Working Papers in Linguistics: Volume 57 (Summer 2003)

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Code-Switching Behavior as a Strategy for Maya-Mam Linguistic Revitalization
Collins, Wesley M. pp. 1-39
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Defining the Outcome of Language Contact: Old English and Old Norse
Dawson, Hope C. pp. 40-57
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From Taxonomy to Typology: The Features of Lexical Contact Phenomena in Atepec Zapotec-Spanish Linguistic Contact
Hilts, Craig pp. 58-99
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An Evaluation of German-Croatian Contact
Nuckols, Mark E. pp. 100-119
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Looking for Roots in the Substrate: The Cases of Ebonics and Anglo-Irish
Odlin, Terence pp. 120-128
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Contact-Induced Changes -- Classification and Processes
Winford, Donald pp. 129-150
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    Code-Switching Behavior as a Strategy for Maya-Mam Linguistic Revitalization
    (Ohio State University. Department of Linguistics, 2003) Collins, Wesley M.
    Since 1991, Fishman has carved out a “new” area of focus for research and linguistic activism—the Reversal of Language Shift (RLS)— within the general field of the Sociology of Language. In this article, I discuss a strategy of RLS employed by educated speakers of Maya-Mam, an endangered language of Guatemala. Less-educated Mam routinely code-switch to Spanish, while educated speakers categorically do not. Communication Accommodation Theory (Giles & Powesland 1975) offers a framework for accounting for this distinctive behavior through consideration of convergence and divergence strategies aimed at constructing positive social identities (Tajfel 1974). I briefly discuss this code-switching behavior, and compare people’s opinions about it as a positive or negative communication accommodation. I suggest that the initiative of Mam teachers in “purifying the language” is supportive of their overall goal of RLS and Mam revitalization.
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    Defining the Outcome of Language Contact: Old English and Old Norse
    (Ohio State University. Department of Linguistics, 2003) Dawson, Hope C.
    The English language throughout its 1500 year history has been impacted by socio-historical developments and changes. One such development took place in Old English: the invasion of England by Norse tribes from c. 800-1000 A.D. was a series of events which had a significant and lasting impact on all areas of the English language. The nature of that social situation and the linguistic outcome is of interest in contact linguistics; in particular, the application by some of terms such as creolization and creole to this process and its outcome has been controversial. In this paper, I examine the English-Norse contact situation and its effects on English and propose that the linguistic outcome of this contact was a koine, and show that this account can better describe the effects of this contact situation on the English language.
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    From Taxonomy to Typology: The Features of Lexical Contact Phenomena in Atepec Zapotec-Spanish Linguistic Contact
    (Ohio State University. Department of Linguistics, 2003) Hilts, Craig
    In this paper, I begin with an examination of what constitutes a borrowing from one language to another with particular reference to lexical borrowing. I develop a set of three aspects of words/lexemes that can serve as features within the context of borrowing and as a model for their representation to be used to account for lexical contact phenomena, and compare them with characteristics used in previous descriptions of these phenomena. I then apply a featural analysis to the currently accepted taxonomy in order to demonstrate its lack of consistency in arbitrarily excluding a part of the lexical results of cultural contact and in failing to distinguish crucial differences in the agentivity of change. I argue that, by using these features, the full scope of lexical contact phenomena can be described. Using a derived and coherent terminology, I apply the features to the results of Atepec Zapotec (AZ)-Spanish (Sp) contact and conclude with a discussion of possible uses of this typology in terms of other areas of contact linguistics.
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    An Evaluation of German-Croatian Contact
    (Ohio State University. Department of Linguistics, 2003) Nuckols, Mark E.
    This paper is a study of the influence of German on Croatian. It attempts to provide a historical background and to summarize and evaluate the linguistic findings of some scholars in the field. The study focuses mainly on the period 1526–1918, when the Kingdom of Croatia, Slavonia, and Dalmatia was under the political control of the Habsburg Empire, and it is also limited to the contact in those areas of the Croatian-speaking world that were under Habsburg rule, i.e. Croatia and Slavonia, not Dalmatia. I consider the socio-historical context of the contact and the history of the Croatian literary language before examining specifically the results of contact which are visible in the Croatian language of today. In evaluating the results of contact, I draw largely on the criteria developed by Thomason and Kaufman (1988), as well as on the work of other scholars and my own observations. Although the influence of German on Croatian is almost exclusively lexical, calquing from German is extensive and points to a higher degree of contact than might be expected: The large number of loanshifts and loanblends indicates a higher degree of bilingualism than pure loanwords would suggest.
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    Looking for Roots in the Substrate: The Cases of Ebonics and Anglo-Irish
    (Ohio State University. Department of Linguistics, 2003) Odlin, Terence
    Despite many differences in the sociolinguistic setting of Hiberno- English in Ireland and African-American Vernacular English in the USA, arguments about substrate influence have been invoked in both cases to promote the notion of separate linguistic identities. In the case of Ireland, Henry (1958, 1977) has insisted that the proper term to describe the vernacular now used by many in rural Ireland is “Anglo-Irish”, as opposed to “Hiberno-English” or “Irish English”, and he argues that “a new language” was created as a result of the substrate influence that became especially prominent in the nineteenth century. There have likewise been strong claims about the significance of substrate influence in African American Vernacular English, or to use the term advocated by the Oakland School Board, “Ebonics”. In 1996 the Board declared this variety to be “not a dialect of English” but instead an instance of “African Language Systems”. The arguments of Henry and of the Oakland School Board may not convince linguists that Anglo-Irish and Ebonics are indeed distinct languages, but these claims do warrant reconsidering the question of where English begins and ends.
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    Contact-Induced Changes -- Classification and Processes
    (Ohio State University. Department of Linguistics, 2003) Winford, Donald
    Traditionally, contact-induced changes in languages have been classified into two broad categories: those due to “borrowing” and those due to “interference” by an L1 or other primary language on an L2 in the course of second language acquisition (SLA). Other terms used for “interference” include “substratum influence” and “transfer”. Labels like these, unfortunately, have been used to refer both to the outcomes of language contact and to the “mechanisms” or processes that lead to such results. This imprecision in the use of key terms poses serious problems for our understanding of what is actually involved in the two types of crosslinguistic influence. Moreover, it has led to pervasive inaccuracy in our assignment of changes to one or the other category. The aim of this paper is to re-assess the conventional wisdom on the distinction between borrowing and “interference” and to clarify the processes as well as the outcomes characteristic of each. My approach is based on van Coetsem’s (1988) distinction between the mechanisms of borrowing under RL agentivity and imposition under SL agentivity, with their shared but differently implemented processes of imitation and adaptation. Crucially, this approach recognizes that the same agents may employ either kind of agentivity, and hence different psycholinguistic processes, in the same contact situation. It is the failure to recognize this that has sometimes led to inaccuracy in accounts of the nature and origins of contact-induced changes, as well as to conflicting classifications of the outcomes of contact. The present paper proposes a more rigorous and consistent classification, based on the kinds of agentivity involved.