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Contact-induced grammatical change: towards an explicit account

Lucas, Christopher (2012) 'Contact-induced grammatical change: towards an explicit account.' Diachronica, 29 (3). pp. 275-300.

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Abstract

Language contact plays a key part among the factors leading to change in grammars, and yet the study of syntactic change, especially in the generative or innatist tradition, has tended to neglect the role of contact in this process. At the same time, much work on contact-induced change remains largely descriptive, with theoretical discussion often restricted to the putative limits on borrowing. This article aims at moving beyond these restrictions by outlining a psycholinguistically- based account of some of the ways in which contact leads to change. This account takes Van Coetsem 19s (1988, 2000) distinction between recipient-language and source-language agentivity as its starting point, building on this insight in the light of work on language acquisition and first language attrition, and showing how these principles can be integrated into a unified acquisitionist model of syntactic change in general. The model is then applied to case studies of contact-induced syntactic change in Yiddish and Berber.

Item Type: Articles
Keywords: language contact
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East
Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of Linguistics
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
ISSN: 01764225
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): 10.1075/dia.29.3.01luc
Depositing User: Chris Lucas
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2012 08:53
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/14522

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