Innovations and Reproductions in Cultures and Societies
(IRICS) Vienna, 9 - 11 december 2005

<< Reproduktionen und Innovationen in Sprache und Kommunikation verschiedener Sprachkulturen
<< Reproduction and Innovation in Language and Communication in different Language Cultures

Borrowing in Modern Standard Arabic

Ibrahim Zeinad (The American University in Cairo, Egypt)



"The world's language system is undergoing rapid change because of
demographic trends, new technology, and international communication.
These changes will affect both written and spoken communication"
(Graddol, 2004, 33:1329).

Graddol's recent statement reflects a linguistic reality. It is impossible to deny the influence of technology, not only on language, but also on our daily lives. The process of borrowing is among the many ways in which technology affects language. Although linguistic borrowing is a universal phenomenon that has been noted historically, it is essential to investigate this practice and its patterns in the present era.

This paper describes the process of borrowing in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). Modern Standard Arabic is the variety of high language used especially in the print cultures of Arab countries. This project began in 1988 and was completed in 2005. In the eighties, the main objective of my research was to investigate and describe the phenomenon of borrowed words in the written Arabic of the internationally circulated Egyptian newspaper, Al-Ahram. With the dawn of the new millennium, it was time to reinvestigate the phenomenon of borrowing to determine whether the practice had evolved and whether new variables had come into existence. In 2005, with the increasingly important role of communication technology, it is necessary to re-examine the practice and significance of borrowing.

This study compared issues of Al-Ahram newspaper from 1988, 2000 and 2005. Over 27 years, the persistence and evolution of this phenomenon is evident. This paper examines the changes in each year investigated, explaining the static and dynamic aspects of the borrowing process. Although the practice of borrowing persists, the fields in which it occurs have differed and expanded throughout the period in question.

Innovationen und Reproduktionen in Kulturen und Gesellschaften (IRICS) Wien, 9. bis 11. Dezember 2005

WEBDESIGN: Peter R. Horn 2005-09-29