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Parallel System Borrowing

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In the typology of morphological borrowing, one type has received little attention: cases where words are borrowed in several paradigmatic forms. An example of this is found in English alumnus – alumni, where Latin nouns are borrowed both in their singular and plural forms. Such borrowings lead to a coexistence of borrowed and native paradigms in one and the same language. This type of borrowing is called Parallel System Borrowing (PSB). Such patterns are wide-spread, and concern virtually all parts of morphology, including verbal inflection and pronouns. The emergence of PSB is not governed by a single sociolinguistic factor, such as the existence of learned registers (as with alumnusalumni). In fact, it appears that some of the most spectacular cases of PSB have no relation to learned registers at all.
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Keywords: inflection; language contact; morphological borrowing; typology of borrowing

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-11-01

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