Language Contact and Bilingualism

Language Contact and Bilingualism

René Appel
Pieter Muysken
Copyright Date: 2005
Pages: 228
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  • Book Info
    Language Contact and Bilingualism
    Book Description:

    What happens - sociologically, linguistically, educationally, politically - when more than one language is in regular use in a community? How do speakers handle these languages simultaneously, and what influence does this language contact have on the languages involved? Although most people in the world use more than one language in everyday life, the approach to the study of language has usually been that monolingualism is the norm. The recent interest in bilingualism and language contact has led to a number of new approaches, based on research in communities in many different parts of the world. This book draws together this diverse research, looking at examples from many different situations, to present the topic in any easily accessible form. Language contact is looked at from four distinct perspectives. The authors consider bilingual societies; bilingual speakers; language use in the bilingual community; finally language itself (do languages change when in contact with each other? Can they borrow rules of grammar, or just words? How can new languages emerge from language contact?). The result is a clear, concise synthesis offering a much-needed overview of this lively area of language study. This title is available in the OAPEN Library -

    eISBN: 978-90-485-0413-8
    Subjects: Linguistics

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Preface for the AAA-edition
    (pp. None)
    Pieter Muysken and René Appel
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Preface
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. 1 Introduction: Bilingualism and language contact
    (pp. 1-10)

    Imagine the history of mankind, not as a history of peoples or nations, but of the languages they speak. A history of 5000 languages, thrown together on this planet, constantly interacting. Imagine [he treaty ofVersailles nor as an event ofinternational diplomacy, but in terms of people putting on [heir best French to make themselves understood end achieve the greatest advantage. Think ofCortes' conquest ofMexico in 1532 not as an outrageous narrative ofbravery, cruetry end betrayal, but in terms of the crurial role of his Indian ruistress Malinche, interpreter between Aztee and Spanish. Think of the sugar plantations, where [he uprooted...

  6. I Social aspects of the bilingual community
    • 2 Language and identity
      (pp. 11-21)

      Sançak is an eight-year-old Turkish boy who has lived in the Netherlands for about five years. Approximate1y halfofthe children ofthe school he attends are ofTurkish or Moroccan nationality. Their fathers had come 10 the Netherlands as migrant workers, and later on their families came over. The language of [he classroom is Duteh, but rhe four Turkish chiJdren have one morning per week instructien in Turkish by a Turkish teacher (in a separate classroom). Sançak is a very sociable child, but most ofthe time he seeks the company ofMamouta, another Turkish boy. Although Mamouta generally prefers to speak Dutch, Sançak always...

    • 3 The sociology of language choice
      (pp. 22-31)

      In many communities, not one language is spoken, but several. In these communities bilingualism is the norm, ralher than the exception. The functioning of the two languages requires a particular set of norms for the speakers, and a functional specialiaation ofthe languages involved. Nare that here, as e1sewhere, we are talking about two languages, but in many situations more than twc languages are involved.Taget an idea ofthe compiexity ofthe problem, take a sirnation such as Mauritius (Moorghen and Domingue, 1982). On an island with less than a million inhabitants, over 10 languages have sizable groups ofspeakers. Most ofthese...

    • 4 Language maintenance and shift
      (pp. 32-45)

      When Dolly Pentreath died in December 1777, the last native speaker of Cornish passed away. Comishwas formerly spoken by thousands ofpeopie in Cornwall, but the community of Cornish speakers did not succeed in maintaining irs language under the pressure of English, the prestigious majority language and national language. Ta put it differently: rhe Cornish community shifted from Comish to English (cf. Pool, 1982). Such a process seems to be going on in many bilingual communities. More and more speakers use [he majcrity language in domains where they formerly spoke [he minoriry tongue. They adopt rhe majority language as their regular...

    • 5 Language planning
      (pp. 46-58)

      India is linguistically one ofthe most heterogeneous nations of'the world: the number oflanguages spoken is at least 800. It would he much higher if many dialects are considered not as varieties of the same Janguage, but as separate langueges. The languages spoken in India belong to four language families: Indo-Aryan, Dravidian, Austro-Asiatic, and Tibeto-Burman. Languages from the first two families have by far the most mother-tongue speakers (about 70 per cent and about 25 per cent ofthe population, respectively).

      After gaining independenee in 1947, the federal guvemment established the following language policy. English should be replaced by Hindi as the...

    • 6 Bilingual education
      (pp. 59-72)

      ft would seem only natura! that children in bilingual communities should have the opportunîty te be educated in two languages: the language of the home and the ianguage of ether groups in the community. But the reality is different. In most bilingual communities the two (or more) languages do oot have equal status. Side by side with majority languages, which have prestige and positive social-economic connotations, there are the minority languages, often associated with low socialeconomie status and lack of educarional achievement. They are more or less stigmatized, and not considered as suitable vehicles for communication in school or subjecte...

  7. II The bilingual speaker
    • 7 Psychological dimensions of bilingualism
      (pp. 73-81)

      In this book we are mainly coneerried with individual or collecrive language behaViOUT in bilingual communities. However, language behaviour is possible because of some sort of underlying competence. People possess implicit knowledge of the language(s) they speak and/or understand, or 10 put fr differently: they have more or less internalized the language. An interesting question, the focus of this chapter, is how are the (wo languages ofbilingual individuals internalized? Do bilinguals difTer from monolinguals in this respect? In the first section we win discuss the problem of neural representation ofthe two languages. Are they localized in the same area or...

