Questions tagged [borrowing]

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

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Is there a term for a word taken from another language, but then completely changing the meaning (such as peperoni, latte, chai)

In Italian, il peperone is what the English would call bell pepper, but the English word peperoni has come to mean a type of sausage, in particular when on a pizza. In Italian, latte is milk, but in ...
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What would /ɯ/ most likely be replaced by? [closed]

If a language was borrowing words from another language that has /ɯ/, what would the first language possibly substitute it with? Borrowing language phonology - Consonants: m n ɲ p b t d c ɟ k g ts dz ...
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0 votes
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Why does text in Cyrillic or Japanese contain Latin characters for technical/scientific terms?

Through a question on a sister site, I stumbled upon a Bulgarian document that includes drawings and measurements. What stroke me is that the text in Cyrillic contains Latin characters when it comes ...
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Is being a loan word time limited by the time it was adopted?

Is being a loan word limited by time of adoption? For example the English word "loci" comes from Latin, as other 60% of English words do. Is it a loan word in English? Or is it only for &...
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How Polish influenced Ukrainian

I have noticed some complexed loanwords in Ukrainian from German via Polish like the word for taste “smak”. Is it just slight influence that Polish had on Ukrainian or was it related to assimilation ...
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Percentage of Latin loanwords in northern Germanic languages

What is the percentage of Latin loanwords or words that are of ultimate Latin origin even from intermediate languages in each of the northern Germanic languages? I have noticed that there seem to be ...
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1 answer
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Compound English word with most etymologies

There are many English words with two different core etymologies, often Latin + Greek. For example: Claustrophobia – from the Latin claustrum meaning "confined space" and Greek φόβος (...
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1 vote
1 answer
206 views

Examples for calque / loan-translation words with different meanings in different languages

Are there words/phrases/compound-words in two different languages that use the same words in their respective languages (like a calque / loan translation) but result in different meanings? Here is a ...
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Formal terms for pronunciations of loanwords in source and recipient languages?

If they exist, what are formal terms meaning "pronunciation of a loanword in the donor language" and "pronunciation of a loanword in the recipient language"? In shorter terms, the ...
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Words with "hybrid" declension (in Latin, or borrowed by English from Latin)?

There is a recently-coined technical usage (in mathematics) of the word "anima", borrowed from Latin to English. The funny thing about this coinage is that the coin-ers of the term insist on ...
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3 votes
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Germanic loanwords in Czech? The case of "lék" [duplicate]

Recently I started studying Czech and I learned the word "lék", pill/medicine and "lékař", doctor/physician. In Polish there is a similar one. They bear a superficial resemblance ...
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Why is direct affix borrowing generally thought to be impossible?

F. Seifart (Seifart, 2015) says: "a widespread assumption in the language contact literature is that affixes are never borrowed directly, but only indirectly, that is, as part of complex ...
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Is the Turkish word for brother(kardeş) of Indo-Iranian origin?

I looked up the word for "brother" in other Turkish languages. In Ubzek it is aka. And in Volga Tatar the corresponding word is abi. The word "kardesh" sounds suspiciously similar ...
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Similarities between Sumerian and Semitic languages

I noticed that the Sumerian words for mother and father, ama and abba respectively, are very similar to the Hebrew words for mother and father, being ema and abba respectively. Given that Sumerian is ...
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Why does English have words from Latin and none from Celtic?

It is known that Britain's history of invasion goes as: Celtic arrival, Roman domination, Saxon settlement, Nordic settlement, Norman invasion. If England's identity was largely made from the Saxons (...
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Combine flexibility + ism , how ? thanks [closed]

I want to use the word flexibility in an "ism" form. I have two possible forms in mind but sure which one is better: flexibilism flexibiltyism Which of the above forms is correct? ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Why hasn't English borrowed more words from China? [closed]

Why hasn't English (or Latin/Greek/others from which English arrived) borrowed more words from China? I am looking at Wikipedia and there's probably only 30 words there out of the millions of words ...
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Did the Portuguese influence how days of the week are named in Vietnamese and Chinese?

