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Borrowing of Inflectional Morphemes in Language Contact


Francesco Gardani

This book is about the borrowing of inflectional morphemes in language contact settings. This phenomenon has at all times seemed to be the most poorly documented aspect of linguistic borrowing. Contact-induced morphological change is not rare in word formation, but exceptional in inflection. This study presents a deductive catalogue of factors conditioning the probability of transfer of inflectional morphology from one language to another and adduces empirical data drawn from Australian languages, Anatolian Greek, the Balkans, Maltese, Welsh, and Arabic. By reference to the most advanced theories of morphology, a thorough analysis of the case studies is provided as well as a definition of inflectional borrowing according to which inflectional borrowing must be distinguished from mere quotation of foreign forms and is acknowledged only when inflectional morphemes are attached to native words of the receiving language.


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Table of contents


Acknowledgements ix Introduction 1 I Contact-induced language change 3 1.1 Theory of language contact 3 1.1.1 Language contact defined 4 1.2 Multilingualism and Sprachbund 5 1.2.1 Multilingualism defined 5 1.2.2 Sprachbund defined 9 1.3 What is contact-induced language change? 11 1.3.1 Contact-induced language change defined 11 1.3.2 Contact-induced language change vs. extreme language mixture vs. language decay 13 1.4 Survey of the most significant approaches to contact-induced language change 15 II Contact-induced morphological change 19 2.1 Scenario of morphological instability 19 2.1.1 Code switching vs. transfer 19 2.1.2 Externally-motivated morphological change 22 2.1.3 Borrowing vs. interference through shift 24 2.2 Discreteness of systems 26 2.3 Typologically favoured borrowing 29 2.4 Moderate to heavy structural borrowing 30 2.5 Inflection and derivation 32 III Aims of this study: problems and predictions 37 3.1 Aims of this study 37 3.2 Focus of interest 38 3.3 Focus questions 41 3.3.1 Factors favouring inflectional borrowing 42 Extra-linguistic factors 43 Intra-linguistic factors 45 3.4 Predictions 47 IV Case studies 51 4.1 Arnhem Land 51 4.1.1 Ritharngu into Ngandi and vice versa 54 4.1.2 Nunggubuyu into Ngandi 55 4.1.3 Nunggubuyu into Warndarang 55 4.2 Turkish into Asia Minor Greek 56 4.3 The Balkans 60 vii 4.3.1 Slavic into Romanian 61 4.3.2 Greek and Albanian into Aromunian 63 4.3.3 Bulgarian into Meglenite Romanian 65 4.3.4 Croatian into Istro-Romanian 68 4.3.5 Turkish into Albanian 69 4.4 Sicilian (Italian) into Maltese 72 4.5 English into Welsh 76 4.6 Persian-Tajik into Arabic 78 V Analysis 81 5.1 Survey of...

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