guage, we find interference phenomena which, having frequently occurred in the speech of bilinguals, have become habitualized and established. Their use is no longer dependent on bilingualism. (Sakel and Matras 2008: 64 [cited from Weinreich 1953])

Exactly these habitualized phenomena are considered as adequate for an investiga- tion of the possible phonological requirements that English source words have to fulfil in order to become integrated loanwords within the German language system.

To achieve this goal, a combination of a quantitative as well as qualitative corpus- based study is conducted. According to Lindquist (2009: 25f), this represents a very common method within corpus-based studies. First, the quantitative approach elicits the 50 most important etymons of English loanwords in German out of the magazine data. In a second step, these words are examined qualitatively in detail according to their phonological inventory. Particular attention is drawn to the comparison of these phonemes and the implications the German phonological inventory has on them. Subsequently, the adaptations those English etymon experience within the receptor language RL3 are explored.

Finally, the discussion part summarizes the results and additionally tries to gener- alize over the data by putting the results into the relevant theoretical context, trying to draw conclusion concerning conditions of the loan process that English etymons face in German.

Having established the theoretical framework and practical analysis the final aim of this synchronic, comparative, corpus-based study is to answer the question whether only extralinguistic, or also phonological aspects have an influence on the borrowing probability of a word from a SL into a RL.

2 The Phonological Inventories of English and German

As a starting point, the theoretical ground is prepared by elaborating on relevant no- tions of linguistic theory. “The problem of establishing comparability and of finding the ‘third of comparison’ ( tertium comparationis ) is a major issue in any kind of comparative work” (König and Gast 2009: 5). The common ground in this compara- tive work is established by means of the linguistic category of phonemes with regard to their occurrence within the English and German language system. For that reason, this chapter provides a gist of theoretical background on phonological inventories in general as well as on the ones of English and German in particular. Due to the scope of this thesis, basic knowledge about the phonological system of a language and the articulatory features of phonemes are presupposed.

In linguistics the branches of phonetics and phonology are closely related. Both deal with the study of sounds. The difference between them is due to their perspec- tive (cf. Kortmann 2005: 57ff). “Phonology thus operates on a more abstract level than phonetics. Its research object is not the totality of all sounds actually uttered and processed in everyday life, but merely those units which constitute the sound system of a language, the so-called ‘phonemes’” (2005: 58). This implies that the composi- tion of these phonemes, the inventory, depends on the specific language system. Such a system consists of an assemblage of single abstract sounds, which may differ in realization according to the speaker. This actual realization, however, is neglected in this study. Similarly, phonotactic aspects, as well as phonemic features, such as aspiration, are only marginally mentioned if they feed into the explanation of certain loan behaviour. Biersack (2002: 53) even adds that phonemes display what is actual- ly interesting to the hearer - the distinctive features. Nevertheless as a subsequent step to this thesis it would be interesting to investigate additionally the characteristics of loanwords concerning the combinatory relationships.

Focussing on abstract, language-specific entities, several of such phonemes can be found in many languages simultaneously, such as /p/ or /a/. Those are often referred to as unmarked. In contrast, the ones that appear relatively infrequently among dif- ferent language systems, as for example the German phonemes /y/ or /ç/ are referred to as marked (cf. Noack 2010ː 5f). “The idea is that all types of linguistic structure

have two values, one of which is ‘marked’, the other ‘unmarked’. Unmarked values are cross-linguistically preferred and basic in all grammars, while marked values are cross-linguistically avoided and used by grammars only to create contrast” (Kager 1999: 2).

The decision which phonemes to account for the respective sound systems was based on the contrastive work by König and Gast (2009) Understanding English- German Contrasts because it fits the investigation topic in hand most adequately. Only the schwa-sound /ə/ was added to the vowel chart belonging to RP as well as to German. This phoneme plays a special role within the language system. On the one hand, phonologically, its distribution is severely restricted. For example, it only oc- curs in unstressed syllables and is also very prone to be deleted in certain environ- ments. On the other hand, from an articulatory perspective, “it could be described as a ‘targetless vowel’ for which no inherent articulatory target has been specified, or as a vowel which targets a neutral vocalic position, ‘the mean tongue-tract variable po- sition for all the full vowels’” (van Ostendoorp 1999 [cited from Browman and Goldstein 1992]). Therefore, it is also called ‘neutral’ or ‘reduced’ vowel. Neverthe- less, the schwa-sound is the most frequent phoneme in English (cf. Skandera and Burleigh 2005:164). Additionally, many German linguists who investigated the char- acteristics of the schwa-sound, as for example Hall (2000), consider it as a phoneme of the German language system, as for example in Himmel /hɪməl/.4 For these rea- sons it is also seen as relevant for this study.

