Bernd Heine and Tania Kuteva
This article describes the areal dimension of grammaticalisation resulting from language contact. It shows that grammaticalisation is a ubiquitous process in language contact which may affect any part of language structure and exhibits the same format in all of its manifestations. It provides some examples of how languages have been influenced by other languages in developing new grammatical use patterns and categories. It investigates how grammaticalisation leads to a real relationship among languages by highlighting the notion of grammaticalization area.
Language contact has long been the subject of extensive research in linguistics, but has recently been the object of increased attention by scholars working on both the history of English and varieties of English worldwide. Most language contact studies that have appeared in recent years rely on databases that differ from those typically used in histories of the English language. Assuming that code-switching refers to instances where bilingual speakers alternate between codes within the same speech event, this process can be hypothesized to be the source of borrowing when the code-switching occurs repeatedly with the same lexical items or sentence structures such that these are no longer felt to be foreign in the receiving code. Both the degree of bilingualism necessary for code-switching and the number of individuals who engage in code-switching are a matter of debate. This article discusses language contact, language ecology, and grammaticalization.
Judith F. Kroll and Ton Dijkstra
How do bilinguals recognize and speak words in each of their two languages? Past research on the bilingual lexicon focused on the questions of whether bilinguals represent words in each language in a single lexicon or in separate lexicons and whether access to the lexicon is selective or not. Bilingual lexicon is the focus of this article. These questions endured because they constitute a set of correlated assumptions that have only recently been teased apart. One concerns the relation between representation and process. Another issue concerns the way in which the lexicon itself has been operationalized. Different assumptions about the information required to recognize and speak a word in the first or second language have led to models of the bilingual lexicon that differ in the types and levels of codes. This article reviews the way in which models of the bilingual lexicon reflect different assumptions about the architecture and processing of words in two languages.
The present article poses some fundamental questions related to bilingualism and to the acquisition of two phonological components, by very young children. It discusses different types of bilingualism and their outcomes. After a brief consideration of alleged pros and cons of bilingualism brought up in the past decades, two perspectives of bilingualism are sketched—psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic—and certain aspects of bilingual child phonology are presented from each of these points of view. The essential issue is whether different outcomes of bilingual child phonology are predictable, and to find the crucial criteria to support the predictions. Finally, the discussion addresses some basic questions about bilingual acquisition, and ends with a summary of various types of cross-linguistic interaction.
This article discusses borrowing—mainly lexical borrowing—in relation to Arabic. It first provides a brief introduction to early loans in Arabic. Then it considers borrowing in written Arabic, before dealing with borrowing in spoken Arabic. The literature on this subject is vast, corresponding to the large geographical area and many languages involved in contact with Arabic. The article therefore offers typologies of the linguistic processes by which the borrowing out of and into Arabic can be understood without claiming comprehensiveness.
Language contact affects case categories in various ways. This article examines the effects of contacts between linguistic codes (languages, unrelated or related, or language varieties): changes in one code on the model of another. It deals with inflectional case markers, affixes, and adpositions from which they evolve. Though most adpositions express more specific relations, some are relatively desemanticised. Affixes and case-like adpositions may fulfil similar functions; the close correspondences between Dravidian case suffixes and Indic postpositions. Case markers and case functions are acquired through what is called ‘borrowing’, ‘diffusion’, ‘transfer’, ‘interference’, ‘replication’, etc. Speakers copy case markers or case functions from a model code (a ‘source’, ‘donor’, or ‘diffusing’ language) and insert the copies into their basic code (a ‘recipient’ or ‘replica’ language). The term ‘copying’ is used to stress the non-identity of models and copies. This article also discusses selective copying and grammaticalisation, copiabililty and stages of grammaticalisation, copying of valency patterns, polysemy and syncretism, and impoverished case systems.
Abdelali Bentahila, Eirlys Davies, and Jonathan Owens
Bilingual speech involving Arabic has been an important source of linguistic research on the language. The greater part of this research has involved Arabic in contact with other languages; in recent years, greater systematic attention has been given to Arabic diglossic speech as well. This article looks at Arabic in contact with other languages and also deals with diglossic speech. It also briefly summarizes the use of secret languages, which has close structural parallels to code switching.
