Anglicisms in Europe

Anglicisms in Europe: Linguistic diversity in a global context. Ed. by Roswitha Fischer and Hanna Puɫaczewska. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008. Pp. xv, 339. ISBN 9781847186560. $59.99 (Hb).

Reviewed by María Dolores Romero

This book contains some of the papers read at the Anglicism in Europe Conference, which took place at the University of Regensburg in Germany in 2006. It deals with linguistic aspects of social, psychological, political, and cultural issues related to Anglicisms in European languages.

The book is divided into four parts. Part 1, ‘Cognitive and semantic approaches to Anglicisms’, contains three chapters. Ch. 1 by Esme Winter-Froemel summarizes past and current approaches to Anglicism borrowing. The author proposes a new classification based on the cognitive process involved in the import of a word from the source language, analogical innovation, and independent innovation. The evaluation criterion is the context of the speaker and listener related to cognitive use. In Ch. 2 Nevena Alexieva shows the importance of the cognitive approach for the study of Anglicism and the active role of the borrowing language. This role is the interpretation used to create a new lexical word of the respective source language. The author supports this approach with analysis of some Anglicisms in the Dictionary of European Anglicism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005). Ch. 3 by John Dunn examines the semantic, formal, pragmatic, and creative processes related to borrowing. The words analyzed are taken mostly from Russian but according to the author, the basic principles can be applied to most European languages.

Part 2, ‘Attitudes towards the influx of Anglicisms’, includes four chapters on attitudes towards the borrowing of Anglicism and its influence in European languages. Ch. 4 by Irene Doval relates the influences of the English language on German in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In Ch. 5 John Humbley presents and compares data on the influx of lexical Anglicism in French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Rumanian. In Ch. 6 Roswitha Fischer deals with the influences of the English language on the choice of given first names. The author concludes that the Anglo-American culture is very influential in terms of politics, marketing, technology, and mass media. Pertti Hietaranta concludes this section in Ch. 7. The author argues that the influx of Anglicisms in Finnish is due to the globalisation of culture in general and the role of pragmatic factors, such as techniques and saving time in the process of translation.

Part 3, ‘The use of Anglicism in specialized discourse’, is comprised of six articles focusing on specific practices and subjects. Ch. 8 by Virginia Pulcini discusses the increased use of English words related to sports in Italian. In Ch. 9 Heiko Girnth and Sascha Michel analyze the use, status, and function of loan-shortenings from English in newspapers and magazines of the German police and armed forces. Angelika Bergien in Ch. 10 reveals the use of English elements in company names in Germany as well as the attitudes and reactions of costumers towards those English words. Ch. 11 by Tibor Örsi deals with the techniques applied in the process of nativization of computer-related vocabulary in French. Hanna Puɫaczewska analyzes the use of Anglicism in German and Polish mass media communication in Ch. 12. Ch. 13 by Félix Rodríguez González focuses on the increased use of Anglicism in Spanish terms related to homosexuality.

Finally, Part 5, ‘Anglicisms in dictionaries’, looks at Anglicism in dictionaries of European languages. Ch. 14, written by Ulrich Busse, examines the Dictionary of European Anglicism (DEA) and explains the practical approach, methodology, and categories applied in DEA. Marcin Kilarski and Marcin Ptaszyński study pronunciation, spelling, and morphological adaptation of Anglicisms in three European languages (Norwegian, German, and Polish) in Ch. 15. The authors compare data taken from the DEA which contain loanwords from all three languages with data collected from the dictionary for each particular language. Lastly, in Ch. 16   Cristiano Furiassi studies a list of non-adapted Anglicisms in Italian. The author suggests that such Anglicisms, with regard to their frequency, should be considered in a monolingual general dictionary in order to avoid a distorted image of reality.