Sociolinguistic Analysis of Loanwords Use by Gurene Speakers


  • Joseph Ayamga Department of Languages, St. John Bosco College of Education


Loanwords, native vocabulary, Gurene speakers, vocabulary reduction, vocabulary expansion, mix-language, Labovian’s Approach, Sociolinguistic Theory


This paper examines the phenomenon in which Gurene speakers use loanwords which has the native vocabulary equivalence. Though the use of loanwords is beneficial and ubiquitous to all languages which have insufficient vocabulary, substituting a language’s original vocabulary with loanwords in speech as in the case of Gurene speakers is detrimental to language development.  This may constitute vocabulary reduction in a language rather than vocabulary expansion which is the pivot of borrowing words from foreign languages. The Labovian’s approach is applied in data collection where three age groups which comprised the children, the young adults and the adults were interviewed orally based on how they use loanwords either consciously or unconsciously as against the native equivalence of the loanwords. The main theory adapted for this study is the Sociolinguistic Theory.  The paper showed that all the age groups use loanwords unconsciously than the native vocabulary equivalence, and those loanwords are often pronounced differently from the source language pronunciation. It also revealed that different age groups have varied knowledge in consciously using the native equivalence of the loanwords. The children’s group is the least while the adults being the highest. Generally, the native speakers prefer replacing loanwords to the native words in speech. This phenomenon has adverse effects to children learning some essential vocabulary of their native language. Also, it makes both the young adults and the adults lose some essential vocabulary of their native language. It is clear  that this problem will eventually not only result to vocabulary reduction but also a mix-language, hence the paper recommends that only loanwords that lack the native words equivalence should be used because it is inappropriate for one to loan words to replace words that already exist in the native language.


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How to Cite

Ayamga, J. (2022). Sociolinguistic Analysis of Loanwords Use by Gurene Speakers. International Journal of Sciences: Basic and Applied Research (IJSBAR), 65(1), 123–140. Retrieved from