Both being members of the Western branch of the Germanic language family, English and German are genetically closely related. Even though English has dis- tanced itself a little more from this language family due to language change, there are many overlapping features within the English and German phoneme inventory (cf. König and Gast 2009: 4), as for example the great majority of consonants such as /s, z, t, d/. Yet, since contrasting phonological features are the focus of the following analysis, these overlaps are mentioned just briefly in this chapter, which concentrates on the comparison of the inventories.

Now, with regard to the phoneme inventory of English and German, a comparison of the consonantal stock of the two systems is presented in the following table. In order to display the overlaps and differences, exclusively English phonemes are marked orange, while German ones are blue. The intersection of both inventories is indicated in black.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Table 1: English and German consonantal inventory (cf. König and Gast 2009: 14)

Since “[t]he consonant systems […] are structured by similar parameters of classification and overlap to a considerable extent […]” (2009: 8) it is possible to include English as well as the German consonants easily in this table and arrange them according to the articulation parameters.

So, at first sight it becomes visible that the intersection in this comparison is quite broad. English consonants that are missing in the German language system are /θ, ð, dʒ, w/. While /θ, ð, w/ exclusively occur in English, /dʒ/ can be also found in Ger- man as a loan phoneme, appearing in most cases with English borrowings such as joggen /'dʒɔgn/ (cf. 2009ː 13). On the contrary, the dorsal fricatives /ç, x, χ/5 and the bilabial and alveolar affricates /pf, ts/ are missing in the English sound system.6

When it comes to vowels, boundaries are not clear cut. On the one hand, with re- gard to German, disagreement exists about the number of vowels that belong to the language system (cf. Noack 2010ː 34). For example, in König and Gast (2009) the German vowel system encompasses 15 vowels, whereas Noack (2010) does not make a separate distinction between /a/ and /aː/ but adds the reduced vowel [ɐ]. Hall

(2000), in contrast, agrees with König and Gast (2009) but adds /ə/ as his sixteenth phoneme. In contrast to Noack (2010), he considers [ɐ] not as phoneme but allo- phone of /ʀ/ and for this reason excludes it from the vowel inventory. His view con- cerning the two reduced vowels of German is also shared within this thesis.

On the other hand, English vowels also display several irregularities. We cannot really speak of one English vowel system because there are considerable differences among the various English varieties. Yet, since the English transcription of the sub- sequent analysis is based on the Oxford Dictionaries Online ( ODO ) (Oxford Diction- aries 2011), thus on RP, similar as in most linguistic textbooks7, this work concen- trates on this standard variety.8 Adding to this, historical processes within the devel- opment of English turned the single vowel inventories into rather “unordered set[s]” (König and Gast 2009: 23) than coherent systems. One important consequence is related to the distinction between tense and lax vowels. In contrast to German, where this difference represents a distinctive feature for vowels as such, as in /a/ vs. /aː/ ( bannen vs. Bahnen ), in RP it is only relevant to several phonological rules concern- ing syllable structure or stress assignment, but not for vowels as such (cf. 2009ː 22f).

In order to display the two vowel systems with their differences and overlaps, the following vowel chart contains both inventories. This organization, in analogy to the consonantal one, is arranged according to the articulatory phonetic features and serves as basis for systematizing the phoneme inventory (cf. Noack 2010: 33).9 Again, exclusively RP vowels are marked orange and German ones are marked blue. The phonemes that both language systems have in common are displayed black.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 1ː English and German vowel inventory (cf. König and Gast 2009ː 22f)

In contrast to the consonantal inventory, this chart shows at first sight that regard- ing vowels there is a greater number of differences between the two language sys- tems. Overall, there are three striking points. The preceding paragraph already hinted at the first one which concerns the distinction between tense and lax vowels. Other than in German, in RP tension is not distinctive. “Tense and lax monophtongs are unevenly distributed over the vowel chart, and for most vowels it is impossible to assign either a tense or a lax counterpart to them” (2009ː 24). Even though one could assign a certain tense-lax correspondence to /iː/ ( feel ) and /ɪ/ ( fill ) as well as to /uː/ ( shoe ) and /ʊ/ ( full ), these two exceptions do not account for a relevant significance.

