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A Literature Review of Loanwords in English ——With a Focus on Types of Lexical Borrowings and the Process of Borrowing

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DOI: 10.23977/ICEIPI2020023


Zipei Guo

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Zipei Guo


Loanwords account for 80% percent of English vocabulary, which are necessary in the process of English learning. This article reviews five aspects of loanwords in English. The historical background of English loanwords is divided into four stages, which are Romano—Celtic Period, Old English, Middle English and Modern English respectively. I review the historical, social, cultural reasons of borrowing. Two ways of classification are reviewed: the linguistic-based classification (Haugen) and the product-based classification (Zhang). In terms of the borrowing process, asymmetry, complexity, flexibility and creativity are four notable characteristics. The benefits of learning English loanwords involve three aspects, which are related to teachers, students and translation.


Loanwords, English, types of loanwords, borrowing process

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