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Languages 2016, 1(1), 2; doi:10.3390/languages1010002

From Colombo to Athens: Areal and Universalist Perspectives on Bilingual Compound Verbs

1
Linguistics, Radboud Universiteit, postbus 9103, Nijmegen 6500 HD, The Netherlands
2
Linguistics, University of Stellenbosch, Room 516, Arts Building, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa
Academic Editors: Usha Lakshmanan, Osmer Balam and Tej K. Bhatia
Received: 25 September 2015 / Revised: 19 January 2016 / Accepted: 27 January 2016 / Published: 15 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mixed Verbs and Linguistic Creativity in Bi/multilingual Communities)
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Abstract

Most or all bilingual varieties of the languages spoken in the area between Sri Lanka and Greece have bilingual compound verbs, consisting of a lexical content verb from a donor language and a helping verb from the matrix language. In this paper, these verbs are described and analyzed, and the question is raised whether this widespread occurrence is specifically an areal feature, or a universally available pattern and a question of typological poise—the possibility of a construction arising due to propitious typological circumstances. Pleading for the areal perspective, it is concluded there is the fact that two large and important language families—Turkic and Indo-Iranian—either rapidly developed or already had a productive [noun + verb] construction. On the universalist side, it is clear that native [noun + verb] constructions very easily develop into [verb + verb] constructions in bilingual settings, though not in monolingual settings. This is a cross-generational change that is a contact phenomenon; that is to say, this development does not occur in monolingual, non-contact language settings. View Full-Text
Keywords: bilingual compound verb; Turkic; Indo-Iranian; language contact; typology; linguistic areas bilingual compound verb; Turkic; Indo-Iranian; language contact; typology; linguistic areas
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Muysken, P. From Colombo to Athens: Areal and Universalist Perspectives on Bilingual Compound Verbs. Languages 2016, 1, 2.

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