Tagged Questions

When words are taken from one language and incorporated into another.

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4
votes
3answers
106 views

Has any language ever borrowed an interrogative or relative pronoun?

One of the lexical similarities between reconstructed Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Uralic is in the interrogative and relative pronouns. For the former, in PIE there's a family of interrogatives ...
7
votes
2answers
96 views

Did Uralic borrow basic vocabulary from PIE, and if so why?

This section of the Wikipedia article on laryngeal theory lists proposed IE-to-Uralic loanwords containing laryngeals. Several of these have quite basic meanings: "woman", "person", "do", "give", ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

Is there a source that lists English Loanwords into Mandarin Chinese?

Is there a source(database, dataset, etc.) that lists English Loanwords into Mandarin Chinese?
3
votes
1answer
92 views

Pronunciation in languages from East Asia of words that are Japanese loanwords in English

In English, most loanwords from Japanese are pronounced similarly to the Japanese word. It isn't an exact match, for example with "karaoke" the pronunciation of the second "a" differs between English ...
3
votes
0answers
70 views

Reasons for things named same way in seemingly unrelated languages

How did it come different languages share idiomatic expressions, or name something in same words? Like, take word "inflammation" for example. In English, it's "in(ner)" and "flame". In Ukrainian, ...
2
votes
1answer
113 views

Arabic and Persian loans in Turkish

Both Persian and Turkish - as have other "islamic" languages - have a great deal of Arabic vocabulary. Due to an (initially) favourable vowel inventory (and maybe due to the same script being used) ...
2
votes
1answer
118 views

Some common features of unrelated languages: Turkish and Persian

This is somehow related to the question Are some languages known to have taken grammatical features etc rather than just lexicon from their substrate languages? In the area of today's Turkey, Iran ...
2
votes
0answers
63 views

Constructing/borrowing of complex scientific/technological/financial vocabulary in Esperanto [closed]

Most Esperanto scientific, some technology-specific, or financial dictionaries available online cover vast range, but mostly old terminology that was around for many years. How does one translate or ...
8
votes
3answers
292 views

Is دشمن (“enemy” in Persian) borrowed from δυσμενής (“hostile” in ancient Greek)?

A couple of years ago I encountered the world δυσμενής, meaning hostile, in an ancient Greek text I translated. If I recall correctly, this can be pronounced as "dusmenè". This always intrigued me, ...
3
votes
2answers
242 views

Is Mongolian “шинэ” / “ᠰᠢᠨ᠎ᠠ”, meaning “new”, a borrowing of Chinese “新”?

I've noticed that the Mongolian word for "new" is "шинэ" (or in traditional script, "ᠰᠢᠨ᠎ᠠ"). Since final vowels are not pronouned it's spoken as "shin". The Han character for "new", "新" is also ...
8
votes
2answers
179 views

Has a spoken language ever borrowed a word from a signed language?

There are plenty of examples of signed languages borrowing or deriving words from spoken language. In ASL, the word DOG is a lexicalized fingerspelling of "dog", CHURCH is made with the "c" handshape ...
5
votes
2answers
91 views

How are foreign terms incorporated into the Arabic system of vowel alternation?

I don't know much at all about the specifics of Arabic grammar, so this question might not make sense, but as I understand it, most Arabic words consist of a three-consonant root with vowels inserted ...
2
votes
2answers
380 views

Is a loanword also a cognate or are the two terms mutually exclusive?

A borrowing or loanword is when a word from language A is added to the lexicon of language B, with whatever phonological adaptations are necessary. But is a cognate only a word directly inherited ...
8
votes
1answer
148 views

Are tones “preserved” when borrowing between unrelated tonal languages?

Let's consider just borrowing between unrelated, national/standardized tonal languages, just in case borrowing between related languages might be a special case and borrowing between non standardized ...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

Why is the Lao word for tea “ຊາ” (saa) and not “ຈາ” (chaa)?

