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1 52Reviews J. Alan Pfeffer. Deutsches Sprachgut im Wortschatz der Amerikaner und Engländer. Tübingen: Niemeyer, 1987. xviii + 347. DM 96.00. The title of this study is rather unprepossessing, but in truth it is actually breaking new ground—not only as a reference for future lexicographers, but also in revising current attitudes and correcting some glaring deficiencies about German loans into English. As a resource for lexicographers, J. Alan Pfeffer lists over 3000 German borrowings in American and British English, and he states emphatically that his list is far from complete, not yet attempting exhaustive analysis of lexicons covering such disciplines as music, physics, psychology, or the like. But just as important as this number of borrowings Pfeffer has already found is his methodology in presenting them. He has obviously done substantial work, and thinking, in attempting to answer the question of just when a word becomes a loanword and not a foreign word. Such work is undeniably painstaking. In his search for German loans in English Pfeffer has consulted virtually all the current American and British lexical publications, including the OED and its supplements; Webster's Third; Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary; Webster's New World Dictionary; 6000 Words; The Random House Dictionary; The New World Dictionary; The Dictionary ofAmerican English on Historical Principles (DAE); and A Dictionary ofAmericanisms on Historical Principles (DA). Pfeffer also lists over one hundred German sources he used to verify the provenance, semantic scope, and time, as well as the origin of the German words. First he finds the word is listed in one of the English resources. Next he verifies that it is listed as being from German, or that the citation (as it is in the OED) shows a German source. Then he cross-references the words in German sources such as Brockhaus, to verify that the meaning is the same. Alternatively, he will accept a word that is not listed in an American source as coming from German if the German origin of the word can be documented, such as in a German encyclopedia or by reference to the originator. Pfeffer's painstaking and precise methodology is also reflected in his presentation of his loanwords. He lists the loanwords three separate ways—in historical, topological, and Reviews153 alphabetical order. He first lists German loans into English century by century. He then lists the loanwords by subject, or topic. This historical and topological listing enables him to demonstrate century by century the degree and mode of impact that the German language and indeed the German civilization has had on English. Finally, in the "dictionary part" (as he calls it), which constitutes the major portion of the book, he gives the loanwords in alphabetical order, as, e.g., ? and y. In some such collections, loanwords simply appear as "laundry lists," without any discussion of the origin of the word other than indicating that it is German. Pfeffer, on the other hand, has documented citations. Each entry consists of two parts. The first section contains the word in its English environment , with (1) the date of first use in English (in about seven-eighths of all cases), in Roman type if it derives from the OED and in italics if it is to be found in the DAE or DA; (2) the special field, if it is a specialized word; (3) its current definition in English; and (4) an abbreviated reference to its English or American source. The second part gives the German origin, consisting of (1) the German word or words from which the German loanword derives, followed by (2) the date of first attested use in German, (3) its provenence, (4) its definition in German, and (5) a list of the German sources to which it was traced. One of Pfeffer's innovations is a more thorough way of classifying loanwords. Carr (35-36) uses the terms developed by Onions for the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, speaking of aliens (words which still appear foreign) and denizens (words which have adapted themselves to the host language), in addition to loan-translation. Pfeffer has expanded this to eight classes, or types of borrowings, based in part on Werner Betz and Einar...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2160-5076
Print ISSN
0197-6745
Pages
pp. 152-158
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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