Foreign Words as a Problem in Standardisation / Lexicography: English and Afrikaans Loan-words in isiXhosa

  • A Drame


Languages are not static systems. They develop and change, add new items while others become outdated. These changes can be clearly observed in the lexicon especially. No language can afford to ignore or neglect foreign influence. Due to globalisation, especially English gains more and more influence on other (also European) languages. In developing countries, the languages of the former colonisers also still have an enormous impact on the indigenous languages. Some of these nations are slowly heading towards endogenous language policies which demands the modernisation of the technical vocabulary. This is however a costly and time-consuming process. In this regard language planners often prefer borrowing from foreign sources as a quick and therefore c The first part of this paper deals with the discussion amongst linguists, sociolinguists and lexicographers about the extent to which foreign words should be allowed in an indigenous language. The second part looks at the example of isiXhosa, one of South Africa's eleven official languages, which is strongly influenced by foreign words, especially English and Afrikaans, and shows problems and methods of the integration of foreign words into the isiXhosa grammatical structure. Keywords: foreign words, isixhosa, english, afrikaans, bahasa indonesia, russian, estonian, german, language policy, language purism, lsp, morphology, semantics, phonology

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2224-0039
print ISSN: 1684-4904