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ISSN : 1226-4822(Print)
ISSN : (Online)
The Sociolinguistic Journal of Korea Vol.26 No.4 pp.91-118

Loanword Adaptation Triggering Lexical Variation : The case of ayphullikheyisyen, ephullikheyisyen, ayp and ephul in Korean

Jinsok Lee
Assistant Professor, The Catholic University of Korea


This research project examines the English loanword adaptation process in Korean as the initiator of variation in the lexical level. By focusing mainly on four loanword variants originated from the English expression application, the current study proposes several linguistic models of initiating lexical variation triggered by loanword adaptation processes. The linguistic examination on the adaptation of application to ayphullikheyisyen and ephullikheyisyen revealed that the generation of both loanword variants were systematically done. Regarding the other two forms, it is strongly suggested that ephul was derived from ephullikheyisyen through clipping, while ayp was a direct adaptation of the clipped English word app. These findings were supported through examining the appearance frequencies of those four variants in written media records. By demonstrating how the loanword adaptation processes can initiate variations in the lexical level, this study provides an additional insight in understanding the basic mechanism of linguistic variation in general, especially in investigating the cause of the initial stage of variation phenomena.