Borrowing and Loan Words: The Lemmatizing of Newly Acquired Lexical Items in Sesotho sa Leboa

  • V.M Mojela


The influence of foreign languages in Sesotho sa Leboa, or Northern Sotho, results in borrowing, which ultimately leads to an increase in the vocabulary of Sesotho sa Leboa. The languages influencing developments in the vocabulary of Sesotho sa Leboa include, inter alia, English, Afrikaans, Xitsonga, Tshivend√a and the Nguni languages. This article aims to give a critical analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of the adoption of foreign lexical items in the lemmatization of vocabulary in Sesotho sa Leboa dictionaries. Most puristic inclined academics and intellectuals are reluctant to adopt loan words as a means of developing the Sesotho sa Leboa vocabulary. When confronted with borrowing, the purists usually prefer coinage, using indigenous lexical items to name foreign concepts. This is disadvantageous to the development of the vocabulary of the language because (1) there is no increase in the number of the lexical items in the language since only the meanings of the foreign lexical item are added to existing indigenous lexical items, and (2) in most cases, previously adopted loan words are mistaken for indigenous lexical items and given preference to newly acquired lexical items which have direct and accurate bearing on the meaning of the newly discovered or designed concepts or objects. Keywords: Borrowing, Loan Words, Lexical Items, Foreign Acquisition, Foreign Words, Coinage, Coined Lexical Items, Purism, Standard Language, Standardization, Lemmatization, Developed Languages, Corpora

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eISSN: 2224-0039
print ISSN: 1684-4904