Ana Deumert and Rajend Mesthrie
This article explores language contact in the African area, with particular focus on Southern Africa. It first looks at the formal features of English in Africa that show the complexities of contact and provide some challenges to mainstream assumptions of historical linguistics. It examines three aspects of English in Africa: the variability and often unorthodox nature of the early input varieties, the nature of language inculcation via classrooms, and the internal dialectology of second language varieties of English in Africa. It then adopts a broad ecological perspective and reflects on the fact that language contact gives rise to new varieties of English as well as new varieties of African languages. The focus of the discussion is on language change due to two main factors (a) rural-urban as well as cross-border migration, and (b) new media. While the former supported complex forms of language contact, including the emergence of new varieties characterized by intensive code-switching and code-mixing; the latter led to the development of new ways of writing both English and African languages.
Lisa Lim and Umberto Ansaldo
A consideration of the Asian region in the history of English must view the element of contact in multilingual contexts as probably the most significant phenomenon affecting the development of English. Several critical factors of contact prompting rethinking what “the English language” has become are discussed, viz. changes in different eras in the sociopolitical contexts, the diversity of vernaculars in Asia that have come into contact with English, the range of input varieties, and the general context of multilingualism. Linguistic features which are shared across a number of Asian languages and which look set to continue their influence on English are highlighted: zero copula, predicative adjectives and topic prominence, discourse particles, and tone. Finally, two contemporary and significant trends in Asia – the rapid spread of English in noncolonial Asian countries, and globalization phenomena such as electronic media, global music, and call centre outsourcing – are also noted for their contribution to contact dynamics and their subsequent impact on the continuing development of English.
Edgar W. Schneider
Over the past few hundred years, and for the last few decades in particular, English has come into contact with a wide range of different languages across the globe due to colonial expansion and globalization. These contacts have given rise to a range of new varieties, both so-called “New Englishes” and pidgins and creoles, thus radically altering the evolutionary trajectory of English and emphasizing the need to rethink aspects of its history. This article explores the global spread of the English language, specifically from the perspective of language contact conditions. It discusses social, structural and theoretical aspects of the developments that have contributed to the emergence of new forms of English. Many of these phenomena date back to colonial history and Britain’s colonial expansion from the seventeenth to the twentieth century. The article also explores the structural consequences of contact, along with the modeling of contact phenomena in the emergence of new varieties of English.
Bickerton (1974, 1981, 1984) claimed that the “prototypical” creole tense-mood-aspect system was made up of two components: an inventory of three categories (anterior tense, irrealis mood, and non-punctual aspect) and an invariant ordering of tense, mood, and aspect. This article explores the tense-aspect systems of selected groups of creoles whose lexifier languages were European languages such as English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. It discusses the similarities and differences among them, and explains these in terms of the linguistic inputs as well as the processes of internally and externally motivated change that operated in the course of formation and later development of the creole languages. The article approaches this task from the viewpoint of grammaticalization processes, which are associated with situations of natural or untutored second-language acquisition. Finally, it considers the emergence of tense-aspect systems in two creoles with very different inputs and histories: Haitian Creole and Sranan Tongo.
John R. Rickford
The creolist hypothesis goes back at least to 1964 when Bill Stewart and Beryl Bailey expressed the view that African American Vernacular English (AAVE) descended from a widespread full creole. Modern creolists do not support the idea of a widespread full creole in earlier times but speak instead of creole influences on AAVE. Six main kinds of evidence are relevant, but three are considered here: sociohistorical conditions, differences from English dialects, and similarities to known creoles. Next, I turn to AAVE copula absence, noting that this feature is rare or non-existent in British dialects but similar to Caribbean and other Anglophone creoles in its following grammatical conditioning. Finally, I emphasize the need for new research on copula absence in southern areas where little or no variationist research has been done, and for sociohistorical research on the language, culture and interactions of Blacks and Whites from the seventeenth century on.
This article examines the case and agreement systems of Amharic with particular reference to the phenomena of differential subject marking (DSM) and differential object marking (DOM). It discusses two interrelated issues: the semantic factors that may be relevant to DSM and DOM, and the interaction between DSM/DOM and agreement on the verb. First, the article provides a brief typological and genetic background of the Amharic language and then establishes the presence of the grammatical relations subject and direct object on the basis of language-internal formal evidence. It also considers word order in Amharic, the accusative suffix -n, the distribution of the object/indirect object agreement suffix, the quirky (non-canonical) case marking of certain subjects, and experience predicates.
