Query borrowing of integration markers

Gardani Francesco francesco.gardani at UNIVIE.AC.AT
Wed Jan 11 17:24:11 UTC 2012

Dear Colleagues,

I am studying cases of borrowed markers that act as integration elements in the recipient language. To give just an example, the integration of Greek loans into Arvanítika, a variety of Tosk Albanian spoken in Greece, occurs through the Greek conjunctive aorist stem: given, for example, the Greek verb agapo ‘I love’ and its conjunctive aorist form na agapíso, the stem agapís‑ displaying the Greek aorist stem formant ‑s‑ is used to form Arvanítika agapís ‘I love’ and agapísa ‘I loved’. This marker has become the general integration suffix throughout the Balkan Sprachbund.

Cases like these have been well described by Breu (1991a, 1991b), among others, and labelled as “borrowing of accommodation patterns” by Wohlgemuth (2009: 224-241; see also my critique in Gardani 2011: 144).

What I miss in all publications I've read so far are cases of this kind in nouns. Theoretically, it would be possible to have a marker -fn- borrowed by a recipient language GLR from a source language GLS and used in GLR to integrate nouns which have been borrowed themselves from GLS or from other source languages. Let us create an example and imagine Ancient Greek as a GLR that systematically uses a marker -am-, borrowed from a GLS Latin (in which ‑am marks the ACC.SG of the a-stems) to integrate nouns which Ancient Greek has borrowed from Latin (or from other source languages). We would call the morpheme ‑am- a borrowed loan noun marker (LNM) of our imaginary Latin. From  Latin hortus 'garden' we would get something like *hortus-am-os garden-LNM-NOM.SG(1DECL) 'garden'.

Enough of fantasy now! If you find the issue interesting and you know of some instances of borrowed both loan NOUN- and loan VERB markers, I would appreciate it a lot if you could get in touch with me and share your data.

Thanks in advance and best regards,

Francesco Gardani

Breu, Walter. 1991a. Abweichungen vom phonetischen Prinzip bei der Integration von Lehnwörtern. In Klaus Hartenstein & Helmut Jachnow (eds.), Slavistische Linguistik 1990, 36-69. München: Otto Sagner.

Breu, Walter. 1991b. System und Analogie bei der Integration von Lehnwörtern. Versuch einer Klassifikation. Incontri Linguistici 14. 13-28.

Gardani, Francesco. 2011. Review of Jan Wohlgemuth. 2009. A typology of verbal borrowings. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Linguistic Typology 15(1). 139-146.

Wohlgemuth, Jan. 2009. A typology of verbal borrowings. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Dr. Francesco Gardani
Assistant Professor
Institute for Romance Languages
Vienna University of Economics and Business
Nordbergstraße 15
A-1090 Vienna
Tel  +43-1-31336-4840
Fax +43-1-31336-729
francesco.gardani at wu.ac.at

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