    • 8 Second-language acquisition
      (pp. 82-100)

      In chapter 3 we pointed out that diglossie speech communities without (individual) bilingualism virtually do not exist. This implies thar in bilingual communities many people have to !earn two languages, particularly those speaking a minority language. In addition to their vernacular they acquire a second language, often the rnajority language or another language ofwider communication: a Turkish immigrant worker in Germany leams German, a speaker ofLotuho in Sudan tearus Arabic, a speaker of one ofthe Aboriginallanguages in Australia learns English, etc. Members ofminority groups must attain a certain degree ofbilingualism ifthey wam ro partleipare in mainstream society. Speakers ofa majority...

    • 9 The effects of bilingualism
      (pp. 101-116)

      'Subject408/16thinks that a person who is permanently in contact with (wo tongues does not speek either ofthem correctly. This leads 10a feeling ofinsecurity and may lead ra timidity or even ta an mferiority complex.' These are the feelings ofone ofthe bilingual European informants, speaking a variety of languages end from different groups end natinnalities, in a questionnaire study by Vildomec (1963:213). Another subject reported rhat 'there is interference with concentrared and able use of one language', she is 'always hindered byarrière-penseesor vividness ofa partjeular word in another tongue' (p. 213). The ideas of these two subjects,...

  8. III Language use in the bilingual community
    • 10 Code switching and code mixing
      (pp. 117-128)

      In many situations speakers make use ofthe grammar end lexicon ofjust one language when producing utterances, but rhis is not absolutely necessary. Thus we find utterances of the fcllowing type:

      This type ofutterance, known as code mixing, bas been studied in considerable detail since about 1970, from aioaotinguiuicpoint of view: why do people switch between languages; from apsychotinguisticpoint of view: what aspects of their language capaciry enable them to switch; end from alinguisticpoint ofview: how do we know that they are really switching and have not simply introduced an element from another language into...

    • 11 Strategies of neutrality
      (pp. 129-137)

      When you call train information in Toronto, the automatic answering tape says HERE VIA RAIL/IC! VIA RAIL, underlining the cernpany's wish to present itself as a truly narional enterprise in a bilingual nation. In the same way the national government in Canada is carefut (o preserve neutrality, in its policies and publications, with respect to bath the Engiish-speaking and the French-speaking population. The way in which neutraliry is achieved is by using bath languages, but this language doubling is but one ofthe strategies that cao be employed to be neutral. This chaprer is devoted (o a more systematic exploration ofthese...

    • 12 Strategies and problems in bilingual interaction
      (pp. 138-152)

      In bilingual communities the [act that different people speak different languages corresponds to a division in different communicative networks. Take for instanee West Berlin. The (native German) Berliners will tend tospeak to ether Berliners, and rhe 300,000 Turks living rhere will tend to speek to other Turks. The seciel division allows the linguistic separation to continue, and is symbolically expressed by it. At the same time rhe linguistic separation helps to maintain the social division. Ignorance of German for Turks means being cut off from access to desirable jobs; ignorance ofTurkish for Germans implies, amcng many orher things, net knowing...

  9. IV Linguistic consequences
    • 13 Language contact and language change
      (pp. 153-163)

      Cao one language influence anorher ene structurally? Or, put differently, can languages borrow from each ether? This issue has been hotly debated, both in historical linguistics and in language contact studies, and na consensus bas been reached. Doe ofthe reasons for this is that there are widely divergent views on what language is really like. At opposite ends we find the 'system' view end the 'bag of tricks' view. The system view holds that languages, or more specifically grammars, are tightly organized wholes, of which all elements are related by complex syntagmatic and paradigmatic re1ationships. A prominent advocate ofthe system...

    • 14 Lexical borrowing
      (pp. 164-174)

      It is hard ro imagine a language rhat has not borrowed words from some ether language, jus! as there is no culture rhat has developed entire1y from scratch. At the same time it is amazing how this simple [act oflinguistic life is hard 10accept for the speakers ofthe language involved. English-speaking people tend 10scoffat the purist polides ofsome sectors ofthe French gcvernment, aimed at blocking the wave of foreign, mostly English, words entering inro French usage. Nonetheless, linguistic purism is extremely widespread and enjoys popuJar support in most counrries. Since vocabulary, as we noted in chapter 11, is per haps...

    • 15 Pidgins and creoles
      (pp. 175-186)

      Not only cao ooe language take over elements from another ene, but en entire1y new language cao emerge in situations of ianguage contact. In the field of pidgin and creole studies the rnain question is how, exactly, a new language cao come into existence, and how the particular grammatica! properties of the newly formed languages, pidgins and creoles, are related to the way in which they have emerged. A pidgin language is generally defined as a strongly reduced linguistic system that is used for incidental centacts between speakers of different languages, and that is the native language ofnobody (DeCamp, 1971)....

  10. References
    (pp. 187-200)
  11. Index to languages and countries
    (pp. 201-205)
  12. Subject index
    (pp. 206-209)
  13. Author index
    (pp. 210-214)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 215-216)