International Journal of Language & Linguistics

ISSN 2374-8850 (Print), 2374-8869 (Online)

Lexical Borrowing in Arabic and the Role of Orthography
Sami Hamdi

Abstract
Explanations of how loanwords are adapted and integrated in the recipient language center mainly on phonological and morphological accounts. There are various factors that mediate the adaptation process and worth further investigation. Upon the review of literature, it was observed that some loanwords have multiple written forms in Arabic. A study was conducted on 13 Arabs bilingual in English to examine the roles of orthography on loanwords adaptation by bilinguals. The results revealed a salient role for orthography in adapting single and compound loans affecting certain phonological and morphological aspects of L1. Arab Bilinguals were sensitive to the orthography of loans when they adapt them to their L1 basing their spelling choice on standard Arabic. The findings suggest that the adaptation process is phonetic in nature and influenced by orthography resulting in multiple written loan-forms.

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