Between Simplification and Complexification. German, Hungarian, Romanian Noun and Adjective Morphologies in Contact

In: Journal of Language Contact
Csilla-Anna Wilhelm Justus Liebig University Giessen,

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This paper explores patterns in the integration of Hungarian and Romanian nouns as well as adjectives in the German dialect of the speech community of Palota, a German Sprachinsel in North-West-Romania. The main focus of the study is on both inflectional and derivational noun and adjective morphologies and on how they behave in the case of some more or less distantly related contact languages. Based on a select number of examples from first hand data and following standard code-mixing models such as that of mlf model, it establishes a typology of code-mixing morphology ranging from more matrix language-like, i.e. German-like to more embedded language-like, i.e. Hungarian- and Romanian-like patterns and bare forms, suggesting an ongoing shifting process in the local German dialect of Palota towards a fused lect (). In terms of linguistic complexity, the present paper argues that this language shift process favour simplification of morphology in some domains, but also complexification in some other domains, supporting the idea that languages in long-term intensive contact settings become linguistically more complex (, 2008).

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