Borrowed verbs

Pilar Maritza Valenzuela pvalenzu at DARKWING.UOREGON.EDU
Thu Jan 2 01:35:59 UTC 2003

Dear LINGTYP Members,

I am studying the contact between Spanish and Shipibo-Konibo (SK, a
Panoan language spoken by ca. 30,000 in the Peruvian Amazon).
Specifically, I am looking at the form Spanish verbs take when
entering SK.

Both, established and sporadic borrowed verbs always
occur in the third person singular present form, followed by an /n/
segment before taking SK derivational and inflectional verb
morphology.  One instance of this can be found in the last line of the
ex. below involving code-mixing:

Justamente, la       educacion  riki,
in.fact     the:FEM  education  r-iki
non      yoiti    atipanke,
no-n     yoi-ti   atipan-ke
1pl-ERG  say-INF  can-CMPL

la       el      unico camino
the:FEM the:MASC only  way

que   noa      cambianti...
that  no-a     cambia-n-ti
      1PL-ABS  change:3-?-INF
"In fact, education is, we can say, the...the only thing that can
change us...."

This form Spanish verbs take is completely regular, regardless of
whether the verb is intransitive or transitive, active or stative.
Other examples are:

pierde-n- 'to lose' from Spanish "perder"
pasia-n-  'to go for a walk' from Spanish "pasear"
baila-n-  'to dance' from Spanish "bailar"
sufre-n-  'to suffer' from Spanish "sufrir"
agradece-n- 'to thank' from Spanish "agradecer"

Interestingly, a much older loan such as ransa- 'to dance' from
Spanish "danzar" does not follow this pattern.  Actually, the Shipibo
do not recognize this verb as a loan.

I am trying to identify the origin / function of the element /n/
following the third person singular present form.  This /n/ does not
seem to originate in SK, and is not phonologically motivated either.

A second possibility is that this /n/ corresponds to the Spanish third
person plural.  However, it is hard for me to see why this particular
form of the verb would be selected for borrowing.  A couple of
colleagues have pointed out to me the fact that the third person
plural has an impersonal sense, and in fact, the third person plural
suffix -kan is used in SK to mark impersonal passive.  But I cannot
see why an impersonal form would be taken as the basis for all types
of verbs and uses.

A third possibility is that verbs enter in the third person singular
form and that the /n/ actually originates from a third language (I am
studying the possibility of a Quechua origin where -n is a third
person singular subject marker.  There was some use of Quechua in the
catholic missions on the Ucayali centuries ago).

I would be very thankful for information regarding (a) the form
borrowed verbs take when entering the host languages, (b) the
functional motivations for selecting certain forms and not others, and
(c) bibliographical references on (a)and (b).

!Muchas gracias de antemano y Feliz 2003!

Pilar Valenzuela

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