Multilingual fieldwork, and emergent grammars

Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. (2013) Multilingual fieldwork, and emergent grammars. In: Proceedings of the Thirty-Third Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society, pp. 3-17. From: 33rd Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society, 9-11 February 2007, Berkley, CA, USA.

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Abstract

Languages spoken in multilingual situations constantly influence each other. Analyzing their grammars forces a fieldworker to step beyond a purely synchronic approach, so as to account for linguistic systems in constant flux. The ways in which languages adjust to each other, and yet keep separate, depend on relationships between them. Tariana, the only Arawak language in the Vaupés area in north-west Amazonia (famous for its institutionalized multilingualism), converges towards its Tucanoan neighbours by developing new morphology out of its own resources. Manambu, a Ndu language from the Sepik area of New Guinea, now spoken alongside Tok Pisin and English, is evolving parallel grammatical structures: a Manambu form (free or bound) is accompanied by its equivalent in Tok Pisin. The net result is a constant creation of multiple grammatical subsystems, and enrichment of languages.

Item ID: 29887
Item Type: Conference Item (Refereed Research Paper - E1)
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ISSN: 0363-2946
Date Deposited: 30 May 2014 01:22
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2004 Linguistics > 200408 Linguistic Structures (incl Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture @ 100%
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