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

By David Crystal

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Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases

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Academic Paper


Title: On the Integration of English-Origin Verbs in Welsh Speech
Author: Jonathan Roy Stammers
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Bangor University
Author: Margaret Deuchar
Homepage: http://www.bangor.ac.uk/linguistics/about/margaret_deuchar.php.en
Institution: Bangor University
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Morphology; Syntax
Subject Language: English
Welsh
Abstract: Two highly influential approaches to distinguishing codeswitching from borrowing that differ greatly are those of Poplack and associates, and of Myers-Scotton and associates. While the former would seek to make the distinction based purely on linguistic principles (testing degree of integration of donor-language items as compared with native ones), the latter would make the distinction based on extra-linguistic factors such as frequency. In an attempt to assess the relative values of these alternative positions, and to determine whether there is any common ground, we focus here on English-origin verbs in Welsh, analysing a new and growing naturalistic corpus. On investigating integration, results based on both type of verbal construction (periphrastic or synthetic) and occurrence of soft mutation show a clear difference between native Welsh verbs and English-origin verbs in Welsh. The mutation results also shows a clear difference between more established English-origin verbs found in a Welsh dictionary, and unattested ones. Such results are potentially problematic for both theoretical models mentioned above. Overall, the linguistic behaviour of donor-language items suggests that their degree of integration in the recipient language varies along a continuum from unintegrated switches to fully integrated borrowings rather than there being a clear-cut distinction between the two categories.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: In Progress


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