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Title: Borrowed affixes and morphological productivity : a case study of two Maltese nominalisations
Other Titles: Languages of Malta
Authors: Gatt, Albert
Fabri, Ray
Keywords: Finiteness (Linguistics)
Grammar, Comparative and general -- Morphology
Corpora (Linguistics)
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Language Science Press
Citation: Gatt, A., & Fabri, R. (2017). Borrowed affixes and morphological productivity: a case study of two Maltese nominalisations. In P. Paggio, & A. Gatt ( Eds.), Languages of Malta (pp. 1-27). Berlin: Language Science Press.
Abstract: Among the derivational processes that have been adopted into Maltese based on the Romance model, there are processes to derive nouns from verbs which are relatively recent developments. Examples include the use of the suffix - Vr (e.g., spara/sparar 'shoot'/'(the) shooting'), and the use of -(z)zjoni (e.g., spjega / spjegazzjoni 'explain'/'explanation'). This paper discusses the processes in the con-text of Maltese derivation in general. After a brief theoretical exposition and an overview of Maltese derivation, we present a corpus-based analysis of the produc-tivity of -Vr and -(z)zjoni derivations followed by an analysis of the evidence for indirect borrowing in these two cases, based on the work of Seifart (2015). We show that, while there is evidence that both are productive, the statistical evidence suggests that -Vr processes are more likely to result in novel forms. By the same token, -Vr nominalisations more clearly represent cases of indirect borrowing, as evidenced by the greater number of types which have corresponding simplex forms, and by the greater probability that the simplex forms are more frequent that the nominalisations.
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