Date of Award

8-1-2014

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Applied Linguistics

First Advisor

Crow, Bryan

Abstract

Lexical borrowing is a natural linguistic phenomenon that occurs when two or more languages come into contact. This study investigates the use of English lexical borrowing by Saudi people. It also looks at the reasons why the participants use these borrowed words. Participants were 30 Saudi nationals living in the U.S.A. They include students who are undergraduates, graduates, and newly arrived Saudis who study at (CESL). Also included were students' spouses, who were not enrolled at any school. An online survey was used in the data collection. Participants were given 10 sets of words and two situations. They had to choose between an English borrowing and its Arabic equivalent in two different situations. They also had to explain briefly why they chose this word. Data were examined through descriptive statistical analysis and content analysis. Results show that when given a choice, Saudis use English borrowings more often than their Arabic equivalents. Also, participants prefer the English borrowing mostly because it is more common, modern and prestigious. Findings of this study may help us better understand how language grows and changes, providing future researchers with the patterns and comprehension needed for prospective analyses and investigations.

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