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The current study explores how multilingual speakers with three typologically different languages (satellite-framed, verb-framed and equipollent-framed) encode and gauge event similarity in the domain of caused motion. Specifically, it addresses whether, and to what extent, the acquisition of an L2-English and an L3-Japanese reconstructs the lexicalization and conceptualization patterns established in the L1-Cantonese when the target language is actively involved in the decision-making process. Results show that multilingual speakers demonstrated an ongoing process of cognitive restructuring towards the target language (L3) in both linguistic encoding (event structures and semantic representations) and non-linguistic conceptualization (reaction time). And the degree of the restructuring is modulated by the amount of language contact with the L2 and L3. The study suggests that learning a language means internalizing a new way of thinking and provides positive evidence for L3-biased cognitive restructuring within the framework of thinking-for-speaking.
This paper investigates the expression of grammatical gender in Heritage Argentine Danish. We examine a subset of the Corpus of South American Danish of approximately 20,500 tokens of gender marking produced by 90 speakers. The results show that Argentine Danish gender marking in general complies with the Standard Denmark Danish rules. However, there is also systematic variation: While there is hardly any difference compared to Standard Denmark Danish with respect to the definite suffix, gender marking on prenominal determiners differs from that in Standard Danish. More specifically, the less frequent neuter gender is more vulnerable, and common gender tends to be overgeneralized. Further, complex NPs with attributive adjectives show more variation in gender marking on prenominal determiners than simple NPs. As to sociolinguistic variation, the analysis shows that tokens produced by older speakers and speakers from settlements with a higher degree of language maintenance are consistent to a higher degree with Standard Danish gender marking. The paper compares these results with the results of studies of gender marking variation in other Germanic heritage languages. We conclude that the overall stability of grammatical gender in the Germanic heritage languages is a general pattern that only partly relates to social or societal factors.*
The plethora of studies dealing with the quotative systems of English-as-native-language (ENL) varieties shows that the choice for be like is influenced by several linguistic and social factors. As for gender, most studies indicate that women are the prime users of be like. However, it is still unclear whether the same applies to English varieties that have emerged in countries with gender profiles differing from those found in ENL countries. This paper presents a case study of the quotative system of Ghanaian English based on a preliminary version of ICE-Ghana. The findings reveal that be like entered a quotative system that has been reshaped by language contact. Nonetheless, the new quotative still occupies a similar linguistic niche as that found in ENL varieties. Concerning social factors, the findings point towards a decreasing probability of be like with increasing age, but do not show a female lead. An intriguing interaction term between age and gender suggests that women in the sample are less likely to use be like the older they become compared to men. I argue that these patterns of genderlectal variation may be rooted in gender inequalities in international migration that were even stronger in the past.
The present study explores the effect of speakers’ gender in the well-known dative alternation (e.g. Mary gives John an apple vs. Mary gives an apple to John) and weighs the impact of this language-external factor against language-internal factors such as length of the constituents or semantics of the verb. Following up on previous research that explored the dative alternation across nine varieties of English, the focus of the present work will be on Jamaican English, a variety where male and female speakers seem to use the two variants differently. 615 variable dative tokens of acrolectal Jamaican English speech were annotated for eleven language-internal and three language-external factors and subjected to conditional random forest and mixed-effects logistic regression analyses. The results of these analyses indicate that the predictor gender plays only a marginal role vis-à-vis other language-external and -internal constraints. At the same time, if only the two most important language-internal predictors are considered, gender turns out to significantly affect dative choice with male speakers preferring the prepositional variant more than female speakers. These results not only highlight the potential of syntactic alternations to serve as sociolinguistic variables but also point to possibly different social dynamics between male and female speakers in Jamaica.
This paper explores multilingual language contact in seemingly unrelated settings: translation and English as a lingua franca, also touching on learner language. By delving into similar processes in these settings at three levels – the macro level of a language as a whole, the intermediate level of social interaction and the micro level of cognition – it argues that translation and ELF are sites of multilingual contact resulting in a degree of hybridization in the languages involved, and are thereby important drivers of language change. It is suggested that macro-level similarities in translation and ELF, such as the relative over-representation of high-frequency items and structures and untypical multiword combinations, ensue from interactional and cognitive processes where one fundamental mechanism is priming. Translations engage in cross-linguistic textual priming, while users of ELF interact with other ‘similects’ in complex second-order language contact. Both can contribute crucially to understanding processes of change and contact-induced variation.