A second important difference is the density of vowels. Whereas RP counts more back vowels, German has more front vowels. Thus, typically, all the rounding oppo- sitions that occur take place in each system in its preferred density area. That means that in RP the two rounded vowels /u, ʊ/ are back vowels and the German ones /y, Y, ø, œ, o/ can all except of /o/ be found in front position. In contrast RP completely lacks rounded front vowels, such as /yː, Y, ø, œ/, a fact that meets this observation.

The third crucial difference concerns the ratio of monophthongs and diphthongs. The RP vowel system counts eleven monophthongs and eight diphthongs. On the contrary, German has fifteen monophthongs and three diphthongs, none of which are centering diphthongs (cf. 2009: 25).

With regard to central vowels, German misses the /ɜː/ ( sir ) and /ʌ/ ( but ). Whereas /ɜː/ is completely absent in German, /ʌ/ resembles one of the two German central vowels /a/ with regard to the phonetic features central, open, unrounded, and lax. Since RP is rather ‘back vowel biased’, it, opposed to German, which contains four of these phonemes, counts five. In comparison to German, English does not have tense close mid front vowels, such as /oː/. Those monophthongs did still exist in Ear- ly Modern English, but have been either raised (/oː/[Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten]/uː/ as in e.g. root ) or diph- thongized (/oː/[Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten]/oʊ/[Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten]/əʊ/, as in e.g. stone ). The RP phoneme missing in German /ɔː/ ( law ) resembles the German vowel /ɔ/ (Wolle). Both are back, open-mid and rounded. The difference here lies in the degree of tension. The RP /ɔː/ is tense, whereas the German /ɔ/ is lax. Yet, the similarity becomes clear in words where a /r/ follows the /ɔ/, as for example in Horn [Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten][hɔːn], but the resulting phoneme should not account for an individual phoneme within the system.

Additional discrepancies constitute the monophthongs /ɑː/ ( spa ) and /ɒ/ ( got ) in RP. They are completely absent in German, since there are no back open vowels at all (cf. 2009ː 24ff).

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 2: English and German diphthongs (cf. König and Gast 2009: 22f)

With regard to diphthongs, the chart shows at first sight, that the number in German is lower than in RP. All three German diphthongs are closing, meaning that the tongue rises during articulation, whereas RP distinguishes closing and centering ones, the latter of which end in a schwa-sound. Concerning closing diphthongs one can again subdivide them into fronting diphthongs (/eɪ, aɪ, ɔɪ/) and backing diphthongs (/əʊ, aʊ/). Furthermore, they can add another schwa-sound and form triphthongs, such as for example /aɪə/ ( fire ) (cf. 2009: 22f). These sound sequences however do not represent a self-standing part of the vowel system and in general are considered rather as combination (cf. Kortmann 2005:68).

Having identified the different specifications of the two phoneme inventories in investigation, the following chapter goes on with the elaboration on the issue of different loanwords.

3 Loanwords

English is the world’s language number one. It is not only used by approximately 1.9 billion people in 51 countries as an official language but also regarded to be the most important spoken language in 39 further countries comprising about 670 million additional people (cf. Holland 2007: 17ff). Germany is one of them. Thus, it is a logical consequence and a commonly known fact (cf. Onysko 2007: 1f) that the German language system is influenced by English loanwords.

This chapter aims at defining what constitutes a loanword. Therefore, at first, the term loanword as opposed to borrowing is clarified. The subsequent section then provides an overview of the various categories of borrowed material. In linguistics you find a variety of attempts of such categorization (cf. Béchet-Tsarnos 2005: 146). Some of them follow a rather sociolinguistic approach, whereas others focus on structural form and again some further ones emphasize meaning (cf. for example Zschieschang 2011: 17). Due to the concentration on formal aspects of language, the goal of the categorization applied here is to conclude with a definition as final work- ing basis that determines the types of loanwords relevant for the further analysis.

The remainder of this chapter introduces major theories on loanword phonology that may account as possible explanations for the shape and behaviour of English loanwords in German within the final evaluation of the data.

3.1 Defining Loanwords

In linguistic theory there are two major recurrent terms that designate foreign elements that are transferred from SL to a RL. These expressions are borrowing and loanword . In order to delimit the two concepts, this section presents several criteria that distinguish the one from the other.

Borrowing can be used in two ways. It denotes either the process of “the importa- tion of a word or its meaning from one language into another” (Fischer 2008: 6) or the object imported from SL into RL. Plus, it carries an additional implication. The term borrowing can also be applied to the subcategories of lexical and semantic bor- rowing , which creates certain fuzziness. The difference between those two subgroups is that in case of semantic borrowing only the meaning and not the form is borrowed from SL. Lexical borrowing refers to the importation of meaning and form. The outcome is also called loanword or loan. Some scholars also name them direct or integral borrowings (cf. 2008: 6f).

