Dynamics of Contact-Induced Language Change
Ed. by Chamoreau, Claudine / Léglise, Isabelle
Aims and Scope
The volume deals with previously undescribed morphosyntactic variations and changes appearing in settings involving language contact. Contact-induced changes are defined as dynamic and multiple, involving internal change as well as historical and sociolinguistic factors. A variety of explanations are identified and their relationships are analyzed. Only a multifaceted methodology enables this fine-grained approach to contact-induced change. A range of methodologies are proposed, but the chapters generally have their roots in a typological perspective. The contributors recognize the precautionary principle: for example, they emphasize the difficulty of studying languages that have not been described adequately and for which diachronic data are not extensive or reliable.
Three main perspectives on contact-induced language change are presented. The first explores the role of multilingual speakers in contact-induced language change, especially their spontaneous innovations in discourse. The second explores the differences between ordinary contact-induced change and change in endangered languages. The third discusses various aspects of the relationship between contact-induced change and internal change.
"Meagre and inconclusive data are a persistent problem in contact linguistics,
which combined with the subtlety of many aspects of contact such as code
copying means that perhaps little can actually be proven to the extent of
being watertight. However, through work which teases apart the complexities of contact in particular situations, while relating these details to general
problems, we gradually move forward at least towards a fuller understanding of the forces which can play a role in these processes. This book is a valuable
contribution in that direction."
Thomas Owen-Smith in: Linguist List 24.500