Borrowing of Argument Structure in Contact Situations (BASICS)

Welcome to BASICS!

A project funded by the DFG (2015-2021)

The project Borrowing of Argument Structure in Contact Situations (BASICS) investigates grammatical change in the medieval language contact situation between English and French which arose after the Norman Conquest (1066 until ca 1500). The German title is: Entlehnung von Argumentstruktur in Sprachkontaktsituationen.

The project at a glance

  • We investigate structural borrowing phenomena and their connection with the lexicon: massive borrowing of lexical items with a predicate-argument structure is hypothesised to have favoured and produced grammatical changes. Therefore, the phenomenon in focus is the borrowing into medieval English of French verbs and the question of how their argument structure has influenced its grammar.
  • By taking into account lexical-semantic theories, findings from the field of language acquisition and the sociolinguistic background, the project will provide new insights into the process of structural borrowing and into the distinction between internal and contact-induced language change. It will further develop a theory which models borrowing of argument structure in contact situations.
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

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Photo: Bridge House Accounts, vol. 1484-1509