Book reviewInternationalismen: Studien zur interlingualen Lexikologie und Lexikographie. Tübingen: Niemeyer, 1990. 193 pp. ISBN 3-484-31102-90 Dm 74,-. (Reihe Germanistische Linguistik, 102).
Reviewed by Frank Peeters
Table of contents
In a society characterized by ever-increasing 'internationalization', it is striking to discover that research into lexical internationalisms is still highly propaedeutic. To account for this, the authors offer a threefold explanation. Firstly: the study of so-called internationalisms covers many different linguistic subdisciplines, each of which regards it as peripheral and treats it accordingly. Secondly: modern linguistics uses the linguistic competence of the native speaker as its starting point, and almost totally neglects intersystemic, i.e. interlinguistic mechanisms. Thirdly: in many linguistic communities there still exists a strong tendency towards purism, and disapproval of internationalisms—which may explain the scientific neglect of these Fremdkörper. German offers a perfect example of this aspiration towards linguistic purity.