International Journal of Language & Linguistics

ISSN 2374-8850 (Print), 2374-8869 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijll

Lexical Borrowing: The Case of English Loanwords in Hadhrami Arabic
Showqi Bahumaid

This study investigates the English loanwords that have penetrated the lexicon of the Arabic vernacular of Hadramawt in Yemen over the past few decades. The process of borrowing from English occurred indirectly through the contacts of the inhabitants of that area with speakers of other Arabic dialects in particular Aden Arabic and via immigrant Hadhramis in Arab Gulf countries. The study provides sufficient evidence of the lexical expansion of Hadhrami Arabic through borrowings from English especially in electric, mechanical and vehiclesrelated fields as Standard Arabic equivalents are either inaccessible to locals due to illiteracy or have not gained wider acceptability. For the purposes of the study, the writer collected a total of 125 English-originated words in Hadhrami Arabic from oral and printed sources. Following an examination of the chronology of these loanwords, the writer conducts a thorough analysis of their specific phonological, morphological and semantic features. The analysis has shown that phonological adaptation of those loanwords to the HA structure has involved certain processes including sound nativization, the pharyngealization, gemination, metathesis and some consonants as well as the insertion of a vowel to break the word-initial consonant cluster.. The morphological integration of the loanwords into the HA system have been based on the principles that govern their native HA counterparts in terms of pluralization, gender assignment and verb patterning. At the semantic level, the loanwords have been subjected to certain processes involving the narrowing, widening or transfer of the meanings of their English counterparts.

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