Volume 13, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1571-0718
  • E-ISSN: 1571-0726
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This article focuses on the cross-linguistic lexical influence between English and Spanish. We begin by redefining the concept of cross-linguistic lexical influence as the impact that two or more languages have on each other’s vocabulary. We then present a brief chronological survey of Hispanicisms in English and Anglicisms in Spanish, taking the (OED) and the (DRAE) as the main sources, and examine some of the factors that affect the patterns of word interchange between these two languages. We argue that the historical and social milieu, mass media, information technology, prevailing attitudes to foreignisms, and the stance taken by dictionaries and official linguistic policy condition which words are borrowed, affect the phonological, orthographic and semantic forms of these borrowings, and impact the degree of their integration in the receiving language. The present study is the first to offer a cross-linguistic (bilateral) perspective on lexical borrowing, a novel approach that is of particular interest given the contrasting philosophical differences governing language policy and lexicographic traditions in English and Spanish. It demonstrates the importance of adopting a comparative approach in the study of lexical influence between languages.


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