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.
This chapter discusses how particular patterns of bilingualism, speaker agency, and L1-L2 interaction can lead to the seemingly contradictory outcome of lexical items and grammatical structure being borrowed in opposite directions between two languages. This can come about when the numerically much smaller language in a contact situation is the intergroup language, leading to a situation where the language has a significantly larger number of L2 speakers than L1 speakers. Over time, this can lead to the L2 variety, which incorporates structural features from the majority language through what van Coetsem calls imposition, becoming the norm, even among the monolingual L1 speakers. This scenario highlights the importance of isolating individual factors that are often bundled together under labels such as “prestige” or “dominance”—in this case, socioeconomic prestige versus demographic dominance—and of examining the interactions between the rise of contact-induced change in the speech of individuals and the mechanisms through which change spreads through a community.
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.
Code-switching is often studied in purely synchronic terms, as recorded speech is analyzed for patterns of language mixing. Though this has yielded numerous useful theoretical advances, it has also shielded the code-switching literature from serious engagement with the phenomenon of language change, even from the subtype of change caused by language contact. There is also the additional practice of limiting the study of code-mixing and code-switching to lexical mixing. On the other side of the fence, meanwhile, discussions of contact-induced language change tend to be limited to morphological and syntactic phenomena. This chapter breaks through this stalemate, and argues that a usage-based approach to language change actually demands integration of these perspectives. Code-switching should be seen as a reflection of lexical change. It is for this reason that a synchronic distinction between loanwords and code-switching makes no sense, since the terms refer to the diachronic and synchronic planes, respectively, of the same phenomenon. In the chapter, the author interprets the code-switching literature from this theoretical viewpoint, and explores what both the literature on code-switching and that on contact-induced change stand to gain from linking their empirical findings to a usage-based theory of language change that allocates proper attention to synchrony and diachrony, and unites lexical and structural change in the same framework.
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.
Malayalam is an ideal representative of language contact and convergence in South Asia. This chapter discusses Malayalam’s contact with a dozen languages around the world. The first part of the chapter discusses the historical contexts of these contacts. The results of contact are discussed in the second part of the chapter. The borrowing of phonological, lexical, and grammatical features is discussed, along with supporting evidence. Based on the discussion, it is argued that contact is the major factor of the development of Malayalam and the major “inter-linguistic trigger” that facilitated the development of Malayalam within a short span of time.
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.
Ossetic is an Iranian language spoken by around half a million people (Census 2002) mostly in the North Caucasus, in the Republic of North Ossetia–Alania, part of Russia, and in the adjacent region of South Ossetia beyond the Caucasian mountain range. Ossetic is descended from a language spoken by a subgroup of the Alans, a tribe of Sarmatian origin, which has found refuge in the highlands of the Caucasus following the invasions of the Mongols and Tamerlane. Centuries-long contact with neighboring peoples speaking Northwest Caucasian, Northeast Caucasian, South Caucasian, and Turkic languages has made a considerable impact on Ossetic phonology, grammar, and lexicon. Ossetic is a textbook example of an Indo-European language in a foreign linguistic environment, and therefore its data are highly important for the typology of language contact.
Thomas B. Klein, E-Ching Ng, and Anthony P. Grant
This chapter discusses aspects of CILC involving phonetics and phonology, exemplifying the wide range of possible phenomena, involving cases of transfer of fabric, transfer of pattern and of both. These examples are taken from a wide range of languages from around the world, and the chapter ends with brief case studies from two Austronesian languages, Chamorro (which has acquitted mid-vowels through contact) and Hainan Cham (which has readjusted its phonology to many features of Hainan Min Nan Chinese, including comprehensive adoption of lexicla tone). It is clear from the material presented here that the range of possibilities of change in the phonologies of languages which has been actuated by contact-induced change is almost limitless.
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.
This chapter offers an overview of the languages with which Spanish has entered into contact in the course of its history. As is to be expected, most contact-induced changes in standard Spanish are found in the lexicon, although some derivational suffixes of foreign origin have also become productive. Spanish also underwent a few contact-induced morphosyntactic changes. Spanish’s sister-languages in the Romance family (including French, Catalan, Portuguese, and Italian), and their shared ancestor Latin, are by some stretch the biggest donors, although English, Basque, Celtic, Germanic and especially Arabic are also notable donors, and some of these loans have replaced previously inherited items of Latin origin.
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.
Creole languages are new languages, each of them with communities of L1 speakers, that have developed from adults’ second-language renditions of, usually, European languages amidst conditions of colonization and imperialism. The period in question lasted from the fifteenth through the nineteenth centuries. This chapter discusses various aspects of creolization such as its clinal manifestation, the diachronic relationships between creoles, and especially the various theories accounting for how creole languages were born.
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.