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Borrowing of Inflectional Morphemes in Language Contact

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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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