Don’t kiasu and rush ok?: A Cultural-Linguistic take on the interaction between loanwords and constructions in World Englishes

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With a globally spread language like English that has been adopted by several cultural groups in territories all over the world, it is unavoidable that there will be cultural lacunae in local varieties that need to be filled so as to allow members of the local cultural group to express certain cultural content. The most straightforward way to do this is to borrow, as importations, lexemes and expressions from the local language(s) of the cultural group in question, which allows for lexical mediation of cultural conceptualizations. In language usage, lexemes interact with constructions, such that constructions contribute to construing the conceptual semantics associated with the lexemes. This also applies to borrowed importations, and the interaction between culturally mediating lexemes and constructions may provide an insight into how members of the cultural group construe the mediated cultural content in what could be called constructional mediation of cultural conceptualizations. In this chapter, we explore patterns of interaction at the semantic level between the importations kiasu and kepoh (Singaporean and Malaysian English) as well as whakama (Maori English) and khassi (Pakistani English) in the GloWbE corpus to see how constructional semantics interact with the cultural conceptualizations associated with the lexemes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWorld Englishes and Cultural Linguistics
EditorsMarzieh Sadeghpour, Farzad Sharifian
Place of PublicationSingapore
Publication date2021
ISBN (Print)978-981-15-4695-2
ISBN (Electronic)978-981-15-4696-9
Publication statusPublished - 2021
SeriesCultural Linguistics

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Humanities - construction grammar, Cultural Linguistics, loanwords, World Englishes, corpus linguistics, Singaporean English, Malaysian English, New Zealand English, glocalization, cultural conceptualization, cultural metonymy

ID: 203446105