The Portuguese were some of the first colonizers / missionaries in the Far East. In the case of Vietnam, they created the first phonetic transcription of the language. Interestingly, nowadays the ...
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Pronunciation and spelling of English loanwords in Japanese

The word for allergy in Japanese is アレルギ (pronounced "a/re/ru/gi") The first three characters are typical for words borrowed from English, but why is the last sound "gi" instead of "ji"? Is this word ...
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2 answers
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Is it normal for only one verb class to be productive in Indo-European languages?

In another question on this site, there is some discussion on the view that the so-called "strong verb" class in English is no longer "productive" - that is, newly formed or coined words (neologisms) ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Loanwords with different meanings from original language?

First, let me say this questions is asking only about fairly recent loanwords (as in, the word (or something similar to it) exists in both languages). I'm not asking about very old loanwords that may ...
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4 votes
3 answers
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Is there a specific linguistic term for the following practice of constructing new words/characters?

I have in mind examples such as the Scheingallizismus (lit. appearance of Gallicism) in German which are words/phrases constructed from French origins but are themselves unknown in French speaking ...
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3 votes
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Etymology of Romanian "amor" (cf. "iubire")

I found it interesting to learn that Romanian borrowed this word from a Slavic language as well as the verb "a iubi". I also discovered that the word "amor" is present in Romanian but apparently it ...
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Do dead languages borrow words?

So, presumably, at some point during of after the fall of the Roman Empire, Latin became a dead language. Or, at least no longer used outside of the Church or science. When that happens to a language, ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Why do French words tend to become so much more intense in English?

My knowledge of French is very rudimentary, but one common theme I noticed in English words borrowed from French is that their meaning becomes so much more intense. To give just a few examples, ...
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How do you call a languages tendency to adopt foreign words rather than translate them to their language?

One difference between Mandarin Chinese and Japanese is that the former likes to translate foreign terms, while Japanese prefers to transcribe them to Japanese. E.g. Basketball: Mandarin Chinese: 篮球 (...
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1 answer
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What is a loan creation?

How is it different from a loanword? One example given was mitkind created on stimulus of English sibling. Does this mean mitkind is a new word but with a foreign sense? Is there such thing as loaning ...
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Is there any specific term for "English-originated?

I'm working on an academic writing in English, but as a non-native speaker, I feel lacking of vocabulary. When a word has its origin in the Chinese language, we use the term 'Sino-' such as Sino-...
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2 votes
3 answers
141 views

What is it called when a new word is replaced by a more familiar one?

I mean the phenomenon that happens when a language borrows a word, but it gets replaced by a similar-sounding word that is already in the language like from Spanish 'aguacate' to 'avocado' or 'echeque ...
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5 votes
3 answers
465 views

How do people deal with loanwords with highly alien phonemes?

I've been thinking about how a people who speak a language without rhotics would perceive a rhotic sound. Obviously of course, this would depend on exactly which rhotic we're talking about. I thought ...
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8 votes
2 answers
414 views

Why does Hebrew transcribe Akkadian š inconsistently?

Biblical Hebrew consistently uses the letter ס (s) to transcribe names with the Akkadian consonant š. For example, Esarhaddon for Aššur-aḥa-iddina, Esther from Ištar, Sargon from Šarru-ukīn (all ...
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Which languages have absorbed the most vocabulary from Russian, and which languages have influenced its vocabulary?

I'm a student of formal linguistics and Russian language, my question has been surprisingly hard to google -- I've studied a little Ukrainian, and I've read that its structurally similar to Russian ...
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5 votes
1 answer
317 views

Sami loanwords in Swedish language [closed]

Are there any words in Swedish borrowed directly from Sami languages? Excluding proper nouns. One example would be enough for "yes" answer. A link to some research on related subject is required for "...
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9 votes
4 answers
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Borrowing words along with the articles or other grammatical parts (like Spanish from Arabic)

Disclaimer: I do not know Arabic. Here is an example of Spanish words of Arabic origin: alacrán, albañil, alquimia... I wonder why Spanish language borrowed so many Arabic words along with the ...
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3 votes
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Does Sanskrit really have a large proportion of borrowings from non IE stock?

