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Abstract

Abstract

This study analyzes the borrowing of Dutch reciprocal pronouns in a corpus of primary field data of Sranan, Sarnami, and Surinamese Javanese, three languages of Suriname. The expression of reciprocity in relevant African and Asian substrates of the languages under study is also presented and discussed. I suggest cognitive and sociolinguistic explanations for the preference of Dutch-sourced reciprocal pronouns during multilingual contact. The three languages show convergent borrowing processes favoring the dedicated Dutch reciprocal pronoun over ‘scattered’ native strategies. Further, Suriname is a hierarchical post-colonial language ecology in which borrowing proceeds mostly in one direction, either directly from Dutch, or from Dutch via Sranan. The parallel multilingual trajectory of contact-induced change in the expression of a complex notion like reciprocity showcases the attractiveness for borrowing of forms and structures with transparent relations between form and content.

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/content/journals/10.1075/jpcl.00118.yak
2023-08-14
2024-07-23
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keywords: borrowing ; reciprocal construction ; transparency ; language contact ; polysemy
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