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The Language Hoax

By John H. McWhorter

The Language Hoax "argues that that all humans process life the same way, regardless of their language."


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Language and Development in Africa

By H. Ekkehard Wolff

Language and Development in Africa "discusses the resourcefulness of languages, both local and global, in view of the ongoing transformation of African societies as much as for economic development.. "


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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.

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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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