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date: 05 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the contested role of L1 and L2 acquisition in contact-induced linguistic change (CILC). We first identify three factors underlying these controversies (field of research; theoretical approach; and methodological limitations/advances), before discussing two elements language change and language acquisition have in common (i.e., isolated individuals cannot accomplish either, and both have to be studied through natural language data, with its attendant high degree of variation). We go on to define key terms and concepts for the role of L1 and L2 acquisition in contact-induced language change, including first and second language acquisition (L1A and L2A), bilingual first language acquisition, language variation and change, language contact and contact-induced language change. In the main section we discuss the role of L1A and L2A in CILC, and examine different language-acquisition scenarios, in particular their potential for leading to CILC. We use these different language-acquisition types as testing grounds for the motivations behind (i.e., causes for, and triggers of) language change, and arrive at tentative conclusions about which of these language-acquisition scenarios is more likely to play a role in CILC, and why.

Keywords: L1, L2, acquisition, transfer, contact-induced linguistic change, language

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