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English Loan Words and English-Swedish Cognates in Swedish Texts Among Highly Frequent Vocabulary
University West, Department of Social and Behavioural Studies, Division for Educational Science and Languages.
2021 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

English and Swedish have descended from the same language family, the Germanic language. Over time, English and Swedish have undergone big changes both phonologically and orthographically, evolving further into different languages. Despite the difference and variance between modern English and Swedish, and although they look dissimilar at the first sight, one can still trace the remnants of the English language in the Swedish texts. This study is concerned with looking at the degree of resemblance between English and Swedish in terms of vocabulary and examines the extent to which English words and English-Swedish cognates are present in Swedish texts. 

Previous research showed that not all languages develop the same way. All languages acquire their own unique features through their evolvement. For example, the English language showed a phonological development of its own that is different from other Germanic languages, through contact with different languages, such as the French language. The Swedish language had a more German influence which came through the translation of the New Testament from German into Swedish, which in turn left a great deal of German influence on Swedish. Despite that, both languages still share words that have mutual origins, which are called cognates. False cognates, on the other hand, are homographs that might have the same etymology or a different one but with different meanings. These are called false friends. A loanword can be defined as any word borrowed at any point in time to fulfil a lexical gap in the language. Anglicism is using an English word and inflecting it according to the Swedish norms, despite the existence of a corresponding word in Swedish.

This essay investigated vocabulary taken from Swedish learning books. These vocabulary items were categorized in tables according to their relationships with English words, namelynon cognates, Germanic cognates, non-Germanic cognates, loan words and hybrid words in the word classes: nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs. The results showed that only 4 texts showed more non-cognates words, 4 other texts have a nearly equal number of cognates and non cognates. Nouns occupy the highest percent of cognates, followed by verbs, adjectives and at last adverbs. Only 30 false cognates appeared in all of the 10 texts. The more the text is close to society and people and describes traditions and social life, the less cognates it uses. A very little percentage of direct loan words could be found in Swedish texts directed to students in all levels. The texts that talk about everyday life and address people's worries tend to contain more loan words in comparison to other kinds of texts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2021. , p. 58
Keywords [en]
The English language, The Swedish language, Non cognates, Cognates, false cognates, false friends, Loan words
National Category
Specific Languages
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-16926Local ID: EON200OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-16926DiVA, id: diva2:1582908
Subject / course
English
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Available from: 2021-08-23 Created: 2021-08-04 Last updated: 2021-08-23Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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