Loan creation

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The term loan creation denotes a type of contact-induced lexical change whereby a new complex word is created matching a foreign model semantically, but completely independent formally.

  • "Creation. Loanword lists are often made to include a number of terms whose existence may ultimately be due to contact with a second culture and its language, but which are not strictly loans at all. These did not come into being as direct imitations of a foreign model, but were secondarily created within the borrowing language. An example is the Yaqui term liósnóoka 'pray', composed of the loanword liós 'God' (from Spanish dios) and the native nóoka 'speak'." (Haugen 1950:220)
  • "a term applied to new coinages which are stimulated not by cultural innovations, but by the need to match designations available in a language in contact: e.g. Yiddish mitkind 'sibling' (literally 'fellow child') created on the stimulus of English sibling, German Geschwister, and equivalent terms much in vogue in present-day social sience." (Weinreich 1953:51)


Loan-translated by Weinreich (1953:51) from Betz's (1949) term Lehnschöpfung. (Haugen's (1950) article only talks about creation, but Haugen probably knew Betz as well.)


  • Betz, Werner. 1949. Deutsch und Lateinisch: die Lehnbildungen der althochdeutschen Benediktinerregel. Bonn.
  • Haugen, Einar. 1950. The analysis of linguistic borrowing. Language 26:210-231.
  • Weinreich, Uriel. 1953. Languages in contact. New York. (2nd printing: The Hague: Mouton & Co., 1963)

other languages

German Lehnschöpfung