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How words behave in other languages: the use of German Nazi vocabulary in English

Schroeter, M. (2018) How words behave in other languages: the use of German Nazi vocabulary in English. Pragmatics and Society, 9 (1). pp. 93-118. ISSN 1878-9714

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1075/ps.16027.sch

Abstract/Summary

This paper undertakes a systematic investigation into the use of German Nazi vocabulary in English. Nazi vocabulary is checked for frequency of occurrence in a large webcorpus of English and then, where it occurs, for reference to Nazi discourse. Next, its frequency is compared to equivalent French and German webcorpora, showing whether or not the use of Nazi vocabulary outside German is unique to English and whether or not its current usage differs between German and the borrowing languages. Finally, the use of two words that occur with similar frequency in all three languages – judenrein and Blitzkrieg – and of two words that occur with the highest difference in frequency – Anschluss and Lebensraum – is investigated in detail by means of the Sketch Engine corpus tool, including analysis of collocations which indicate contexts of usage. The results can inform further research into lexical borrowing by demonstrating that borrowed words may be used in ways that differ notably from their use in the donor language.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > Modern Languages and European Studies > German
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Language and Applied Linguistics
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Language Text and Power
ID Code:70513
Publisher:John Benjamins

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