A multitude of "lishes": The nomenclature of hybridity

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The present paper deals with portmanteau terms based on the word English, the bulk of which form a varied and extensive nomenclature used to describe hybrids of the English language with other languages. A citation database of over 3,500 entries was created containing 510 separate terms dating from the early 20th century to mid-2016. These figures indicate a widespread interest in the ways in which English hybridises with other languages and becomes localised in various parts of the globe. The results also show a trend of continuing increase in the coining of such terms to be expected in an increasingly globalised world. However, to date there has been no exhaustive examination of names for English-language hybrids. The present paper examines these portmanteau terms with regard to semantics, etymology, history, frequency, and pronunciation, and presents an alphabetical table of the complete set of terms in the Appendix.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-33
Number of pages33
JournalEnglish World-Wide
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


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