The adrelative genitive in Udi: Syntactic borrowing plus reanalysis
In Udi (Northeast Caucasian, Lezgic), the prenominal relative clause may be preceded by a genitive phrase referring, at first glance, to some of its arguments. It is proposed that this construction results from a borrowing from Azerbaijani, which, however, underwent reanalysis: the genitive phrase behaves as the possessor of the matrix nominal phrase and the relative clause appears to specify the possessive relation. The Udi data are further compared with data from a few other languages that display similar constructions.
The 2014 Symposium 'Language Contact: The State of the Art' took place in Helsinki, August 28-30
The volume includes proceedings of the 23th Scandianvian Conference of Linguistics (SCL 23) that was held at Uppsala University 1–3 October 2008. It includes studies covering a wide spectrum of approaches to linguistics, for example, cross-linguistic typological studies, linguistic variation and language change in contact situations as well as studies relating to bilingualism and to second and foreign language learning.
Reconstructing contact situations for an unwritten language is a challenging task, as the sociolinguistic past of such speech communities is very rarely documented. The paper describes research in which a method of retrospective family interviews is applied, where respondents’ recollections about recent multilingual past and, in particular, about the language repertoires of their elder relatives, are converted into quantitative data. It is a case study of three neighboring villages in the mountains of Daghestan, each of which has its own first language. It is shown that the multilingual pattern in the cluster is now shifting from the knowledge of neighbor languages towards Russian – an external lingua franca which is not native to any of the communicants.
The paper reviews D.G. Miller's recent book, "External influences on English: From its beginnings to the Renaissance".
Language contacts have been extensively studied linguistically and sociolinguistically. This paper argues that cross-cultural analysis of language transfer can also prove useful in contact linguistics. One of the latest borrowings from English into Russian, the semantic calque vyzov vyzovy (‘challenge/challenges’) used often in the cliche´ ugrozy i vyzovy (‘threats and hallenges’), makes certain shifts in the Russian world view traceable. Challenge, a key word in English, is untranslatable into Russian and the trite Russian translation equivalent for challenge – problema (‘problem’) reveals important differences between the two cultures: the Anglophone (especially, American) linguaculture, whose dominant values are individual success and activity, competitiveness, positive thinking, sense of adventure, etc., perceives difficulties as ‘‘stimuli’’ and conceptualizes them in terms of challenges; contrary to this, the Russian linguaculture, which is, if compared with the Western cultures, ‘‘being-oriented,’’ ‘‘relationship-oriented,’’ ‘passive’’ and ‘‘pessimistic,’’ encourages the discussion of difficulties in terms of problems. The borrowing of the concept challenge by extending the meaning of vyzov registers a shift of the Russian value system in the direction of increased agentivity, assertiveness, positivism, competitiveness, etc. Such borrowings are ‘‘challenges’’ rather than ‘‘threats’’ to the Russian language and culture and they call for a more in-depth linguacultural analysis of English–Russian interactions.