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Intensive Contact and the Copying of Paradigms: An Éven Dialect in Contact with Sakha (Yakut)

In: Journal of Language Contact
Author:
Brigitte Pakendorf
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Abstract

The development of the unique structure of Copper Island Aleut, which displays a combination of Russian finite verb morphology and Aleut nominal and non-finite verbal morphology as well as lexicon has been the subject of heated debate. In the absence of other examples of similar inflectional paradigm copying, the processes leading to this development are hard to elucidate. This paper discusses examples of paradigms copied from the Siberian Turkic language Sakha (Yakut) into a dialect of the Northern Tungusic language Éven spoken in the village of Sebjan-Küöl in northeastern Siberia. These data demonstrate that paradigm copying can take place in a situation of widespread bilingualism, with code-switching playing a vital role. Furthermore, they provide evidence that such mixed forms have the potential of serving as conduits for further copying of grammatical forms, and that they play an important role in the linguistic identity of the speakers, as has been suggested previously for mixed languages such as Copper Island Aleut.

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