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English direct loans in European football lexis

Chapter in book
Authors Gunnar Bergh
Sölve Ohlander
Published in The Anglicization of European Lexis [C. Furiassi, V. Pulcini & F. Rodríguez González (eds.)]
Volume 174
Pages 281-304
ISBN 9789027273635
Publisher John Benjamins Publishing Company
Publication year 2012
Published at Department of Languages and Literatures
Pages 281-304
Language en
Subject categories Languages and Literature

Abstract

Football language is arguably the world’s most widespread special language, where English has played – and still plays – a dominant role. The present study reports on the influence of English in terms of direct loans and loan translations in this field, as manifested in 16 European languages. In particular, drawing on a selected set of English football words – match, goal, corner, forward, keeper, offside, hooligan, etc. – the investigation shows that while such cross-linguistic processes are common, there is a great deal of variation between the languages studied; for example, they differ considerably with regard to their tendency to adopt direct loans, Norwegian exhibiting the highest level of acceptance and Finnish the lowest. The significance of the resulting patterns is discussed, providing some tentative explanations of the phenomena noted, where both linguistic and sociolinguistic factors, such as language similarity and attitudes to borrowing, are taken into account.

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