In just about every language, the word for "tea" can be traced to one of two variants of the same word. Te, from the Amoy tê of Fujian Province and Taiwan. Cha, from the Cantonese chàh of Guangzhou ...
3
votes
2answers
279 views

Could the Mandarin word “要” (yāo) and the Thai word “เอา” (ao), both meaning “to want” be related?

After a couple of weeks in Thailand and learning how to say "I don't want it" I've just realized the word for "want" is very similar to the word for "want" in Mandarin Chinese. I know the coincidence ...
3
votes
0answers
69 views

How is tone assigned to loanwords borrowed from non-tonal languages? [duplicate]

In a tonal language like Cantonese, how is stress assigned to loanwords (from languages which don't have a tone distinction)? For example, Hong Kong Cantonese has various words borrowed from English, ...
1
vote
2answers
359 views

Are there any loanwords in Turkish / Armenian languages?

In the Ottoman Empire, both Turks and Armenians shared common social and cultural domains, but are there any loanwords in either language from either side - i.e. Turkish loanwords in Armenian or ...
4
votes
4answers
403 views

Is the similarity between the Arabic word Gayyid and the English word Good due to a borrowing?

Why is the Arabic word جید (jayyid) which is pronounced gayyid in Egypt and means good, so similar to the word good or the German word gut? Is it a borrowing? (since the word for good is very ...
5
votes
2answers
777 views

Why did English borrow more from Latin and Greek than, e.g., German did, in scientific and philosophical subjects?

Is there any known reason why the scholars of the time didn't think it easier to use calques, as for instance the Germans did for the names of some of the basic chemical elements?
6
votes
3answers
277 views

Do loanwords usurp existing words?

When a loanword enters a language, does it usually replace an existing native word or phrase? Or does it more often lead to an increase in the size of the language's vocabulary? Regarding Japanese's ...
15
votes
7answers
949 views

In languages with grammatical gender, how do they determine the gender when a new word has been created?

In languages with grammatical gender that has (almost) no morphological relation between the words and the genders(e.g. French), how do they determine the gender of a new word that has been ...
6
votes
3answers
270 views

Mutual lexical borrowings between Arabic, Persian and Turkish: a reference request

As an occasional learner of these languages, I find the linguistic situation of Arabic, Persian and Turkish very interesting: they are three genetically unrelated languages (if you stick to ...
11
votes
2answers
464 views

Did Georgian ever have a native word for “dolphin”?

During my time in Georgia one word came to puzzle me and I'm still thinking about it: დელფინი (delp'ini) "dolphin" Wiktionary says this comes from Greek via Russian. The thing is Georgia is on ...
4
votes
2answers
327 views

Are there any linguistic factors that influence the degree to which a language accepts loanwords?

Obviously, the degree to which loanwords enter a language is highly influenced by culture - for instance, a community which has a lot of contact with another culture, through which many new objects / ...
15
votes
1answer
346 views

How do tone languages assign phonemic tones to loanwords from non-tone languages?

How do tone languages assign phonemic tones to loanwords from non-tone languages? For example, does such assignment vary according to the phonological context in each loanword? Alternatively, does ...
3
votes
1answer
513 views

Is the word, “problem,” new to non-English languages?

I've been listening to radio broadcasts lately where a person will be speaking German or Pashtun or Russian or whatever and a translator will be supplying an English rendition, in a format which makes ...
6
votes
1answer
681 views

Are English 'butterfly', German 'Butterfliege' and Dutch 'botervlieg' cognates?

Yesterday the question was raised why many languages do not share a root for 'butterfly'. When we look at the etymology of the English word, parallels are drawn to Dutch and German forms (OED): OE ...
12
votes
1answer
233 views

What's this loanword phenomenon called?

I've noticed that loanwords often take on more specific meanings in the target language than in the source language. To give two very common examples, sake just means alcohol in Japanese and salsa ...
4
votes
3answers
446 views

What are some reasons languages get picked as source languages for neologisms

For example, Latin is a source language for new words in English and other European languages, and I know English, Sanskrit and Arabic are also source languages in many other languages. What are the ...