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Contact LinguisticsBilingual Encounters and Grammatical Outcomes$
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Carol Myers-Scotton

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780198299530

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198299530.001.0001

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Lexical Borrowing, Split (Mixed) Languages, and Creole Formation

Lexical Borrowing, Split (Mixed) Languages, and Creole Formation

(p.233) 6 Lexical Borrowing, Split (Mixed) Languages, and Creole Formation
Contact Linguistics


Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses three related contact phenomena: lexical borrowing, mixed (split) languages, and creole formation. They all show the effects of the universal split in languages between the grammatical and lexical features. Lexical borrowing typically affects only lexical elements. In contrast, mixed languages include grammatical elements from more than one language. The Matrix Language Turnover hypothesis explains how mixed languages arise, such as Mednyj Aleut (Copper Island Aleut). Creole formation is marked by an unusual interaction between lexical and grammatical elements: words from one language (the lexifier) become grammatical elements in the developing Creole.

Keywords:   lexical borrowing, mixed (split) languages, Matrix Language Turnover, Mednyj Aleut, Copper Island Aleut, Creole formation

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