Volume 39, Issue 4
  • ISSN 0176-4225
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9714
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Two major types of change are generally distinguished in language contact studies: the transfer of linguistic form (frequently taken to include transfer of concomitant meaning or function) and the transfer of structural and semantic patterns by themselves, without attendant form. A type of change that is less frequently discussed is so-called relexification. This involves the transfer of form without model-language semantic or syntactic specifications that is grafted onto an equivalent recipient-language lemma. Relexification has been suggested to play a role in the development of mixed languages or creoles, but as is shown here, it can also be identified in several ordinary situations of language contact from around the world. This type of change represents a mirror image of the transfer of patterns without lexical material and supports recent models of language selection in bilinguals.


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Keyword(s): adpositions; borrowing; conjunctions; derivational suffixes; extension by analogy; loanwords; MAT; PAT
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