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Words in Time and Place: Exploring Language Through the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary

By David Crystal

Offers a unique view of the English language and its development, and includes witty commentary and anecdotes along the way.


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The Indo-European Controversy: Facts and Fallacies in Historical Linguistics

By Asya Pereltsvaig and Martin W. Lewis

This book "asserts that the origin and spread of languages must be examined primarily through the time-tested techniques of linguistic analysis, rather than those of evolutionary biology" and "defends traditional practices in historical linguistics while remaining open to new techniques, including computational methods" and "will appeal to readers interested in world history and world geography."


Academic Paper


Title: Myths and Facts about Loanword Development
Author: Shana Poplack
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Ottawa
Author: Nathalie Dion
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Ottawa
Linguistic Field: Historical Linguistics
Subject Language: French
Abstract: This study traces the diachronic trajectory and synchronic behavior of English-origin items in Quebec French over a real-time period of 61 years. We test three standard assumptions about such foreign incorporations: (1) they increase in frequency; (2) they originate as code-switches and are gradually integrated into recipient-language grammar; and (3) the processes underlying code-switching and borrowing are the same. Results do not support the assumptions. Few other-language items persist, let alone increase. Linguistic integration is abrupt, not gradual. Speakers consistently distinguish lone other-language items from multiword fragments on each of five linguistic diagnostics tested. They borrow the former, and code-switch the latter. Code-switches are not converted into borrowings; instead the decision to code-switch or borrow is made at the moment the other-language item is accessed. We explore the implications of these findings for understanding the processes by which other-language incorporations achieve the status of native items and their consequences for theories of code-switching and borrowing.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Language Variation and Change Vol. 24, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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