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BorrowingLoanwords in the Speech Community and in the Grammar$
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Shana Poplack

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190256388

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190256388.001.0001

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A variationist perspective on borrowing

A variationist perspective on borrowing

Chapter:
(p.14) 2 A variationist perspective on borrowing
Source:
Borrowing
Author(s):

Shana Poplack

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190256388.003.0002

This chapter reviews the analytical and methodological tenets associated with the variationist perspective on language and outlines its specific applications to the study of language mixing. Key among them are the principled selection of participants and their validation in the community, the primacy of actual bilingual performance data, contextualization of its major manifestations across speakers, mixing strategies (lexical borrowing and code-switching) and language pairs, and systematic quantitative analysis of usage patterns, incorporating checks on the validity and reliability of the results. We explain how the method enables us to address and answer a number of questions that have plagued scholars of language contact for decades.

Keywords:   methodology, variation theory, lexical borrowing, code-switching, selection of participants, speech community, performance data, language-mixing strategies, quantitative analysis, bilingual usage patterns

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