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date: 21 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Language contact affects case categories in various ways. This article examines the effects of contacts between linguistic codes (languages, unrelated or related, or language varieties): changes in one code on the model of another. It deals with inflectional case markers, affixes, and adpositions from which they evolve. Though most adpositions express more specific relations, some are relatively desemanticised. Affixes and case-like adpositions may fulfil similar functions; the close correspondences between Dravidian case suffixes and Indic postpositions. Case markers and case functions are acquired through what is called ‘borrowing’, ‘diffusion’, ‘transfer’, ‘interference’, ‘replication’, etc. Speakers copy case markers or case functions from a model code (a ‘source’, ‘donor’, or ‘diffusing’ language) and insert the copies into their basic code (a ‘recipient’ or ‘replica’ language). The term ‘copying’ is used to stress the non-identity of models and copies. This article also discusses selective copying and grammaticalisation, copiabililty and stages of grammaticalisation, copying of valency patterns, polysemy and syncretism, and impoverished case systems.

Keywords: case, language contact, linguistic codes, case markers, replication, transfer, selective copying, polysemy, syncretism, grammaticalisation

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