This article examines Celtic influence on early Old English, an issue that has recently been debated in detail, and re-examines arguments presented in studies of language contact and change. Scholars argue that Brythonic, the language spoken in England by the Celts at the time of the Germanic invasions, had a significant effect on the development of English. This is known as the Celtic hypothesis. The standard wisdom on contact and transfer has been based on the notion that the language with more status influences that with less. In other words, borrowing is from the superstrate into the substrate, as seen with Latin and French borrowings into English. However, this is a simplistic view of possible influence in a contact scenario. Vocabulary, as an open class with a high degree of awareness by speakers, is the primary source of borrowing from the superstrate. However, borrowing from closed classes in language, chiefly phonology and syntax, often characterises influence of a substrate on a superstrate. A number of key phenomena are considered in this light and reassessed in terms of possible origin.
The focus of this article is the ecology of languages. The first use of the ecology metaphor in linguistics is found in a paper by Voegelin and Schutz on language varieties, where a distinction between intralanguage and interlanguage ecology is drawn. The metaphor was introduced in Haugen's paper, titled “The Ecology of Language”, in which he defines it as “the study of interactions between any given language and its environment”. Characteristic of much earlier work on language ecology is the dominance of the “struggle for existence” metaphor. The theme of a metaphorical struggle for existence has attracted the attention of creolists, as pidgin and creole languages are the result of imposing their patterns of communication onto colonized language communities. The linguistics ecology has become highly disturbed in the last 200 years, mainly as a result of European expansion with the consequent restriction and destruction of the habitats of the majority of the world's linguistic ecologies.
The Emergence of African American English: Monogenetic or Polygenetic? With or Without “Decreolization”? Under How Much Substrate Influence?
Salikoko S. Mufwene
African American English is used in this chapter as an umbrella term for Gullah and African American Vernacular English (AAVE) to underscore structural features they share as a consequence of being lexified by colonial nonstandard English under the influence of similar African substrate languages. Gullah and AAVE appear to have evolved separately and concurrently: the former is a byproduct of rice cultivation in coastal South Carolina and Georgia, whereas the latter emerged on tobacco and cotton plantations of the Southeast and spread to other parts of the USA with the Great Migration. Having the same origins as American Southern English, AAVE appears to have been fostered as an ethnolect by Jim Crow. The evidence adduced for the creole-origins hypothesis is questionable, just as the English-origins hypothesis is too strong. The ecological account provided here confirms that all evolution is local, driven by local ecological factors.
Gerard Van Herk
This chapter situates the English Origins Hypothesis within academic and public discourses on language, ethnicity, and contact, suggesting that these may have influenced responses to the hypothesis. The chapter outlines the methodological preferences of many scholars working in this framework (quantitative analysis of the linguistic constraints on mostly morphosyntactic variation) and describes major findings for verb morphology, question formation, negation, and relativization. In each case, researchers have found strong similarities between the linguistic conditioning of variables in diverse instantiations of earlier African American English (AAE) and in English dialects that may have served as a model for early generations of AAE speakers. After enumerating and evaluating some critiques of the hypothesis, the chapter considers the utility, applications, and limitations of this and competing hypotheses, briefly discusses the relevance to the origins debate of internal regional variation in AAE, and concludes by proposing areas of potential agreement between origins hypotheses.
Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald
Evidentials, as a grammatical means of overtly expressing information source, play a pivotal role in communication, cognition, and speakers’ status within a community. This accounts for their frequent spread in language contact situations. Evidentials often develop as a consequence of areal diffusion. A language surrounded by languages without evidential distinctions is likely to lose evidentials. Evidentials are among the defining features of a number of well-established linguistic areas, among them the Balkans, the Caucasus, and the Baltic region in Eurasia, and the Vaupés River Basin linguistic area in Amazonia. They have made their way into a number of contact varieties of major European languages, including Spanish and Portuguese. An obsolescent language may lose or restructure its evidentiality system depending on the dominant language speakers are shifting to. Further factors propitious for a spread of evidentials in language contact include multilingualism and shared discourse genres and speech practices.
This article examines the relation between language contact and grammaticalisation. It argues that the notion of contact-driven grammaticalisation represents an attempt to address these questions within the framework of an overall theory of grammaticalisation. It discusses the key stages in the development of the discussion on contact-induced grammaticalisation and the questions it addresses. It explains that contact-induced language change is often regarded as an external factor that motivates change, for it derives from outside the linguistic system that is under scrutiny.
This article discusses the role of dialect contact in phonological change, i.e. when varieties of a language are transplanted to colonial settings. Focus is given to both the conditions that favour phonological change and the eventual outcomes of koinéization (mixing, levelling, reallocation, etc.), illustrated with examples from English around the world.