The “hamburger” story; or on Anglicisms in Polish

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Abstract

The paper makes an attempt to analyse the forms of co-functioning of world languages, taking into account the fact that popular prestigious languages exert influence upon a number of less popular ones, thereby dictating the forms of their further development. Thus, the thesis that media-favoured languages used by politically salient super-powers effectively influence the expressions accepted in a number of “less successful” languages is identified, evidenced and diagnosed. Furthermore, the latter part of the paper stresses the issues concerning the observation that English, recognized as the most prominent donor language, creates many forms of description generally used in many other languages to denote and define similar forms of experiences. Research aimed at discovering the ways in which English influences recipient languages, in this case Polish, was carried out. Our principal assumption was that there exist at least two types of numerous contacts between a donor and recipient language: ones that can be called external (when the donor language mostly influences the recipient one) and ones possibly labelled as internal (when various, normally observed forms of co-operation between the two languages can be traced). As in both cases some semantic bonds can be found, the subsequent research describes said bonds, naming them and uncovering the nature of such co-existence. The results of the research indicate clear forms of semantic co-existence showing that numerous borrowings and loanwords found in the recipient language are widely verbalized and deeply ingrained in the cultural linguistic interdependencies.

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