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Morphosyntactic contact-induced language change among young speakers of Estonian Russian

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Abstract

This study explores contact phenomena in Estonian Russian as spoken by two groups of young Russian-speaking students, one in bilingual Tallinn and the other in the predominantly Russian-speaking northeast. The innovations analyzed involve both Estonian-language lexical material (borrowing or loan words) and Estonian morphosyntactic patterns (convergence, that is, when no Estonian-language morphemes are employed but the underlying structure is clearly Estonian). The article analyzes word-order patterns in genitive constructions and compares them with relevant features of Standard Russian and Standard Estonian. Mixed constructions of the type noun + noun or verb + verb are viewed as instances of congruent lexicalization. It is shown how common stems/words and internationalisms are important for the facilitation of code-switching.

References

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