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BorrowingLoanwords in the Speech Community and in the Grammar$
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Shana Poplack

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190256388

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190256388.001.0001

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The social dynamics of borrowing

The social dynamics of borrowing

Chapter:
(p.186) 11 The social dynamics of borrowing
Source:
Borrowing
Author(s):

Shana Poplack

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190256388.003.0011

This chapter reports the results of the first study of the trajectory of borrowed words in the speech community and the role of socio-demographic factors (age, gender, social class membership, level of education, individual bilingual proficiency, minority versus majority status, neighborhood of residence) in their adoption and spread. Making use of a sharedness index, we infer channels of diffusion of specific words and borrowing types (nonce versus widespread) across cohorts. Among the novel findings are that borrowing behavior is not simply a function of lexical need, but is acquired, and that both borrowing rates and type are dictated by wider community norms rather than individual bilingual abilities. This is evidenced in (implicit) community-level sanctions against the elevated use of borrowing and community-wide preferences for a particular type of borrowing.

Keywords:   speech community, socio-demographic factors, loanword sharedness index, loanword diffusion, lexical need, borrowing rates, borrowing type, nonce borrowing, widespread borrowings, community norms

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