Word formation: borrowing in sign language

Borrowing and calquing are two of many word formation processes in spoken and signed languages.

Borrowing in sign language

Borrowing is the word formation process in which a word from one language is borrowed directly into another language. The following common English words are borrowed from foreign languages, for example:

pizza from Italian, haiku from Japanese, algebra from Arabic, kindergarten from German.

The following ASL words are borrowed from foreign languages, for example:

koala from Auslan, Japan from Japan, china from China, and so no.

Borrowing signs for some countries (e.g. thailand, sweden, etc.) from other signed languages is one of the most common borrowing processes. The other most common borrowing from English into ASL are the fingerspelled loans.

The glosses of fingerspelled loans usually start with the hash (#) which represents a fingerspelled loan. It's not the same as fingerspelling, but rather a borrowed word from English is stylized into a fingerspelled loan as an ASL sign.

The following ASL fingerspelled loans are some examples:

#style, #dog, #no.

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Also see compounding and blending in sign language.