Since this thesis aims at describing the phonology of language, thus the form, only types of lexical borrowings are relevant for this study. In the following they are summarized under the umbrella term loanwords , when talking about those words in general. The term borrowing is thus used in its most general sense, denoting the pro- cess and the products of the importation of foreign words into a language.

3.2 Categorizing Loanwords

The distinction between semantic borrowings and loans is also mirrored in Betz’s (qt. Zschieschang 2011: 18ff) categorization, which is a widely adapted approach, amongst others used in Yang (1990), Zschieschang (2011) and partly in Fischer (2008). It provides one of the most fine-grained views on the diverse types of bor- rowing. Since it draws this clear distinction between form-related ( Ä u ß eres Lehngut ) and meaning-related ( Inneres Lehngut ) borrowing, it seems to be the most adequate approach for this investigation.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 3: Different types of loanwords (cf. Zschieschang 2011: 19 [cited from Betz])

Inneres Lehngut is defined as:

[…] diejenigen Entlehnungen, die im Gegensatz zum ‘äußeren Lehngut’ ausdrucksseitig kein englisches Morphemmaterial enthalten. Da sie sich morphologisch im Allgemeinen nicht von heimischen Bildungen unterscheiden, ist ihre englische Herkunft nicht ohne weiteres zu erkennen (Yang 1990: 15)

and can therefore be equated with semantic borrowings .

Examples for loanwords according to the different subcategories of so-called In- neres Lehngut , freely translated meaning inside loan material, are on the one hand Lehnbedeutungen . They transfer a new English meaning to an already existing Ger- man word, such as in lieben , which nowadays also means to like in German and does not necessarily include a romantic connotation (cf. Zschieschang 2011: 24). Fisher (2008: 6f) uses the English term loan meaning for them. On the other hand, Lhnbildungen , according to Fisher (2011: 6f) loan formation , can be again divided into three different types. Word by word translations from English to German, such as Taschenbuch for pocket book are called Lehn ü bersetzungen , whereas words that are partly literally translated from English and partly freely translated, such as Wolkenkratzer for skyscraper , are termed Lehn ü bertragungen . Formally new Ger- man words, whose word-formation processes have been initiated by an English equivalent, such as Wassergl ä tte by aquaplaning are referred to as Lehnsch ö pfungen (cf. Zschieschang 2011: 24f). In analogy, Fisher (2008: 6f) uses the English denomi- nations loan translation , loan rendition and loan creation . However, as already hint- ed at, since these types of loanword are primarily concerned with transfer on the lev- el of meaning, they are neglected in this study.

The loan material that is relevant for this investigation is summarized under the term ä u ß eres Lehngut . “Unter dem Begriff äußeres Lehngut versteht man Entlehnun- gen, die von der Ausdrucksseite her englisches Morphemmaterial enthalten. Hierzu zählen Fremdwort , Lehnwort , Scheinentlehnung und Mischkomposita “ (Zschieschang 2011: 20). All these subgroups display English morpheme material and can be therefore equated with the terms lexical borrowing or loanword used by Fisher (2008: 6f).

Within the category of Direkte Entlehnungen , Fremdwort and Lehnwort , which can be translated with foreign word and loanword , in a narrow sense,10 are almost alike. The only difference between them is the degree to which they are integrated into the German language system. This can be assessed either by morphological (e.g. download-en ), orthographical (e.g. Scheck ) or phonological (e.g. Test ) characteris- tics.

Furthermore, concerning this category, there is one additional type that has to be distinguished, namely so-called fremde W ö rter or Exozismen . These are words which constitute entities that language internally could be equated with foreign word or loanword but from an extralinguistic point of view are somewhat different. The rea- son for this is the fact, that they designate entities that do not occur within the Ger- man language border. Typical examples are Bobby (English police officer) or High School (term for American school that provides secondary education) (cf. Yang 1990: 12).

