An In-depth Study of Lexical Borrowing from English to Hausa


An In-depth Study of Lexical Borrowing from English to Hausa


1.0 Introduction

This project is centered on An In-depth Study on Lexical Borrowing from English to Hausa, with the aim to study the English and Hausa lexical loan words. The concept borrowing has been defined and explains by different scholars. It is a universal socio-linguistic phenomenon which is as a result of different cultures in contact, as a result of this contact cultural items filter freely from one culture to another.

This is true in the case of language as there is a dare need for communication between speakers of different language communities who come into contact. This is therefore in the case with language development through lexical borrowing in English and Hausa.

It is a common fact that no language can live in isolation without interacting with neibouring or other language around it. The interaction could be political, economic and social In a situation where a language remains without new words, there is every tendency that such language would logging behind other language.

The borrower words are often referred to technology e.g. machine, engine, telephone e.t.c. language which is the major need of any society.

It is almost impossible for any language to remain purely on its own unless the speakers do not leave their domain for another and similarly do not allow speakers of another language in to their domain. Lexical borrowing is common in most languages because no language is an inland on its own, it is on this note this project will discuss the phenomenon of language development through lexical borrowing. It is going to deal with study of English and Hausa language as each borrowing from one another.

1.1 Background to the Study

Borrowing has became a continuous happening in most languages of the world. It is as a result of contact between languages. That brings about new lexical borrowing that were not in existence in language. And which results to borrowing and imploring them into their languages. This therefore, shows no language community is immune from borrowing from another. This usually shows the objective of how lexical has also been in use at the international broadcasting houses as far back as over third years on British broadcasting cooperation, voice of America, radio Moscow, Dutch-Welle as well as on radio Beijing. A Hausa newspaper, ‘Gaskiya Ta Fi Kwabo’ (Truth Worth Than a Penny) among others was found in 1939. In Nigeria Hausa is a figured language of instruction in primary school and as a subject or course of study in schools, colleges and universities within and outside Nigeria.

1.2 Objectives of the study

i. The main principal objective of this project is to identify the lexical items that came into language development from English to another.

ii. To find the lexical items that language of development equally borrowed from Hausa.

iii. To determine the frequency of language development through lexical borrowing from one language to another.

iv. To investigate the internal structure of borrowed words from the original from.

v. To determine the meaning of such borrowed word into another language as may contrast with the original word meaning before borrowing.

vi. Finally to investigate the reasons that lead to development of lexical borrowing one language to another.

1.3 Significance of the study

The study is important to Hausa native speakers to acknowledge the fact that as it leads them to see lexical borrowing as a sociolinguistic phenomenon which brings about language development. The study will allow the Hausa native speakers to understand the non-native lexical items in the language and get aware of original source of such lexical items that were nativised gradually in their language so as to appreciate the source language and or make any effort to provide equivalent words of native origin.

Secondly, the study provides language students with reference material on lexical borrowing particularly those who may wish to research further in this field.

1.4 Definition of Terms

Borrowing: This conventional term for the introduction into language (a) of specific words, constructions or morphological elements of language e.g. table and marble are among the many loan word —- borrowed into English from old French in the period after the roman conquest, dialect borrowing is a similar transference of features from one dialect to another, this explains the lack of consistent division between them.

Language: (i) a language is the ordinary sense: e.g. English or Japanese is opposite to dialects in language in another phenomenon it could mean beings generally.

Language in another sense is often extended to cover other forms of communication, hence, in particular, animal language for communicative behaviour in other species. A language is defined more precisely in different theories, for some it is a language system underlying the speech of a community. It is a language as defined by sausassure or a system in the mind of an individual. Similarly Chomsky defines in the mid 1980s “as the set of sentences potentially observable in a speech community”.

Loan word: A word imported by borrowing from another language, e.g. English chamber is one of many loan words introduced from old French in the middle ages; karma a borrowing from Sanskrit in the 19th century or blitz from German in the 1940s. sometimes it is adapted directly to fit the sound patterns of the borrowing of the borrowing language. Thus, strikingly for most English loan word into Japanese, were adapted gradually or only in part among educated speakers of British English.

1.5 Purpose of the study

This research is aims at investigating an aspect of language development which is lexical borrowing. It also exposes the words which Hausa borrow from English language due to their nonexistence in Hausa language.


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