The chapter is devoted to the questions whether certain categories are more easily borrowed than others, whether there are inherent semanticpragmatic functions that make some categories more borrowable than others, and what this tells us about the motivations behind borrowing. Rather than view borrowing as a transfer of structure from one system into another, I view it as the removal of an invisible demarcation line that separates subsets within the linguistic repertoire (or the speaker's 'languages'). I take the perspective of language processing by speakers in multilingual settings, and argue that there is a functional advantage to compromising this mental demarcation line. Based on recent sampling of languages in contact, I review a set of borrowing hierarchies and identify a number of motivations that prompt speakers to merge the representation of categories across their bilingual repertoire, leading to identical cross-system representation of those categories, or 'structural borrowing'.
|Title of host publication||Linguistic Universals and Language Variation|
|Publisher||De Gruyter Mouton|
|Number of pages||31|
|State||Published - 30 Jun 2011|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2011 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/New York.
- Language processing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (all)
- Social Sciences (all)