Chapter 3. Investigating gender variation of English loanwords in German

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This article examines variation in gender assignment to English loanwords – a phenomenon that has rarely been studied on a large empirical basis to date. We report on a multi-method study of gender assignment to Anglicisms as evidenced by large newspaper corpora and experimental data elicited from German native speakers, allowing empirically well-grounded insights into methodological and sociolinguistic factors that determine gender variation. In contrast to earlier studies which assume variation in gender assignment to be especially prevalent in the early stages of integration, thus claiming that there is comparatively little variation in general, our findings show a substantial amount of variation among the test items. In general, we find that variation is higher in the informant data when compared to the corpus data.


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