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date: 05 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

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.

Keywords: language, Äiwoo, Vaeakau-Taumako, Reefs-Santa Cruz, Natugu, Papuan, Austronesian, Polynesian

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