Language Contact and Word Integration: A Sociolinguistic and Phonological Analysis of English Words in Yoruba

Languages in contact often exchange segmental, lexical or phrasal items through the process known as ‘borrowing.’ The universal phenomenon usually entails phonological or syntactic reconstruction of linguistic items that are being ‘borrowed’ from a ‘donor’ language. This is rather significant in the inequitable history of contact between different European and African languages. Does the politics of language contact become critically important; especially the terminological challenges for a lending process in which the ‘on-loan’ items are seldom returned? Furthermore, how does language contact contribute to the expansion of the ‘recipient’ language? Are there notable sociolinguistic and phonological effects of the contact on the ‘borrower’ language? Also, is there any transfer or ‘borrowing’ of phonological sounds and grammatical structures in cases involving continuous contact?
Language Contact and Word Integration: a Sociolinguistic and Phonological Analysis of English Words in Yoruba proposes a terminological transformation of the process of ‘borrowing’ into ‘word integration.’ The book addresses some of the questions arising in language contact situations involving a colonizing language and a language of the colonized. It explores the effects that continuous contact with the English has had and is having on the Yoruba language and the speaking community in Southwestern Nigeria. It highlights contributions to the expanded Yoruba lexicon but also identifies some of the challenging realities that the contact has created for Yoruba and its speakers. Significantly, the book provides empirical data on the Yoruba – English contact, bringing together new data and findings from other works. In addition to the sociolinguistic analysis of the contact and the changes in Yoruba vocabulary, the book provides a contrastive analysis of the phonological structure of Yoruba integrated words with English sources. A tabulated listing of over seven hundred integrated words in the Yoruba language is provided as data for researchers and scholars in the addendum to the book.

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