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Journal Article

Lingua francas as lexical donors: Evidence from Daghestan


Chechuro,  Ilia       
Linguistic and Cultural Evolution, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society;

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Daniel, M., Chechuro, I., Verhees, S., & Dobrushina, N. (2021). Lingua francas as lexical donors: Evidence from Daghestan. Language, 97(3), 520-560. doi:10.1353/lan.2021.0046.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0009-C57B-F
This article looks at the correlation between the use of a langugage as L2 and the amount of lexical material borrowed from it. Our data come from the highlands of Daghestan. By matching loanword counts with data on multilingualism, the study quantitatively supports the suggestion that lexical borrowing from a lingua franca is more intense than from other languages in a multilingual repertoire (Brown 1996, 2011). Brown hypothesizes that the importance of lingua francas as lexical donors is linked to a high rate of bilingualism. In our data, knowledge of languages other than the lingua franca was high at some locations but did not lead to substantial borrowing. We discuss the social conditions of a lingua franca that make it a likely donor. Among other factors, a lingua franca might not be as strongly associated with an ethnic identity as languages that are used only in communicating with L1 speakers of that language, and lexical borrowing from it does not threaten anyone's identity (cf. Epps 2018, Vaughan 2019).*