Volume 31, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0176-4225
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9714
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It is often claimed in contact linguistics that core vocabulary is highly resistant to borrowing. If we want to test that claim in a quantitative way, we need both a quantitative measure of coreness and a method for quantifying borrowability. We suggest here a usage-based operationalization of coreness in terms of entrenchment, and of borrowability in terms of onomasiological success. Applying these measures in a corpus-based study on the use of English person reference nouns in Dutch, we show via a multivariate statistical analysis that there are indeed clear indications of an inversely proportional relationship between the success of the English nouns and the degree of coreness/entrenchment of the concept lexicalized by the loanwords.


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