Phonological Non-integration of Lexical Borrowings in Wisconsin West Frisian

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Working with heritage speakers of West Frisian living in Wisconsin, the following chapter examines the frequency of use of English lexical items in spoken Wisconsin West Frisian and the phonological (non-)integration of these lexemes. The data show a comparatively low frequency of borrowing compared to other heritage communities, with a corresponding lack of phonological integration. We categorize the consultants as ‘coordinate bilinguals,’ who have simultaneous on-line access to lexical items from both language-specific lexicons. Consultants’ balanced bilingualism minimizes the cross-linguistic transfer of both lexical items and phonology while accessing lexical items from either lexicon. This coordinate bilingualism account is supported by the sociolinguistic evidence of a context-dependent diglossia – parallel to the Dutch-Frisian diglossia in the Netherlands – in which both English and West Frisian were restricted to specific domains. It is argued here that social context, as well as the multiple-lexicon coordinate bilingualism model, can best account for these data.


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