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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Variation in Loanword Adaptations in the Lebanese-Brazilian Community of Sao Paulo, Brazil


While loanwords typically adopt the phonology of the borrowing language, also semantic, syntactic morphological material from both languages may be present in the borrowed word. A word that has been borrowed by one language in the past can come in contact with a speaker that not only dominates the lending language that of which the loanword originates, but also the borrowing language itself.  Such is the case between Arabic and Portuguese in a Lebanese-Brazilian community in São Paulo.  In this research, social factors affecting variation in the perception and production of Portuguese words of Arabic origin are examined across three generations of Lebanese-Brazilians.

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