A critique of linguistic borrowing from a translanguaging perspective


  • Mompoloki Mmangaka Bagwasi


translanguaging, borrowing, linguistic contestation, Setswana


This paper analyses borrowing from a sociolinguistic and translanguaging perspective through which it is viewed as a site for linguistic contestation, struggle, and power where some languages benefit while others lose out. The paper problematizes the process of borrowing and presents it as both empowering and disempowering. Empowerment is realized when borrowing is viewed as a translanguaging strategy through which loanwords are seen as representing creativity, dynamism, and the free movement of linguistic elements across language boundaries. Disempowerment is seen in linguistic prestige which causes restrictions in the movement of linguistic elements, language loss, lack of documentation, and insufficient etymologization which all lead to failure to acknowledge the contribution and existence of minority languages in the development of dominant languages.


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