Language modernization versus linguistic protectionism
Author: Erida Prifti, University of Vlora
Publication date: 11.19.2009
Number of pages: 12
Format / Quality: PDF / Excellent
Size: 146 KB
Using extensive borrowings from English to derive new words as part of modernization versus using language internal processes to create new lexical items
University of Vlora
1. Alarm bells among linguists
2. The influence of English on other languages
3. English as a high prestige language and the concerns of the linguists regarding their native languages
4. Defining the corruption of a language
5. The fear of language extinction: a natural resistance to change?
6. Why a word borrowed long ago is a better word than a recent borrowed one?
7. Reasons for borrowing or creating new words
8. Levels of language health
9. Albanian as a strong, dynamic, living language
Since 1991, when the fiercest of all Communist isolations broke and the borders to the world were finally opened, the Albanian language has been undergoing significant changes in its lexicon and, at a certain measure, in its structure.
Numerous concepts have found their way into the Albanian knowledge base before an Albanian word was ever found to name them. This phenomenon brought in an avalanche of borrowings from other languages, especially English, Greek and Italian. Some of these words are being naturalized by inflection and transliteration, others are being used as calques, while many of them find themselves in everyday use as foreign words, being eloquently integrated in spoken conversation, but having great difficulty in gaining approval from linguists when seen in written Albanian texts. The invasion of so many borrowings in such a short span of time has alarmed the Albanian linguists to such an extent that some of them are searching arguments to convince the public opinion that the Albanian language in a few years
is going to be extinct. Taking into consideration the validity and reliability of the arguments presented by the abovementioned linguists and providing relevant information on the development stages of the life of a language, this paper defends the thesis that the Albanian language in not going to be extinct any time soon, on the contrary, it displays all the characteristics of a vivid, modern language in a very dynamic stage of its development.
Key Words: borrowings, language death, language shift, language survival, language contact, globalization, language extinction.