A comment on an answer to anoher question about Lithuanian suggests that 'quite a large number of words was borrowed from non-IE languages'. While some words in Sanskrit indeed seem to have Fenno-...
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1 vote
3 answers
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Greek words with initial "ia" instead of "a" [closed]

Greek verbs with initial #i+H4- from Arnaud Fournet (May 2017) *H4eH4- ‘to heal, guard’: (1)Hurrian a-tt- ‘to guard, protect’ (2) Greek ἰάομαι ‘to heal’ < *y-ā- (3) The question : why "ia" instead ...
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10 votes
4 answers
594 views

Languages preserving loanword inflections

Erudite English has an interesting practice where the plural form of loanwords may follow the inflectional grammar of the source language. Thus "campi" as well as "campuses", "minima" as well as "...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Can anybody recommend some textbooks/articles that deal with the adaption of loan words into Spanish?

I'm doing a phonology project on Spanish and one of the components is describing how the language adapts loanwords. I'm particularly interested in Arabic loanwords and how they are adapted as I ...
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0 votes
2 answers
237 views

Why are some words to express country names different between Chinese and Japanese?

In some countries, their principal chinese characters are represented differently between Chinese and Japanese. For example, 意 vs 伊 (Italy) 法 vs 仏 (France) 德 vs 独 (Germany) That being said, there ...
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Is the the Turkish word kin 'hate, venom etc' restricted to Anatolian-Turkish only?

The word kin 'hate, venom, spite' is quite unusual and took my attention for its meaning 'venom'. Is it an Anatolian-Turkish/Azeri only word or is it common in other Turkic languages? Does anyone know ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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In Arabic loanwords, why does Persian change the short vowels with different vowels instead of matching them with long counterparts?

Classical Arabic (4th-9th century) short vowels are /a/, /u/, and /i/, and long vowels are /a:/, /u:/, and /i:/. New Persian (1000-1200 years old) short vowels are /æ/, /o/, and /e/, and long vowels ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Word classification and labeling

I got myself in a controversial discussion on word classification. To my knowledge words can be classified as a) inherited from a parent language, b) inherited substrate words, c) a result of ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Term for borrowing an inflected form as an uninflected form

Sometimes when a word is borrowed from one language to another, what is an inflected form in the source language becomes an uninflected form in the target language. Examples of this are the Italian ...
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2 votes
3 answers
3k views

Which of 可爱/可愛い was exported to the other between Chinese and Japanese?

In Chinese (Mandarin), there exists a word 可爱 that means "pretty" or "cute" in English. In Japanese, there is also a word 可愛い (adjective) that means the same thing in English. Given that both words ...
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6 votes
2 answers
398 views

Historical development of English pronunciation(s) of "hygiene"

I have a two-part question about the pronunciation of hygiene in English. The usual pronunciation, as shown by a variety of online dictionaries accessible from OneLook Dictionary Search, is /...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Name of the act of borrowing linguistic concepts from different languages

What is the term for concepts that got translated from one language or another? I've heard this term in a conversation about Czech Anglicisms such like: "Mějte hezký den." - the literal version of ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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What factors influence the way we adapt loanwords into English?

If someone pronounces "pizza" as /piːzə/ instead of /pitsə/, we'd surely raise an eyebrow at them. But few people (that I know personally) mind when we pronounce "tagliatelle" with a hard G (I wasn't ...
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4 votes
4 answers
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Why are raccoons called "washbears" in many languages?

Examples of words that literally mean "washbear" can be found here. This is apparently due to the fact that raccoons just love to wash things so much. But is it just a coincidence that many languages ...
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2 votes
2 answers
300 views

Other languages that borrow as promiscuously as English?

I've heard people say that the reason English is such a great language is that it's enriched itself by stealing so promiscuously from other languages. The image I get of English is that she's like the ...
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5 votes
1 answer
584 views

What phonological process changes е to ё in Russian?

I've been studying Russian for years now, but the one thing that I can't seem to wrap my mind around is why would the sound е je come to be pronounced like ё jo in certain circumstances? Obviously, ...
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