Edited by Martine Robbeets and Hubert Cuyckens
[Studies in Language Companion Series 132] 2013
► pp. 67–100
That contact between genetically unrelated languages (or dialects) has taken place is relatively easy to establish when they share, for instance, sufficient lexical or grammatical forms. This is usually much more difficult to demonstrate when the shared elements concern structure and/or meaning, that is, when no form-meaning units and no phonetic substance are involved. And this is particularly difficult when trying to distinguish between different kinds of shared grammaticalization. The present paper argues that even in the latter kind of situation, it is possible to identify instances of contact-induced language change. In the paper, a number of guidelines are proposed for identifying cases of presumed transfer of structural and semantic transfer across languages.
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