Pyrex Journal of English and Literature (PJEL)

June 2016 Vol. 2(2), pp. 12-22

Copyright © 2016 Pyrex Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Niger-Congo borrowings to English: Semantic changes and grammatical adaptation

Mamadou Traore1* and Siaka Natalia2

1University Alassane Ouattara, Cote D’ivoire.
2Institut National Polytechnic FélixHouphouet-Boigny, Cote d’Ivoire

Corresponding Author E-mail:

Accepted 24th May, 2016


This article deals with the semantic and grammatical analysis of West African words integration into English language as presented in some dictionaries (Oxford English Dictionary 3rd edition 2010, Oxford American Dictionary 3rd edition 2010 and Collins English Dictionary 8th edition 2006 edited for ABBYY LINGVOx5). The analysis shows that the native (denotation) meanings of some African words related to African culture and tradition have been metaphorically negatively affected in English; and their grammatical adaptation (number) in English follows two different processes.

Keywords: Borrowings, Africanism, West African words, integration (assimilation), semantics, grammar, radiation and concatenation process, denotation, connotation, amelioration, deterioration.

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