Language Contact: A Multidimensional Perspective

Since the inception of modern contact linguistics through the works of Weinreich (1953) and Haugen (1953), numerous investigators have studied the manifestations of language contact across different disciplines, naturally adopting varied perspectives and approaches relevant to their particular field of inquiry. In spite of the many approaches and interests, quite simply, when speakers of different languages interact closely, it is typical for their languages to influence each other. The influence could be as common as the exchange of words or what is termed vocabulary borrowing in the literature. It can also go deeper, extending to the exchange of even basic characteristics of a language, such as morphology and grammar. In some cases, the result of the contact of two languages can be the replacement of one by the other. This is most common in asymmetric relationships between languages, and sometimes leads to language shift and death. The present volume is unique in that it brings together research by distinguished scholars and other highly talented investigators from across the world to offer a multidimensional exploration of the field. The individual chapters present contemporary discussions and analyses of the topics, grouped into three parts.

Kelechukwu U Ihemere is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Westminster. He was educated at the University of Newcastle, where he studied for an MA and PhD in Linguistics. He is the author of A Tri-generational Study of Language Choice and Shift in Port Harcourt, and editor of the volume Language Contact and Language Shift: Grammatical and Sociolinguistic Perspectives.

“This is a fresh and innovative volume: it is a reader, but instead of reprinting a set of classical papers, it presents a well-structured collection of original cutting edge research. The whole volume and the sections are supported by extensive introductions by the editor; and the papers are followed by exercises. This unique combination of reader format and previously unpublished research makes the book interesting for . . . specialists looking for . . . new developments as well as for teachers who value the use of authentic texts in graduate courses. . . . [E]xtra value is added by a very wide coverage of languages which can rarely be encountered in single authored textbooks.”
– Professor Martin Ehala, Institute of Estonian and General Linguistics, University of Tartu, Estonia

“This compilation of papers from distinguished scholars and emerging researchers offers a broad overview of language contact issues. The case studies presented here describe contact between a diverse range of languages from almost every continent, and the contributions discuss a range of language contact phenomena including borrowing, code switching, pidgins, language shift and endangerment, and attitudes to language. One innovative feature of this volume, which should appeal to students and teachers of language contact, is the inclusion of exercises relating to each chapter, along with further reading suggestions.”
– Dr Steve Nicolle, Head, Department of Linguistics and Translation, Africa International University, Nairobi, Kenya

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ISBN: 1-4438-4401-2

ISBN13: 978-1-4438-4401-7

Release Date: 17th January 2013

Pages: 320

Price: £49.99