Prosody preservation and borrowing verbs as nouns in three systems with lexical prosodyMarko Simonović
, published scientific conference contribution abstract
Abstract: The claim by Moravcsik (1975) that “if verbs are borrowed, they seem to be borrowed as if they were
nouns” generated a long-standing discussion within language contact research (see e.g. Wohlgemuth
2009 for a recent summary). More precisely, the claim was that “the borrowing language employs its
own means of denominal verbalization to turn the borrowed forms into verbs”. This can be interpreted
either as a statement about the integration pattern (which may not be mentally represented in
monolinguals) or as a claim about the syntactic representation of borrowed verbs in general, whereby
borrowed verbs contain an nP embedded under the vP. Both interpretations constitute important
hypotheses, which can serve as useful windows into the relation between morphology and phonology.
interpretation is compatible with the claim by Simonović (2015) that the integration pattern
essentially gets selected by Lexical Conservatism (Steriade 1997): the pattern with most preservation of
the properties of the base and least stem allomorphy integrates loanwords. The second interpretation
makes important predictions whose implementation is highly dependent on the theory of morphology
employed. In this presentation I use a recent elaboration of Distributed Morphology in which the
separation between roots and categorial heads is extended to derivational suxes
and put it to use in accounting for verb borrowing and denominal verbalisation in three Western South
Slavic varieties: Slovenian, Western Serbo-Croatian (henceforth Croatian) and Eastern Serbo-Croatian
(henceforth Serbian). All three varieties have lexical prosody. Slovenian has lexically determined stress.
In Serbo-Croatian each word has a lexically determined H, and stress assignment follows from its
distribution: if the syllable with a H is initial, italso gets stress; if the syllable with a H is non-initial, the
stress goes to the preceding syllable, forming a disyllabic rising accent (Zsiga & Zec 2013).
Simonović (2018) discusses exceptional preservation of base prosody in Western South Slavic verbs,
showing that WSS verbsallow only two prosodic shapes: stress/H stem-nally
(1a)and stress/H on the
theme vowel (1b), analysed as the contrast between accented and accentless roots. The only verbs
which ever display more contrast are borrowed and denominal verbs (2). Since nouns generally allow
more prosodic contrast than verbs (Smith 2011), Simonović (2018)argues that verb prosody should be
viewed as the regular WSS prosody, whereas all the cases of additional contrast should beanalysed asa
consequence of special Faithfulness, and, at least for the classes discussed by Simonović (2018),asingle
type of special Faithfulness seems to be sucient:
Against the sketched background, variation within WSS is analysed. All three varieties have two
patterns for denominal verbs which both allow for exceptional preservation of the base prosody: -a-ti
and -ov-a-ti (illustrated in 2a; a isatheme vowel in both cases, ti is the innitive
ending). Tellingly, each
variety now hasastabilised borrowing pattern in which one of the two suxes
is used for English verbs
(illustrated in 2b). The necessity ofa denominal verbalisation analysis is relatively limited for Slovenian
and Croatian, where a large majority of verbs (but not all) become reanalysable as verbalised accented
roots (all the verbs in 3 have a stem-nal
stress/H). For Serbian, however, virtually all borrowed verbs
from the modern contact with English display the intermediate root -ov-, which makes the denominal
verbalisation analysis very attractive. Completing the picture for all three varieties, we turn to older
borrowed verbs, especially those from the contact preceding the one with English, in which alarge class
of international verbs were integrated and in which no prosodic contrast is instantiated (4).
In sum, the deverbal nominalisation analysis seems to beastrong cross-linguistic tendency rather than
an absolute rule and its availability depends both on the phonological makeup of the available
denominal verbalisation patterns and on the amount of prosodic contrast in the source language.
(1) Slovenian Croatian Serbian
a. Accented √ gléd-a-ti ‘to look’ gléHd-a-ti ‘to look’ gléHd-a-ti ‘to look’
b. Unaccented √ kop-á-ti ‘to dig’ kóp-aH
-ti ‘to dig’ kóp-aH
-ti ‘to dig’
(2) Slovenian Croatian Serbian
a. Denominal verbs málic-a-ti ‘to snack’ úH
(cf. málica ‘snack’) (cf. úH
žin-a ‘snack’) (cf. úH
vér-ov-a-ti ‘to believe’ vjéH
r-ov-a-ti ‘to believe’ v(j)éH
r-ov-a-ti ‘to believe’
(cf. vér-a ‘faith’) (cf. vjéH
r-a ‘faith’) (cf. v(j)éH
b. Borrowed verbs édit-a-ti ‘to edit’ rikvéH
st-a-ti ‘to request’ rikvéH
st-ov-a-ti ‘to request’
tríger-a-ti ‘to trigger’ inváH
jt-a-ti ‘to invite’ inváH
jt-ov-a-ti ‘to invite’
(3) Borrowed verbs which can be reanalysed as verbalised accented root
sénd-a-ti ‘to send’ séHnd-a-ti ‘to send’
submít-a-ti ‘to submit’ éHdiH
t-a-ti ‘to edit’
(4) International verbs
Slovenian Croatian Serbian
Present.1Pl asist-ír-a-mo asíst-i:H
Present.1Pl fotograf-ír-a-mo fotográf-i:H
Present.1Pl protest-ír-a-mo protést-i:H
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Artemis Alexiadou, Hagit Borer,and Florian Schafer (eds.) The syntax of rootsand the roots of syntax,
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integration. (280 p.). LOT Dissertation Series 393.
Simonović, Marko. 2018. There is Faith and Faith: Prosodic contrast in Slovenian and Serbo-Croatian
verb derivation. Poster presented at the 26th Manchester Phonology Meeting.
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Wikely (eds.) PETL 6: Proceedings of the Workshop on the Lexicon in Phonetics and Phonology.
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In Marc van Oostendorp, Colin Ewen, Beth Hume,
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from SICOL 1997, 157-179. Hanshin Publishing House
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Zsiga, Elizabeth C. and Draga Zec. 2013. Contextual evidence for the representation of pitch accents
in Standard Serbian. Language and Speech 56;1: 69 – 104.
Found in: ključnih besedah
Keywords: Borrowing, Denominal verbs, Slavic, Slovenian, Serbo-Croatian, Serbian, Croatian
Published: 27.11.2018; Views: 1782; Downloads: 0
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