Seifart, Frank ORCID: 0000-0001-9909-2088 (2018). Patterns of affix borrowing in a sample of 100 languages. J. Hist. Linguist., 7 (3). S. 389 - 432. AMSTERDAM: JOHN BENJAMINS PUBLISHING CO. ISSN 2210-2124

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Borrowing affixes may be rare compared to lexical borrowing, but it is not random. The current study describes regular patterns of affix borrowing in a database containing 649 borrowed affixes, challenging a number of previous claims about relative borrowability, in particular regarding inflectional categories. It is shown that borrowing affixes of all major nominal and verbal inflectional categories, including case markers and argument indexes, is well attested. Borrowing case markers, for instance, appears to be just as common as borrowing plural markers. By factoring in the availability for borrowing (i.e. whether a potential donor language has a relevant affix), it can be shown that nominal categories are far more frequently borrowed than verbal categories. Additionally, it is shown that sets of borrowed affixes often consist of interrelated sets of forms, e.g. forming paradigms, rather than being isolated forms from different morphosyntactic systems, in particular for the more tightly integrated inflectional subsystems. The frequency and systematicity by which inflectional affixes are borrowed calls for a reconsideration of the role of inflection in models of language contact.

Item Type: Journal Article
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-198479
DOI: 10.1075/jhl.16002.sei
Journal or Publication Title: J. Hist. Linguist.
Volume: 7
Number: 3
Page Range: S. 389 - 432
Date: 2018
Place of Publication: AMSTERDAM
ISSN: 2210-2124
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Divisions: Unspecified
Subjects: no entry
Uncontrolled Keywords:
ISLAND-CARIB; CONTACTMultiple languages
Language & LinguisticsMultiple languages
Refereed: Yes


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