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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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V Analysis


This chapter will provide an analysis of the borrowing occurrences presented in Chapter 4 in accordance with the goals of this study formulated in 3.1, and 3.3. Section 5.1 will summarise the categories which have undergone the process of borrowing. 5.2 will provide an analysis of the inflectional borrowings as for their typology and extension (5.2.1) and as for their effects (5.2.2). Predictions 1, 2, and 3 will be verified. 5.3 will provide an analysis of the extra-linguistic (5.3.1) and intra-linguistic (5.3.2) factors and verify prediction 4 while prediction 5 will be proven in 5.4. Section 5.5 will approach the issue of the genesis of inflectional borrowing. Eventually, in 5.6 a new definition of inflectional borrowing will be proposed. 5.1 Survey of the borrowed inflectional morphemes In the previous chapter twelve case studies have been presented. As stressed in 4.6, no information about the extra-linguistic setting Persian-Tajik into Arabic has been provided. Nevertheless, this borrowing case will be taken into account for the following analysis as it is important to the analysis of the intra-linguistic fac- tors. On the basis of the material presented in the case studies an outline of the borrowed inflectional morphemes is provided in table 4 below. It shows which types of change have occurred and which inflectional categories have been bor- rowed. The categories in the table approximately reflect the tendency in the proto- typical order of appearance of morphemes in a word form with respect to the root/stem/base, as proposed in Booij (2000:366)...

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