The sounds of Indian English are distinct and recognizable to outsiders, while insiders perceive variations in how English has developed in this large diverse population. What characteristics mark the unity? Which are clues to a speaker's origins or identity? This Element synthesizes research over the past fifty years and adds to it, focusing on selected features of consonants, vowels, and suprasegmentals (stress, intonation, rhythm) to understand the characteristics of Indian English accents and sources of its uniformity and variability. These accent features, perceptible by humans and discoverable by computational approaches, may be used in expressing identity, both local and pan-Indian.
Chapter 7 will investigate the use, environment and frequency of non-standard morphosyntactic forms in English (i) when used as a specific variety of Asian English and (ii) when used as a lingua franca by Asian multilinguals. Major questions to be considered when dealing with distinctive morphosyntactic features include an investigation into the role of the speakers’ first languages in the creation of distinctive/non-standard forms or whether there is evidence for the existence of vernacular universals. The importance of corpora for investigating the comparative frequency of distinctive morphosyntactic features and the crucial significance of context and levels of formality will be stressed.
This contribution focuses on the use of geben ‘give’ as a put verb in Upper German dialects in Austria from a historical and a recent perspective. On the basis of comprehensive historical and contemporary data from German varieties and Slavic languages our analyses provide evidence for the central hypothesis that this phenomenon traces back to language contact with Czech as already suggested by various scholars in the 19th century. This assumption is also supported by the fact that Czech dát ‘give’ in put function has been accounted for since the Old Czech period as well as by its high frequency in both formal and informal Czech written texts. Moreover, our data analyses show that geben ‘give’ as a put verb has been and is still areally distributed along and spreading from the contact area of Czech and Upper German varieties.
This chapter covers the languages of the Greater Middle East, the region that includes the Near East, North Africa and the neighboring regions. The focus of this chapter is on Afroasiatic languages. The two branches of this family that are discussed in greatest detail here are Semitic and Berber languages. The last section delves into the issue of language contact, which is illustrated with the examples of two Afroasiatic (specifically, Semitic) languages that have been heavily influenced through language contact: Maltese and Moroccan Arabic.
This chapter addresses a number of basic facts about how languages work, and these are applied to the evolution of English in its global context. A few basic notions are introduced and defined – including dialect, accent, and variety. Widespread prejudices as to language “correctness” are compared to the notion of communicative adequacy in given contexts. All languages are found to vary, i.e. there is typically a choice between alternative realizations of linguistic entities on the language levels of pronunciation (phonetics and phonology), vocabulary (lexis), and grammar (syntax). Global varieties of English show variation on each of these levels, which can be explained by processes and principles of language change and language contact between speakers of different languages who communicate with each other and transfer forms from one language to another in bilingual or multilingual minds. Conceptualizations and categorization frameworks for the new varieties of English around the globe are introduced, including the ENL-ESL-EFL distinction and Kachru’s “Three Circles” model, as well as the “Dynamic Model” which suggests five subsequent developmental stages which newly emerging postcolonial varieties typically go through.
Historically, language contact has taken place under conditions of trade, imported slave and contract labor, military service, conquest, colonialism, migration, and urbanization. The linguistic outcomes are determined in large part by the social relations among populations — including economic, political, and demographic factors — and by the duration of contact. In some times and places, interactions between linguistically heterogeneous groups have generated (depending on one’s theoretical orientation) new languages or radically different language varieties. This article examines the formation of contact languages — understood here primarily as pidgins, creoles, and bilingual mixed languages — the history of which involves a Germanic language in a significant way.
We focus here on the resilience and sustainability of the Greek language in southern Albania, looking at it from the perspective of both economics and the ecology of language. Greek is a minority language in the region, spoken by as many as 100,000 speakers in a number of small villages and small urban centers. We chronicle here the ways in which the language has survived despite a near-perfect storm of factors working against it, and we provide an economic-theory rationale. A parallel is drawn to the fate of Turkish in Bulgaria.
