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Language contact and language change in multilingual contexts

journal contribution
posted on 28.10.2021, 21:23 by Alexandra AikhenvaldAlexandra Aikhenvald, Péter Maitz
Each language community (save for a very few confined to a distant island or an inaccessible mountain valley) is in contact with other communities, speaking different languages. The communities will interact, through trade, shared festivals and rituals, inter-marriage, and maybe wars. Through all this, their languages change. They may come to sound more similar. They may borrow some lexical items and forms from closed classes, and even bound morphemes. And some structural and organisational features of the languages may also converge. Profound restructuring may occur, and new contact languages emerge. The extent of this varies, depending on numerous social and cultural factors, including the degrees of speakers’ knowledge of each other’s languages, the domains in which different languages are used, and the type of language contact. And also the degrees of speakers’ awareness and appreciation of their linguistic repertoires, and sense of purism. A steadily growing body of literature on language contact and subsequent language change reflects the importance of this interaction in its many guises.

History

Volume

33

Issue

1

Start Page

69

End Page

78

Number of Pages

10

ISSN

1120-2726

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

Yes

External Author Affiliations

University of Bern, Switzerland

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Italian Journal of Linguistics