LINGUIST List 23.4148

Fri Oct 05 2012

Confs: Historical Ling, Morphology, Syntax, Typology, General Ling/Croatia

Editor for this issue: Xiyan Wang <>

Date: 04-Oct-2012
From: Giorgio Iemmolo <>
Subject: Typology of Adposition and Case Marker Borrowing
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Typology of Adposition and Case Marker Borrowing

Date: 18-Sep-2013 - 21-Sep-2013 Location: Split, Croatia Contact: Giorgio Iemmolo Contact Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics; Historical Linguistics; Morphology; Syntax; Typology

Meeting Description:

46th Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea, Split, Croatia

Grammatical and lexical borrowing have seen a renewed interest in recent years, as witnessed by recent publications such as Haspelmath and Tadmor (2009), Heine and Kuteva (2005, 2010), Matras (2007, 2009) Matras and Sakel (2007), among others. However, comparatively little attention has been devoted to the borrowing of adpositions and case markers. In the existing literature, adpositions and case markers, as grammatical items, are generally considered to be rather resistant to borrowing, located either in the middle or the periphery of borrowing scales that have been proposed over the years, such as the one put forward by Matras (2007, 2009)

- nouns, conjunctions > verbs > discourse markers > adjectives > interjections >adverbs > other particles, ADPOSITIONS > numerals > pronouns > derivational affixes > INFLECTIONAL AFFIXES

Interestingly, it has been noted that when an adposition or case marker is borrowed, the borrowed item usually expresses peripheral local meanings (such as ‘between, around’) as opposed to core local ones, like ‘in’, ‘at’, ‘on’ (Matras 2007: 42; Elšik and Matras 2006). Nonetheless, it seems that core local meanings and even core grammatical relations can be expressed by borrowed adpositions and case markers.

Although a number of studies mention cases of adposition and case marker borrowing, to date there is no systematic cross-linguistic study of the borrowing of such items.

The aim of this workshop is to bring together scholars interested in various aspects of adposition and case marker borrowing, from both theoretical and descriptive perspectives. The topics to be addressed include but are by no means limited to:

1. The description of borrowing patterns, both in particular languages and across languages;2. The sociolinguistic contact situations and discourse contexts in which such borrowings occur;3. Can adpositions or case markers expressing core local meanings or grammatical relations be borrowed?4. What are the parameters of variation in the morphosyntactic integration of borrowed adpositions or case markers, e.g. with regard to their government patterns or person-indexing?5. Are adpositions and case markers always borrowed along with the linear order of the source language, as proposed by Moravcsik (1978)?6. What happens when adpositions or case markers are borrowed into a language that did not possess them before?7. Can a principled distinction between borrowing and code-mixing be maintained?

If you are interested in participating in such a workshop, please contact:

Eitan Grossman (


Haspelmath, M. and U. Tadmor (eds.) 2009. Loanwords in the World’s Languages: A Comparative Handbook. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.Heine, B. & T. Kuteva 2005. Language contact and grammatical change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Heine, B. and T. Kuteva 2010. Contact and grammaticalization. In Hickey R. (ed.). The Handbook of Language Contact. Oxford: Blackwell. 86-105.Matras, Y. 2007. ‘The borrowability of grammatical categories.’ In: Matras and Sakel (eds.): 31-74.Matras, Y. 2009. Language contact. Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Matras, Y. and J. Sakel 2007. Grammatical borrowing in cross-linguistic perspective. Berlin: Walter De Gruyter.Moravcsik, E., 1978. ‘Universals of language contact.’ In Joseph H. Greenberg et al. (ed.) Universals of human language, volume 1, Method and theory. 93-122. Stanford, CA; Stanford University Press.Muysken, P. 2008. Functional categories. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Page Updated: 05-Oct-2012