Chapter published in:The Language of Food in Japanese: Cognitive perspectives and beyond
Edited by Kiyoko Toratani
[Converging Evidence in Language and Communication Research 25] 2022
► pp. 161–188
Chapter 6Naturalization of the Japanese loanword sushi in English
A cognitive account
This chapter examines where the Japanese loanword sushi stands in its naturalization process into English. Application of Doi’s (2014) scale to usage of sushi in the Oxford English Dictionary shows it is midway through naturalization. The chapter questions the finding, pointing out the problems of Doi’s scale, including its unmotivated ordering of criteria (e.g., precedence of “compounding” over “semantic change”). To assess the degree of naturalization, the chapter suggests considering the degree of entrenchment, which is reflected in (i) token frequency, (ii) use of the loanword in constructions, including snowclones (e.g., Sushi is the new pizza), and (iii) the word’s ability to expand the nomenclatural network. Examination of these points suggests sushi has already moved into the naturalized stage.
Keywords: Construction Morphology, entrenchment, frame-shifting, internet memes, lexical borrowing, snowclones, frequency, encyclopaedic
- 2.Naturalization process
- 2.1Doi’s (2014) scale
- 2.2 Sushi in OED, the definition of “naturalization,” and the problems of Doi’s (2014) scale
- 3.The sequence of criteria on Doi’s scale
- 3.1.1Semantic change
- 3.1.2Figurative usage
- 4.Token frequency
Sushi in constructions
- 5.1 Sushi in snowclones
- 5.2 Sushi in Internet memes
- 6.Expansion of a nomenclatural network
- 6.2On California roll
- 6.3.1Sushi frame evoked by the Japanese word sushi
- 6.3.2Sushi frame evoked by the word sushi in North American English
- 6.3.3Hybrid sushi
Published online: 09 February 2022
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