The questions as to why most languages appear to have more trouble
borrowing verbs than nouns, and as to the possible mechanisms and paths by
which verbs can be borrowed or the obstacles for verb borrowing, have been
a topic of interest since the late 19th century. However, no truly
substantial typological research had been undertaken in this field before
the present study.
The present work is the first in-depth cross-linguistic study on loan verbs
and the morphological, syntactic and sociolinguistic aspects of loan verb
accommodation. It applies current methodologies on database management,
quantitative analysis and typological conventions and it is based on a
broad global sample of data from over 400 languages and the typological
data from the "World Atlas of Language Structures" (WALS).
One major result of the present study is the falsification, on empirical
grounds, of long-standing claims that verbs generally are more difficult to
borrow than other parts of speech, or that verbs could never be borrowed as
verbs and always needed a re-verbalization in the borrowing language.