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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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Many people have supported me and my research from the very beginning. They have shown great interest in the research I was carrying out and provided me with helpful hints and useful data during the writing of this paper. I wish to record ex- plicitly my gratitude to all of them. There is first Wolfgang U. Dressier, whose mentorship and critical sugges- tions have led me to further developments and helped me keep things in perspective. For giving me useful advise I am grateful to Mark Aronoff, Melissa Bar- kat, Wilfried Fiedler, Victor Friedman, Jane Hilf, Otto Jastrow, Ruth King, Johanna Laakso, Marianne Mithun, Raymond Mougeon, Ariadni Moutafidou, Peter Mühlhäusler, Carol Myers-Scotton, Irene Philippaki-Wartburton, Markus Pöchtrager, Anneli Saarhima, Rosita Schjerve-Rindler, Teresa Schweiger, Car- men Silva-Corvalän, Peter Trudgill. For providing me with materials and technical information I am indebted to Alexander Beihammer, Alexander Borg, Walter Breu, Lyle Campbell, Michael Clyne, Christiane Dalton-Puffer, Christine Djavanmard, Eckhard Eggers, Jacek Fisiak, Giulia Gabrielli, Eleni Gara, Jeffrey Heath, Brian Joseph, Antigone Kati- ei, Sandra Kipp, Anna-Riitta Lindgren, Stela Manova, Jonathan Owens, Dijana Pierucci, Ingo Plag, Dorit Ravid, Loukas Tsitsipis. For their generous and extensive support I wish to thank Nancy Dorian, Heiner Eichner, Sabine Heinz, 'Kostas Kazazis, Hans Christian Luschützky, Mi- chael Metzeltin, Stephan Prochäzka, Claudia Römer, Hans-Jürgen Sasse, Mauro Tosco. Needless to say that none of the above mentioned scholars is supported to agree with my positions. Any shortcomings are my own. The loving support of...

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