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The second issue of Volume 41 (autumn 2018) of the Nordic Journal of Linguistics will be a special issue devoted to forensic linguistics in the Nordic countries and in Europe. The issue will be edited by Tanya Karoli Christensen and Sune Sønderberg Mortensen.
Football language may be regarded as the world's most widespread special language, where English has played a key role. The focus of the present study is the influence of English football vocabulary in the form of loan translations, contrasted with direct loans, as manifested in 16 European languages from different language families (Germanic, Romance, Slavic, etc.). Drawing on a set of 25 English football words (match, corner, dribble, offside, etc.), the investigation shows that there is a great deal of variation between the languages studied. For example, Icelandic shows the largest number of loan translations, while direct loans are most numerous in Norwegian; overall, combining direct loans and loan translations, Finnish displays the lowest number of English loans. The tendencies noted are discussed, offering some tentative explanations of the results, where both linguistic and sociolinguistic factors, such as language similarity and attitudes to borrowing, are considered.
Based on a discussion of correlations between syntactic position, prosodic cues, aspect and generic vs. non-generic interpretations, this paper substantiates that Danish Bare Plural count nouns (BPs) have a wider distribution than Bare Singular count nouns (BSs). BPs, unlike BSs, can occur in subject position, function as both generic and existential arguments, and appear with all aspectual verb classes. However, BPs and BSs expressing a non-generic, modificational meaning concur in object position of activity verbs and stative verbs with a possession relation implicature. These V+BP and V+BS structures, it is suggested, form a progressive continuum of three different subtypes of pseudo-incorporation (PI), namely (i) PI of BPs (low integration as in spise æbler ‘eat apples’), (ii) PI of type 1 BSs (medium integration as in male hus ‘paint house’), and (iii) PI of type 2 BSs (maximum integration as in spille violin ‘play violin’).
This research studies language contact as a possible cause of differences between languages in their degree of transparency. As transparency is assumed to facilitate intelligibility and learnability, especially for adult L2 learners, it is hypothesized that in particular contact settings with many such learners, languages tend to show increasing transparency. The study tests this hypothesis by investigating transparency in Norwegian, which has been exposed to extensive contact with Low German and Danish, and the relatively isolated Icelandic language. Based on a set of opacity features formulated in Functional Discourse Grammar, the degree of transparency of the two languages is compared. The results show that, as predicted, Norwegian is more transparent than Icelandic, which seems due to an increase in transparency in Norwegian and general opacity maintenance in Icelandic compared to their ancestor Old Norse. The study thus supports the hypothesized relation between language contact and transparency.