This chapter outlines the evolution of Englishes outside of the British Isles, with particular attention to exploitation colonies. It looks at contact between the English-speaking and indigenous language communities during Britain’s trade and colonization ventures from the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries but also highlights circumstances predating British colonization often overlooked in the field, comprising a larger group of players, in a chain of contact, such as that among various Asian communities, and with the Portuguese. Features such as tone, particles, and mixed codes are discussed; although traditionally regarded as the outcome of imperfect learning, such restructuring illustrates how, with diverse ecologies and typologies, there are no constraints on the typology of the emergent World Englishes (WEs) varieties. Also underscored is the fact that the dynamics and outcomes of contact in WEs are not distinct from those observed in scenarios in which creole languages evolve. The chapter concludes by evaluating the current and future evolution of English from contemporary contact ecologies, including computer-mediated communication, the language teaching industry, and trade.
This chapter investigates the persistence and development of so-called dialect roots, that is, features of local forms of British English that are transplanted to overseas territories. It discusses dialect input and the survival of features, independent developments within overseas communities, including realignments of features in the dialect inputs, as well as contact phenomena when English speakers interact with those of other dialects and languages. The diagnostic value of these roots is exemplified with selected cases from around the world (Newfoundland English, Liberian English, Caribbean Englishes), which are assessed with reference to the archaic/dynamic character of individual features in new-dialect formation and language-contact scenarios.
This chapter analyses the development of over thirty semantic features of South specialisation and re-analysis of words is provided, even where some English words had no endogenous potential to develop in this way. The historical data suggest that the features had propagated considerably by the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, whereas the contemporary data show that these features are more likely to appear in the spoken register. More generally, this chapter argues that even though speakers of Afrikaans and South African English have not experienced any identity alignment in the traditional sense, they have maintained a kind of racial affinity within the historical South African context, which has facilitated deep-rooted, reciprocal influence. The unmistakable role of Afrikaans as activating agent in the grammaticalisation process of these features is emphasised. The findings show that the features are often more than transfers and loan translations.
Afrikaans has been in contact for the past two centuries. Such contact and its linguistic effects have often been interpreted as a threat to the vitality or linguistic integrity of the Afrikaans language. Code-switching and code-mixing are an area of extensive influence and serve as an overt identity marker for many Afrikaans speakers, most particularly its Coloured native speakers in the Western Cape. Vocabulary borrowing, including loan translation, occur in areas where speakers of Afrikaans come into contact with a changing world through English, in domains such as government, industry, sport and entertainment, and modern technology. Grammatical changes under English influence are attested in areas where Afrikaans experiences ongoing change away from its Dutch input forms, but also show creativity on the part of Afrikaans speakers, and not simple adoption of English patterns, for instance in complementiser constructions, newly grammaticalised demonstratives, and pronominal uses of een ‘one’.
Recent discussions around the genesis of varieties of English have posed the question of whether there are certain types which in principle form a typological class (e.g. creoles). Relatively little attention has been paid to shift varieties of English, which in terms of the sociolinguistics of language contact and development form a distinct group. When a group shifts to a language it is in contact with, features can be transferred into a new variety of that language which, if maintained by later generations, form a new, focused variety of the target language.
South Africa is a country characterised by great linguistic diversity. Large indigenous languages, such as isiZulu and isiXhosa, are spoken by many millions of people, as well as the languages with European roots, such as Afrikaans and English, which are spoken by several millions and used by many more in daily life. This situation provides a plethora of contact scenarios, all of which have resulted in language variation and change, and which forms the main focus of this insightful volume. Written by a team of leading scholars, it investigates a range of sociolinguistic factors and the challenges that South Africans face as a result of multilingualism and globalisation in both education and social interaction. The historical background to English in South Africa provides a framework within which the interfaces with other languages spoken in the country are scrutinised, whilst highlighting processes of contact, bilingualism, code-switching and language shift.