What can lexicography gain from studies of loanword perception and adaptation?

By November 17, 2016,
AuthorMirosław Bańko, Milena Hebal-Jezierska
TitleWhat can lexicography gain from studies of loanword perception and adaptation?
AbstractIn normative dictionaries and usage guides, many loanwords are dismissed as ‘unnecessary’ on the grounds that they have a native synonym, which should be favoured instead. If there is no native equivalent of a loanword in the recipient language, one is often invented in order to eradicate the unwanted loan. However, more detailed studies, in particular, those referred to in this paper, suggest that there is no such thing as fully equivalent words: even if two words have the same designative meaning, they differ in other respects, which makes them mutually unexchangeable except for contexts where the difference between them is inessential. The goal of this paper is to demonstrate that the meaning potential of lexical loans is different from that of their native synonyms, just because their form is different and differently perceived by language users. The different perception of loanwords can in turn affect their semantic development, thus causing a loanword and its native synonym to diverge. The authors of normative dictionaries and language guides should, therefore, give more consideration to lexical borrowings before they condemn them as ‘unnecessary’ or ‘snobbish’.
SessionLexicological Issues of Lexicographical Relevance
Keywordsloanwords; purism; synonymy; variance
author={Mirosław Bańko and Milena Hebal-Jezierska},
title={What can lexicography gain from studies of loanword perception and adaptation?},
booktitle={Proceedings of the 16th EURALEX International Congress},
address={Bolzano, Italy},
editor={Abel, Andrea and Vettori, Chiara and Ralli, Natascia},
publisher={EURAC research},