Dick Hudson dick at LINGUISTICS.UCL.AC.UK
Wed Apr 26 07:40:05 UTC 2000

*English* is supposed to have about 60% borrowed vocabulary (mostly from
French, Latin or Greek)!

At 23:25 25/04/2000 -0500, you wrote:
>I have been reading about contact languages and I came across the claim that
>languages will borrow up to 45% of their vocabulary, which would usually be
>considered heavy borrowing, or 90-100% which would be the case in many
>bilingual mixtures/mixed languages (where the syntax remains that of the
> original language ).  The claim is that no languages will borrow between
>45% and 90% - that there is no continuum between extensive borrowing and
>mixed languages (Bakker+Mous, 1994 'Mixed Languages', pg 5).  I was
>wondering if the members of this list could contribute examples or
>counterexamples of this.  Also, does anyone have a functional explanation of
>why this might be?
>Hilary Young
>Rice University

Richard (= Dick) Hudson

Phonetics and Linguistics, University College London,
Gower Street, London WC1E  6BT.
+44(0)20 7679 3152; fax +44(0)20 7383 4108;

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