A third subcategory of the here relevant loanwords that encompass English mor- pheme material are so-called Scheinentlehnungen . These pseudo-borrowings or pseudo-loans , as Fisher (2008: 7f) terms them, are words that seem to be borrowed because they are created by using English morpheme material. However, they do not exist in English. Zschieschang (2011: 22 [cited from Carstensen 1993]), felicitously names them ‘lexikalische Eigenwege[n]’, referring to the exceptional word- formation process of German that they experience. A prime example for this is the word Handy , whose correct translation would be mobile or portable phone in English (cf. Zschieschang 2011: 22f). The German pseudo-loan here goes back to the English word handy and created an anglicized formation to the substantive hand (cf. Alsleben 2007: 315). Yang (1990) additionally divides this kind of loanwords into three fur- ther subgroups. Lexikalische Scheinentlehnungen are words built by free invention, such as in Handy, or by combining English morphemes in a new way, such as for example in Dressman (from English dress and man ) (cf. Zschieschang 2011: 23). Another subgroup of pseudo-borrowing refers to words that do exist in English but have undergone a significant meaning change in German, which did not take place in English. This can be seen from the word flirt , which denotes a person in English. In German, in contrast, Flirt refers to the action that takes place. The crucial point here is not the morpheme structure, but the meaning. Therefore these words are called semantische Scheinentlehnungen (cf. Yang 1990: 14).

Again, looking at the morpheme level, there is a third subcategory that is distinguished, namely Lehnver ä nderungen (Yang 1990: 13) , or as Busse (qt. Meder 2006: 50f), names them morphologische Scheinentlehnungen . This term includes a process in which the English word has been shortened or changed. The new form of the loanword does therefore only exist in English. Examples are Deo for deodorant or Dogge for dog (cf. Yang 1990: 13f).

Finally, the last category concerning loanwords, are mixed compounds that consist of an English and a German or other non-English element. Referring to Fisher (2008:7), the terminology is hybrid formations . Such a process can have different origins. However, many of them are difficult to reconstruct. One clear cut case for instance is the compound Heimcomputer (cf. Zschieschang 2011: 23).

In general, a variety of different approaches can be found, which use identical terminology, but nevertheless, contrast concerning several limitations of categories.

While for instance, Yang subsumes lexical borrowing, hybrid formation, and pseudo-borrowing under one group, Onysko believes that pseudo-borrowing is actually no borrowing at all and that Yang’s categorization blurs the important distinction between lexical and semantic borrowing[…]. (Fischer 2008: 7)

For the study in hand, which concentrates on language form, pseudo-borrowing is also considered to be relevant, since English morpheme material is used as basis for word-formation.

Regarding terminology in this thesis, for sake of better readability, Fischer’s (2008) English expressions are used for Betz’s content even though they do not completely correspond within every boundary.

In conclusion, with regard to this categorization schema, the following practical part exclusively concentrates on the form-related loanwords, which Betz calls Ä u ß eres Lehngut . Within this category all subgroups of loanwords are considered. Following a similar strongly form-related approach, Görlach (2003:1) summarizes these criteria quite close. “An Anglicism is a word or idiom that is recognizably English in its form (spelling, pronunciation, morphology, or at least one of the three), but is accepted as an item in the vocabulary of the receptor language”. This definition serves as working basis for the following analysis.


1 See for example Meder (2006), Yang (1990) or Zschieschang (2011).

2 Compare for example Yang (1990).

3 The terminology receptor language RL and source language SL is adopted from Onyso (2007).

4 The DUDEN Das Aussprachew ö rterbuch (2005) transcribes Himmel as /hɪml/. Yet slight differ- ences within different transcription approaches are common to occur (cf. Adler 2004: 78).

5 In Middle English, these consonants did exist as allophones of /h/, but have changed into other sounds or disappeared totally in Standard English. Yet, there are some regional varieties, as for example the Scottish English pronouncing Loch Ness [lɔx nɛs] instead of RP [lɒk nɛs], that have preserved these sounds (cf. König and Gast 2009ː 11).

6 Those exclusively German phonemes will not recur in the further analysis and are therefore not discussed in detail. For further information see for example Hall (2000: 62f).

7 Compare for example König and Gast (2009) or Kortmann (2005).

8 Difference with regard to General American or Scottish Standard English are for example present- ed in König and Gast (2009: 26ff).

9 Due to scope the basic knowledge about the organization of the vowel chart is presumed here. More detailed information is for example provided in König and Gast (2009ː 18ff).

10 As indicated, the term loanword in the following is used in a broader sense, comprising all the relevant borrowed material - so to say all the ä u ß eres Lehngut - for this study.


ISBN (Buch)
1.2 MB
Institution / Hochschule
Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen – Institut für Englische Sprachwissenschaft
phonology english loanwords german corpus-based study




Titel: The Phonology of English Loanwords in German