Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Open Linguistics

Editor-in-Chief: Ehrhart, Sabine

1 Issue per year

Covered by:
Elsevier - SCOPUS
Clarivate Analytics - Emerging Sources Citation Index

Open Access
See all formats and pricing
More options …

The importance of not belonging: Paradigmaticity and loan nominalizations in Serbo-Croatian

Boban Arsenijević / Marko Simonović
Published Online: 2018-11-13 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opli-2018-0021


In a number of Slavic and Germanic languages, various derivational affixes and morphological patterns of Latin origin are relatively common, and bear effects as abstract as deriving event nouns from verbs and property nouns from adjectives. This seems to contradict the general observation that abstract morphology typically is not subject to borrowing. We discuss the status of two Serbo-Croatian (S-C) nominalizing Latinate suffixes, -cija and -itet, complemented by one Germanic suffix, -er. On our analysis, these are not borrowed suffixes and derivational patterns, in the sense that they were present in another language and got copied into S-C, but rather suffixes and patterns which emerged within S-C, more specifically in the borrowed stratum of the S-C lexicon. Crucial factors in their emergence were the shared semantic properties of the nouns ending in the respective sequences (-cija, -itet and -er), and the quantitative properties of these sequences closely matching those of native derivational suffixes. Pragmatic, phonological and prosodic constraints apply to these derivations to the effect that the suffixes that have emerged in the borrowed domain of the lexicon never enter a competition with the native nominalization patterns.

Keywords: loan suffixes; paradigms; nominalizations; Serbo-Croatian


  • Arsenijević, Boban. 2007. Značenje srpskog imenskog sufiksa -je (The meaning of the Serbian nominalizing suffix -je). Jezik, književnost, umetnost, vol. 1: Jezik i društvena kretanja, Kragujevac, Srbija: FILUM, 171-176.Google Scholar

  • Arsenijević, Boban. 2010. On two types of deadjectival nominals in Serbian. Suvremena lingvistika 70, 129-145.Google Scholar

  • Arsenijević, Boban & Marko Simonović. 2013. The role of syntax in stress assignment in Serbo-Croatian. In Folli, Raffaella, Christina Sevdali, and Robert Truswell (eds.). Syntax and its Limits. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Baayen, Harald R. & Rochelle Lieber. 1991. Productivity and English derivation: a corpus based study. Linguistics 29: 801-844.Google Scholar

  • Backus, Ad. 2001. The role of semantic specificity in insertional codeswitching: evidence from Dutch Turkish. In Jacobson, R. (ed.). Codeswitching Worldwide II. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter:125-154Google Scholar

  • Backus, Ad and Anna Versschik. 2012. Copyability of (bound) morphology. In J. Johanson and M Robbeets (eds.). Copies Versus Cognates in Bound Morphology:123-149. Leiden: Brill.Google Scholar

  • Becker, Michael. 2007. Tone licensing and categorical alignment in Serbo-Croatian. In Leah Bateman et al. (eds.) University of Massachusetts Occasional Papers in Linguistics 32: Papers in Optimality Theory III. Amherst: GLSA, pp. 1-19.Google Scholar

  • Haspelmath, Martin. 1995. Word-class-changing inflection and morphological theory. In: Booij, Geert & van Marle, Jaap (eds) Yearbook of Morphology 1995, 43-66. Dordrecht: Kluwer.Google Scholar

  • Miller, Gary. D. 2006. Latin suffixal derivatives in English and their Indo-European ancestry. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Plag, Ingo 2003. Word-Formation in English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Simonović, Marko. 2012. The Emergence of Post-cyclic Prosody in Loanword In-tegration: Toneless Latinate Adjectives in Serbo-Croatian. Acta Linguistica Hungarica 59.Google Scholar

  • Simonović, Marko. 2015. Lexicon Immigration Service: Prolegomena to a Theory of Loanword Integration. Ph.D thesis, Universiteit Utrecht.Google Scholar

  • Simonović, Marko & Boban Arsenijević. 2013. In and out of paradigms: How to do everything with very few affixes. JeNom 6. Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, June 20-22nd 2013.Google Scholar

  • Simonović, Marko & Boban Arsenijević. 2014. Regular and honorary membership: On two kinds of deverbal nouns in Serbo- Croatian. Lingua e Linguaggio.Google Scholar

  • Simonović, Marko & Tanja Samardžić. 2013. Exponence, productivity and default pattern - A study of verb aspect in Serbo- Croatian. Handout from the presentation at 19 ICL Geneva, 23 July 2013.Google Scholar

  • Zec, Draga. 1999. Footed tones and tonal feet: rhythmic constituency in a pitch-accent language. Phonology 16. 225-264.Google Scholar

About the article

Received: 2018-03-05

Accepted: 2018-07-09

Published Online: 2018-11-13

Published in Print: 2018-11-01

Citation Information: Open Linguistics, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 418–437, ISSN (Online) 2300-9969, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opli-2018-0021.

Export Citation

© by Boban Arsenijević, Marko Simonović, published by De Gruyter. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in