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Chapter 13. Paradigm copying in Tungusic

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Abstract

While it is generally acknowledged that shared correspondences in inflectional morphology provide solid evidence for a genealogical relationship between languages, inflectional paradigms are not immune to copying: two cases of verbal paradigms copied from the Turkic language Sakha (Yakut) into North Tungusic lects are known. In this paper I survey over 20 dialect descriptions of the North Tungusic languages Evenki and Ėven in order to elucidate the factors that play a role in paradigm copying. I show that both intimate contact (intermarriage) and structural congruence are necessary, but not sufficient, prerequisites for such copying and argue that the decisive factor in the known cases of paradigms copied from Sakha is the specific structure of Sakha TAM morphology.

References

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