The Dynamic Lexicon of English

A Socio-Cognitive Approach towards Loan Processes and Their Linguistic Effects


The open access publication of this book has been published with the support of the Swiss National Science Foundation.
This study investigates the interrelation between use, meaning and the mind as a central issue of contact-induced linguistic variation and change, using the influence of French, Spanish, German and Yiddish on English as case studies. It relies on innovative methodological approaches, including the use of an integrative, socio-cognitive model of the dynamic lexicon, to describe borrowing processes and their linguistic outcomes. The multitude of socio-cultural contexts relevant to the introduction of the various borrowings since the nineteenth century has been reconstructed. This implies the identification of borrowings reflecting connections of linguistic features and culturally embedded attitudes. Taking the effects of cognitive and social factors on conventionalization and entrenchment processes into account, this study makes an original contribution to existing research.
Open Access
Download PDF

Prices from (excl. shipping):

Julia Landmann is a lecturer in English Linguistics at the University of Basel. In 2022, she completed her habilitation at Heidelberg University. Her publications are related to lexicology, phraseology, historical semantics, language contact and the relationship between language and emotion.
Series Editor:
Robert Nicolaï, Prof. em., University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, Nice, France

Editorial Board:
Umberto Ansaldo, Curtin University, Perth, Australia
Peter Auer, Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
Marianne Mithun, University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California, USA
Patrick Seriot, Prof. em., University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland

In Memoriam:
Andrée Tabouret-Keller, University of Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France
List of Figures
Symbols and Abbreviations


1 State Of The Art: The Influence of French, German, Spanish and Yiddish on the English Lexicon Since 1801
 1 Lexical Borrowing from French Since 1801
 2 Lexical Borrowing from German Since 1801
 3 Lexical Borrowing from Spanish Since 1801
 4 Lexical Borrowing from Yiddish Since 1801

2 Methodology, Data and Terminology
 1 Methodology
 2 Data
 3 Terminology

3 Semantic Fields of French, German, Spanish and Yiddish Borrowings: Their Distribution, Development and Rich Cultural Context
 1 Semantic Fields Influenced by French Since 1801
 2 Semantic Fields Influenced by German Since 1801
 3 Semantic Fields Influenced by Spanish Since 1801
 4 Semantic Fields Influenced by Yiddish Since 1801

4 The Morphological Development of Fairly Common Borrowings
 1 Compounding
 2 Affixation
 3 Conversion
 4 Back-Formation
 5 Clipping
 6 Blending
 7 Summary

5 The Semantic Development of Fairly Common Borrowings
 1 New Concepts (the Need for a New Designation)
 2 Abstract Concepts, Distant and Usually Invisible Referents
 3 Sociocultural Change
 4 Close Conceptual or Factual Relation
 5 Complexity and Irregularity in the Lexicon
 6 Emotionally Marked Concepts
 7 Summary

6 The Contextual Use of Borrowings with a Specific Focus on Informal Language Including Social Media
 1 Pursuit of Prestige and Social Estimation
 2 ‘Messages’ Conveyed by Foreign-Derived Brand Names
 3 Socio-cultural Attitudes and Values
 4 Socio-cultural Reservations, Prejudice and Stereotypes
 5 Sensationalism
 6 Indication of Ethnic Identity and Group Affiliation
 7 Vividness and Variation of Expression in Informal Usage or Slang
 8 Crudity of Expression in Informal Usage or Slang
 9 Summary

7 Summary and Conclusion
 1 The Chronological Distribution of Fairly Common French, German, Spanish and Yiddish Borrowings Since 1801
 2 Schmid’s Entrenchment- and Conventionalization Model in the Light of Loan Processes

Appendix A
Appendix B
Professionals, researchers and advanced students interested in lexicology, language contact, sociolinguistics, cognitive linguistics, and the use of online dictionaries and corpora in lexicological research might find this study illuminating.
  • Collapse
  • Expand