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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

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Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: Testing the nonce borrowing hypothesis: Counter-evidence from English-origin verbs in Welsh
Author: Jonathan Roy Stammers
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Bangor University
Author: Margaret Deuchar
Institution: Bangor University
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Psycholinguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: According to the nonce borrowing hypothesis (NBH), “[n]once borrowings pattern exactly like their native counterparts in the (unmixed) recipient language” (Poplack & Meechan, 1998a, p. 137). Nonce borrowings (Sankoff, Poplack & Vanniarajan, 1990, p. 74) are “lone other-language items” which differ from established borrowings in terms of frequency of use and recognition. Lone other-language items are singly occurring words from the “donor” language which are preceded and followed by words or phrases from the “recipient” language. Whether such other-language words belong only to the donor language (and are classed as codeswitches) or to both the donor and the recipient language (and are classed as borrowings) is both a theoretical and a practical issue. Poplack & Meechan (1998a) suggest that this question can be settled by measuring the linguistic integration of donor-language words, so that infrequent donor-language words which behave like their recipient-language counterparts are categorised as (nonce) borrowings. This suggests that frequency of use need play no role in the extent to which other-language items are linguistically integrated into the recipient language. We challenge this hypothesis with an analysis of soft mutation on English-origin verbs in Welsh, which shows that integration is related to frequency.


This article appears IN Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 15, Issue 3.

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