Anglicisms, Neologisms and Dynamic French

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This comprehensive study of Anglicisms in the context of accelerated neological activity in Contemporary Metropolitan French not only provides detailed documentation and description of a fascinating topic, but opens up new vistas on issues of general linguistic interest: the effects of technology on language, the analyticity-syntheticity controversy, the lexical contribution to language vitality, the study of compound word formation, the interplay between cultural and linguistic affectivity. By investigating the dynamics of borrowing within the larger framework of general neological productivity and by bringing to bear cognitive and pragmatic considerations, a much-needed fresh approach to the entire question of Anglicisms takes shape. All pertinent phenomena regarding Anglicisms in French — a topic which continues to command the attention of language commentators and defenders in France and elsewhere — are explored: integral borrowings, semantic calques, structural calques, the generation of pseudo-Anglicisms and hybrids, graphological and phonological phenomena. In each case, the phenomenon is investigated in the proper context of its interaction with other pertinent neological, phonological and sociocultural developments. These include general changes in French compound word formation, modified derivational dynamics, the microsystem of pseudo-Classical morphology, historic phonological instabilities, the pressure for more synthetic types of lexical production in relation to the needs of technology and society. Rather than adhering rigidly to any single theoretical model, there is an attempt to set up a dialog between differing models in order to arrive at a multidimensional view of the phenomena investigated.

Subjects: Germanic linguistics; Cognition and language; Sociolinguistics and Dialectology; English linguistics; Pragmatics; Romance linguistics

  • Affiliations: 1: University of Alabama

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