Language Contact: An Introduction by Sarah G. Thomason PDF

By Sarah G. Thomason

Language touch is all over: many countries have a couple of respectable language, and fairly almost certainly most folks on the earth converse or extra languages. What occurs to diversified peoples and to their languages after they come into touch? during this survey of the social, political and linguistic outcomes of language touch, Sarah G. Thomason makes a speciality of what occurs to the languages themselves - occasionally not anything, occasionally new phrases input a language, occasionally new sounds and sentence buildings will unfold throughout many languages in a wide nation-state; extra not often, completely new languages come up in a touch scenario. Conversely, one of many languages in touch could vanish fullyyt, and problems with language endangerment and demise are explored right here, including chapters on multilingualism, pidgins and creoles, mechanisms of interference and the origins and result of contact-induced language switch. Accessibly written by way of a number one specialist within the box, this e-book is a perfect advent for starting scholars in any respect degrees, and an invaluable source for postgraduates, academics and educational linguists.

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First, take the view that multilingualism is a highly valued skill that confers prestige on the multilingual person. The Croatian folk saying and the comments about multilingualism among Pacific Northwest Native Americans that are quoted at the beginning of this chapter are just two of many possible examples; here is another typical instance. In Native communities around Prince George, British Columbia, it is considered highly prestigious to know several languages, so people are proud of knowing several `dialects' (actually separate languages, as they are not all mutually intelligible) of the Athabaskan language Carrier and one or more of the neighboring Athabaskan languages as well, for instance Babine.

In Africa, for instance, there are both countries with side-by-side official languages ± as in Botswana (English and Setswana), Malawi (English and Chichewa), and Tanzania (English and Swahili) ± and countries with one official language beside very important but unofficial national African languages: Central African Republic (French, with Sango widely spoken), Mozambique (Portuguese, with Swahili widely spoken), Nigeria (English, with Nigerian Pidgin English, Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo also in wide use), and Sierra Leone (English, with Krio widely spoken).

This view is pervasive; it can be seen in the scholarly literature as well as in the world at large. In fact, it is quite startling to see how many scholars refer to bilingualism/multilingualism as a problem, as a phenomenon that is linked to conflict. William F. Mackey, for instance, commented in 1967 that `bilingualism . . is a problem which affects the majority of the world's population'. Louis-Jean Calvet published a book in French in 1987, and in English translation in 1998, entitled Language Wars and Linguistic Politics, in which he argues that conflict is inherent in all multilingual settings.

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Language Contact: An Introduction by Sarah G. Thomason


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