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6.Assimilation of borrowings in English.

Any new item entering in the vocabulary of English undergoes (проходит) the process of the assimilation.

Assimilation – the process of adjusting a word to the phonetic and lexico-grammatic norms of the language.

There are 3 main types of assimilation:

1). Phonetic

2). Grammatical

3). Lexical


1)Phonetic assimilation is the process of adjusting the phonetic form of the loane word to the sound system of the recipient language.

Loans not assimilated phonetically retain their foreign pronunciation.

Most French loans from Parisian dialect are not phonetically assimilated.

2)Grammatical assimilation is the conformation of a borrowed word to the morphological or grammatical standards of the receiving language. If a loan word is grammatically assimilated it acquire (get) English paradigms and categories.

3). Lexical assimilations is the conformation of a borrowed word to the lexico-semantic system of the recipient language. If a loan word participates in word-building according to the rules of English we can say it’s a lexical assimilated word.

A borrowed word may developed a new meanings in the receiving language.

Folk Etymology.

Sometimes an unfamiliar borrowed words is roughly associated with a native word resembling it only in sound. The change of a borrowed word on the basis on fancied analogy with same well-known word / phrase is called joke / false etymology.

Example: cotlet – to cut – to cutlet

Degrees of Assimilation.

The degree of assimilation depends of different factors.

1).Time of borrowing. The earlier word borrowed the more assimilated word is.

2). Way of borrowings ( oral, written, speech)


1). Complete / full assimilation

2) Partial assimilation

3) Words are not assimilate at all ( barbarisms).


1) Complete assimilated words correspound to all phonetic, morphological and semantic loans of English and are not felt as a foreign words. Many of them belong to the basic word-stock

From Latin: cheese, pepper, street.

From Scandinavian: husband, felloe, to take, to want.

From French: table, chair, etc.


2)Partially assimilated words are those which retain (сохраняют) either their foreign pronunciation on foreign morphological features/characteristics (data - datum). Although  which are not semantically assimilated reflecting the notions of foreign nature, culture, customs (steepe, taiga, mantilla).

3). They are not assimilated in any way and usually have English equivalents – barbarisms (chao, adios, Holla)’


14.01.2014; 23:44
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