Most-likely Pathways/Elements for Language Combination

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Carduus
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Most-likely Pathways/Elements for Language Combination

Post by Carduus »

I have an area where Koine Greek was spoken for several hundred years, then three larger populations all moved into the general area within a ten year period speaking:

1. Uzbek and Tajiki (Persian dialect)
2. Borderline Old/Middle French
3. 14th Century proto-Shona

Obviously whichever group is most dominant in warfare has a leg-up on what the lingua franca of the area is, but are there language elements that have a greater chance of mass adoption in a blended culture than other language elements such that I could figure out a most-likely end product? Or are there too many other factors involved to make educated guesses on that sort of thing?
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Re: Most-likely Pathways/Elements for Language Combination

Post by sangi39 »

So, annoyingly, I accidentally hit refresh on this page while writing my response, so I only have time to throw together a quick response, buuuut:

1) Typically, what tends to get borrowed is vocabulary, rather than morphology or phonology (these are borrowed, just to a lesser extent, and, I think, typically alongside vocabulary)

2) What conditions borrowings/mixing seems to be some mix of prestige, opportunity, relative population size, trade, education, enforcement, etc. so what will happen in your scenario might even change over time.

3) I wonder how "stable" your scenario might be, depending on the size of the region you're talking about. Three populations moving into an already populated area at the same time seems to be rare, especially within a single generation, and I wouldn't be surprised if one or two of them were eventually expelled from the region as they fight over territory and resources.
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Re: Most-likely Pathways/Elements for Language Combination

Post by Carduus »

To be more specific, I have about 20,000 semi-nomadic people sailing a sea around the size of the Gulf of Mexico with killer land-based megafauna in the areas where North/Central/South America would be, and none in the sea itself. Over a period of ten years, they are joined by ~60k Quebecois migrating south, ~60k Californians migrating southeast, and ~60k Brazilians migrating north. So the area of 'mixing' is probably close to a million square miles, but everybody has incentive to take sea routes rather than land ones.
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Re: Most-likely Pathways/Elements for Language Combination

Post by Zythros Jubi »

Hard to imagine, crusaders in (Hellenized) Transoxiana?
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Re: Most-likely Pathways/Elements for Language Combination

Post by k1234567890y »

sangi39 wrote: 24 Aug 2020 20:07 So, annoyingly, I accidentally hit refresh on this page while writing my response, so I only have time to throw together a quick response, buuuut:

1) Typically, what tends to get borrowed is vocabulary, rather than morphology or phonology (these are borrowed, just to a lesser extent, and, I think, typically alongside vocabulary)

2) What conditions borrowings/mixing seems to be some mix of prestige, opportunity, relative population size, trade, education, enforcement, etc. so what will happen in your scenario might even change over time.

3) I wonder how "stable" your scenario might be, depending on the size of the region you're talking about. Three populations moving into an already populated area at the same time seems to be rare, especially within a single generation, and I wouldn't be surprised if one or two of them were eventually expelled from the region as they fight over territory and resources.
well derivational affixes can be borrowed if there's a large amount of borrowings and/or an elite population well-educated in a classical language.

Also, it is not 100% impossible to borrow inflections, but it is hard to occur, and from what I can see the most likely loaned grammatical pattern is the plural of nouns(i.e. the -ium v.s. -ia distinction in some English words, but the Latinate plural has not become an integrated part of English yet), and the borrowed plural forms are usually associated with loanwords, and the recipient should already have that category(i.e. English already has native plural forms and thus is ready to accept Latinate plural forms).

Grammatical and phonological shifts can happen, but usually people bring the grammatical and phonological patterns from their mother tongues to foreign languages or more prestigeous languages, not vice versa.

so yeah sangi39 is basically right, I am just trying to make some of my opinions on what he has said
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Re: Most-likely Pathways/Elements for Language Combination

Post by Creyeditor »

Just wanted to mention AfBon in this context, the database on affix borrowing. Here is a link.
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Re: Most-likely Pathways/Elements for Language Combination

Post by k1234567890y »

Creyeditor wrote: 02 Sep 2020 21:33 Just wanted to mention AfBon in this context, the database on affix borrowing. Here is a link.
thanks for sharing!
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Re: Most-likely Pathways/Elements for Language Combination

Post by Omzinesý »

(This is an old thread, but anyways).

There are two types of language contact with very different outcomes. (Peter Trudgill's Sociolinguistic Typology: Social Determinants of Linguistic Complexity is an interesting book.)

(1) Borrowing
Borrowing happens from the prestige language to the non-prestige language. Half of Finnish vocabulary is from Swedish but Swedish has two important words of Finnish origin.
Words are borrowed easier than sounds. Sounds are borrowed (with words) easier than grammatical features.
In stable multilingualism, anything can be borrowed.

(2) Language shift
A group of speakers of the non-prestige language shift the the prestige language, which they have learned incorrectly as L2. So they keep repeating grammatical features and pronunciation of their L1. If this group is big and influential enough, their lect can affect the prestige language.
Features are transported in the opposite order. The features most difficult to acquire are transported most easily. This is why IE languages of India have grammatical and phonological features from the other languages of the peninsula, Dravidian languages especially.


There is no clear theory of mixed languages. Traditional Stammbaum models pose they shouldn't exist. But it is empirically evident languages can grow together.
It seems that they have the vocabulary of the prestige language and grammar of the non-prestige language. So they are an extreme case of (2). It seems that they appear in the context where imperial soldier have taken local wives.

Creoles/pidgins are a similar phenomenon, but language contact is much less intense. So they have vocabulary from the prestige language, but pronunciation and grammar are very simplified though they can from the non-prestige language.
Last edited by Omzinesý on 23 Sep 2020 15:08, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Most-likely Pathways/Elements for Language Combination

Post by k1234567890y »

Omzinesý wrote: 04 Sep 2020 11:47
There is no clear theory of mixed languages. Traditional Stambaum models pose they shouldn't exist. But it is empirically evident languages can grow together.
It seems that they have the vocabulary of the prestige language and grammar of the non-prestige language. So they are an extreme case of (2). It seems that they appear in the context where imperial soldier have taken local wives.
Speaking of mixed languages, I once tried to create a conlang which is a mixed language, with vocabularies from High German dialect but grammatical structure from Tungusic languages. But that project has not been continued.

And the background of the language is a group of High German speaking people who moved to an area speaking Tungusic languages and married local people to runaway from religious suppression.
I prefer to not be referred to with masculine pronouns and nouns such as “he/him/his”.
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Re: Most-likely Pathways/Elements for Language Combination

Post by Khemehekis »

Omzinesý wrote: 04 Sep 2020 11:47 (This is an old thread, but anyways).
An old thread? The OP was posted on August 20, 2020.
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