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Language Variation and Change

Prof. Dr. Marianne Hundt Wintersemester 2005/06

Language contact
Prof. Dr. Marianne Hundt Wintersemester 2005/06

Why does language change?


Extra-linguistic reasons
u Social u Interaction u Language

Intra-lingustic reasons
u Rule

contact

extension u Analogy u Transparency principle u Grammaticalization u Reanalysis u Naturalness

VL Language Variation and Change

Prof. Dr. M. Hundt

WS 2005/06

Language Contact
(a) Types of language contact
hostile vs. benign (conquest vs. migration) short-lived vs. long-term mediated vs. direct

(b) Directionality & agency


borrowing vs. substratum recipient vs. source-language

VL Language Variation and Change

Prof. Dr. M. Hundt

WS 2005/06

substrate [] a linguistic variety or set of forms


which has influenced the structure or use of a more dominant variety or language within a community. A substrate language [] is particularly evidenced when a language is imposed on a community, as a result of political or economic superiority, as can be seen in the many varieties of English spoken throughout the world which incorporate characteristics of a mother-tongue, e.g. in India, West Africa. (Crystal, 1991:337)
VL Language Variation and Change Prof. Dr. M. Hundt WS 2005/06 5

superstrate [] a linguistic variety or set of forms


which has influenced the structure or use of a less dominant variety or language within a community. A linguistic superstratum is usually the result of political, economic or cultural dominance []. One of the most noticeable features of superstratal influence is the increased use of loanwords. (Crystal,
1991:337)

VL Language Variation and Change

Prof. Dr. M. Hundt

WS 2005/06

Pidgin
Pidgins are formed by two mutually unintelligible speech communities attempting to communicate, each successively approximating to the more obvious features of the others language. [A pidgin is a language] with a markedly reduced grammatical structure, lexicon, and stylistic range, compared with other languages, and which is the native language of no one.
(Crystal, 1980:264)

VL Language Variation and Change

Prof. Dr. M. Hundt

WS 2005/06

Creole
A creole is a pidgin language which has become the mother-tongue variety of a speech community, as is the case in Jamaica, Haiti, []. The process of creolisation expands the structural and stylistic range of the pidginised language, such that the creolised language becomes comparable in formal and functional complexity to other languages.
(Crystal, 1980:89)

VL Language Variation and Change

Prof. Dr. M. Hundt

WS 2005/06

Language birth
Tok Pisin (pidgin stage) mi go I go yu go you go mi lukim yu I see you yu lukim mi you see me Tok Pisin (creolisation) baimbai you go you will go bambai yu go bai yu go yu bai go grammaticalisation yu bego

VL Language Variation and Change

Prof. Dr. M. Hundt

WS 2005/06

Language death
u individual

vs. community level u loss vs. death

VL Language Variation and Change

Prof. Dr. M. Hundt

WS 2005/06

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Last speakers
Nettle&Romaine (2000)

VL Language Variation and Change

Prof. Dr. M. Hundt

WS 2005/06

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Last speakers
Nettle&Romaine (2000)

VL Language Variation and Change

Prof. Dr. M. Hundt

WS 2005/06

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Last speakers
Nettle&Romaine (2000)

VL Language Variation and Change

Prof. Dr. M. Hundt

WS 2005/06

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Language death
u individual

vs. community level u loss vs. death u death, suicide, murder (Nettle&Romaine) u gradual death, sudden death, radical death, bottom-to-top death (Mesthrie, 2000)

VL Language Variation and Change

Prof. Dr. M. Hundt

WS 2005/06

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Recommended Reading
Aitchison, Jean. 1991. Language Birth. How Languages Begin. In: ibid. Language Change: Progress or Decay? Cambridge: CUP. p. 180-196. Crystal, David. 2000. Language Death. Cambridge: CUP. Nettle, Daniel and Suzanne Romaine. 2000. Vanishing Voices: The Extinction of the Worlds Languages. Oxford: OUP. Sankoff, Gillian. 2002. Linguistic Outcomes of Language Contact. In Chambers et al. Handbook of Language Variation and Change. Oxford: Blackwell. pp. 638-659. Thomason, Sarah. 2001. Language Contact: An Introduction. Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press.
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Conclusion
Prof. Dr. Marianne Hundt Wintersemester 2005/06

Parameters of variation and change


structure
correlation

use speaker situation

linguistic variable

social variable
possible outcome

stable variation

language variation

possible outcome

(ongoing) change

VL Language Variation and Change

Prof. Dr. M. Hundt

WS 2005/06

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Sociolinguistic competence
u u u u u

repertoire of individual members of a speech community include different varieties of the same language variation described in terms of region, social class, gender, age and ethnicity language acquisition also means: learning how to use varieties of the same language appropriately knowledge involves knowing about the relative status and function of different varieties in the community speakers of a non-standard variety need to acquire knowledge of the standard language as part of their repertoire/ sociolinguistic competence
Prof. Dr. M. Hundt WS 2005/06 18

VL Language Variation and Change

Sociolinguistic dimensions
u solidarity

social distance u status power u formality u function

VL Language Variation and Change

Prof. Dr. M. Hundt

WS 2005/06

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Sociolinguistic universals
u solidarity

+ status/power + formality

u status/power

u functions

+ solidarity + power

VL Language Variation and Change

Prof. Dr. M. Hundt

WS 2005/06

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Have a nice break!