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BorrowingLoanwords in the Speech Community and in the Grammar$
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Shana Poplack

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190256388

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190256388.001.0001

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Borrowing in the speech community

Borrowing in the speech community

Chapter:
(p.40) 4 Borrowing in the speech community
Source:
Borrowing
Author(s):

Shana Poplack

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190256388.003.0004

This chapter reports on the first large-scale community-based study of borrowing as it transpires in the course of regular bilingual interactions. It represents an initial attempt to furnish an empirical basis for going beyond attested loanwords to characterize the borrowing process. Departing from distinctions among lone other-language items of varying frequencies, detailed structural analyses ascertain whether English-origin nonce words incorporated into French display different structural properties from established loanwords. Among the diagnostics examined are gender assignment, plural inflection, verb morphology, word order, and phonetic realization. All lone items, whether nonce or established, display virtually identical linguistic behavior to attested loanwords. Integration is achieved almost immediately at the morphosyntactic level, while phonological integration is variable. This work inaugurated the comparative sociolinguistic method, illustrated throughout this volume, which will be seen to be crucial in the analysis of bilingual behavior, and led to the first corpus-based definition of nonce borrowing.

Keywords:   community study, borrowing process, frequency of borrowings, nonce borrowing, attested loanword, established loanword, morphosyntactic integration, phonological integration, variability, comparative sociolinguistic method

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