Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 10 : 10 October 2010
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.
         S. M. Ravichandran, Ph.D.
         G. Baskaran, Ph.D.



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English Loanwords in Meiteiron
A Linguistic and Sociolinguistic Analysis

P. Pusparani, M.A., M.Phil.
N. Pramodini, Ph.D.


English emerged as an International language due to the economic and political power of Britain and the US. Many English words have been absorbed by most of the languages of the world. Meiteiron also contains thousands of such English borrowed words in it. Many of them are firmly rooted in Meiteiron. For this study, a list of English loanwords commonly used in Meiteiron was collected from the written literatures, newspapers, radio, T.V and also from normal day to day conversations.

This paper begins with the background introduction of the study of 'Loanword' and the historical context of the language contact of English and Meiteiron. To discuss the nativization process of English loanwords, the phonemic charts of English and Meiteiron are given in the second section. The nativization of unfamiliar sounds of the English loanwords in Meiteiron is the primary focus of this study which is discussed in the third section of this paper. This is followed by a brief discussion of the medium of borrowing in Meiteiron (Eye and Ear borrowing). The impact of English loanwords on Meiteiron is discussed in the fifth section which includes hybridization, obsolescence and phonemic innovation. Finally, the summary of the study concludes this presentation.

Defining Loan Words

The term 'loanword' may be defined as the importation of lexical materials from other source languages. Loanwords in a language are the words which have been borrowed from other different languages (Benjamin 1947; Louis 1950; Lehmann 1962).

Borrowing of any vocabulary is especially very common, morphological patterns are less commonly borrowed. And borrowing is mere common at the higher levels of a language, but at the phonological and morphological levels, the elements of any language are native. And bilingualism, more intimate social contact, the usefulness/status of the languages play important roles in deciding the percentage and directions of the borrowing (Lehmann 1962; Hock and Joshep 1996; Franklin 2005).

Loanwords are treated as the milestone in the history of a language: "Loanwords have been called the milestones of philology because in a good many instance they permit us to fix approximately the dates of much right be termed some of the milestones of general history, because they show us the course of civilization and the wandering of inventions and institutions and in many cases give us valuable information as to the inner life of nations when dry annals tell us nothing but the dates of the king and bishops" (Jesperson 1982).

The speakers of any language have some contacts with other languages or dialects. Languages and dialects normally do not exist in a vacuum, (Hock and Joshep 1996). There are varieties of factors that initiate language contact- economic contacts, socio-cultural, political relations, aspects of topography, psychological factors, globalization, etc. to name some. And the common result of linguistic contact is lexical borrowing (Bynon 1969; Anderson 1973; Felicity 1989; Bharathi 1992; Kay 1995; Hock and Joshep 1996; Shashikanta and Reddy 2009).

The degree of influence of the source language to the recipient language depends on the nature of the borrowing; the time course of borrowing and the status of the languages. The status of the languages also has a major role to decide the directions (whether one way or two-way direction) of the borrowing. Cultural contact and prestige motives are the two predominant types which lead lexical borrowing, (Bharathi 1992) which is supported by Hock and Joshep (1996) claiming that the major reasons of borrowing is need and prestige. A borrower might have borrowed a loanword only to use just for an occasion, while the listener found it useful and repeat it for the same. This repetition of the word becomes familiar in the recipient language. Unless, one has no knowledge of the source language, the subsequent users of the loanword often will not know that the word is from a different language origin.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

English Loanwords in Meiteiron A Linguistic and Sociolinguistic Analysis | A Report on the State of Urdu Literacy in India, 2010 | More Than Meets the Eye Reasons Behind Asian Students' Perceived Passivity in the ESL/EFL Classroom | English for Medical Students of Hodeidah University, Yemen - A Pre-sessional Course | Education as an Indicator for Human Resource Development | Representation of Malaysian Women in Politics | A Modern Approach to Application of Abbreviation and Acronym Strategy for Vocabulary Learning in Second/Foreign Language Learning Procedure | Causes of Social Acceptance of "O" and "A" Level Education System in Pakistan | Pronounce Foreign Words the English way! | Dubhashi and the Colonial Port in Madras Presidency | An Investigation of Davis' Translation of SHAHNAMEH - Rostam and Sohrab Story in Focus | Feminine, Female and Feminist - A Critical Spectrum on Selected Novels by Kamala Markandaya, Shahsi Deshpande and Arundhati Roy | Four-letter Words and the Urdu Learner's Dictionaries in Pakistan | Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin - A Study of the Impact of War on Historical and Economic Aspects of the Society | Was Gandhi a True Mahatma? | Omani Women
Are Their Language Skills Good Enough for the Workplace?
| Spread of English Globalisation Threatens English Language Teaching (ELT) in Pakistan | Multiple Intelligences, Blended Learning and the English Teacher | A Micro-Case Study of Vocabulary Acquisition among First Year Engineering Students | Imagery of Wilderness in Margaret Hollingsworth's Islands | The Influence of Learning Environment on Learners' Attitude in a Foreign Language Setting | Caste - Gender Ideology in Gundert's Malayalam-English Dictionary | Development of a Hindi to Punjabi Machine Translation System - A Doctoral Dissertation | A PRINT VERSION OF ALL THE PAPERS OF OCTOBER, 2010 ISSUE IN BOOK FORMAT. | HOME PAGE of October 2010 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

P. Pusparani, M.A., M.Phil.
Department of Linguistics
Manipur University
Manipur, India

N. Pramodini, Ph.D.
Department of Linguistics
Manipur University
Manipur, India
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