Lexicon immigration service - Prolegomena to a theory of loanword integration

Author: Marko Simonović
LOT number: 393
ISBN: 978-94-6093-175-8
Pages: 291
Year: 2015
1st promotor: prof. dr. René Willibrord Joseph Kager
2nd promotor: prof. dr. Wim Zonneveld
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Languages have a universal potential to incorporate elements from other languages into their structure. Loanword research provides answers to questions which arise whenever language contact leads to borrowing of words or word-like units. The goal of this dissertation is to empower the field of formal loanword research by (a) incorporating insights from sociolinguistic research into formal models and (b) highlighting morphological (and morphosyntactic) integration in the field which is presently dominated by data from phonological borrowing. The emergent loanword model helps enables defining the interface of source and target languages. It is applicable to data from phonological, morphological and morphosyntactic integration, which are viewed as entangled aspects of a single broad process: lexicalisation, the creation of a new lexical entry based on a foreign surface form. This aspect of the model implies a certain telicity: its endpoint is integration into the lexicon of the recipient language, the creation of a fully functional lexical entry. Complementary to the relatively diachronic lexicalisation perspective, the model also comprises a synchronic perspective, which focuses on the bilinguals’ shared knowledge of how to transform words from a source language into those of the recipient language.

This book will be of interest for researchers in the fields of language contact, phonology, morphology and the structure of the lexicon, as well as Serbo-Croatian linguistics.

Languages have a universal potential to incorporate elements from other languages into their structure. Loanword research provides answers to questions which arise whenever language contact leads to borrowing of words or word-like units. The goal of this dissertation is to empower the field of formal loanword research by (a) incorporating insights from sociolinguistic research into formal models and (b) highlighting morphological (and morphosyntactic) integration in the field which is presently dominated by data from phonological borrowing. The emergent loanword model helps enables defining the interface of source and target languages. It is applicable to data from phonological, morphological and morphosyntactic integration, which are viewed as entangled aspects of a single broad process: lexicalisation, the creation of a new lexical entry based on a foreign surface form. This aspect of the model implies a certain telicity: its endpoint is integration into the lexicon of the recipient language, the creation of a fully functional lexical entry. Complementary to the relatively diachronic lexicalisation perspective, the model also comprises a synchronic perspective, which focuses on the bilinguals’ shared knowledge of how to transform words from a source language into those of the recipient language.

This book will be of interest for researchers in the fields of language contact, phonology, morphology and the structure of the lexicon, as well as Serbo-Croatian linguistics.

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