Presentation on theme: "Sociolinguistic Typology* Deny A. Kwarywww.kwary.net *A simplified version of the lecture given by Prof. Peter Trudgill at the University of Agder, Norway,"— Presentation transcript:
Sociolinguistic Typology* Deny A. Kwarywww.kwary.net *A simplified version of the lecture given by Prof. Peter Trudgill at the University of Agder, Norway, 26 May 2009.
Main Concept Linguistic Typologists: Contact and Complexification Sociolinguists & Dialectologists: Contact and Simplification Sociolinguistic Typology: Contact vs. Isolation
A. Contact and Complexification (1) Nichols (1992: 294-301) on Complexity: Highest: Amharic (Africa), Tarascan (Mesoamerica), Ket (Northern Asia). Lowest: !Kung (Africa), Mixtec (Mesoamerica), Gilyak (Northern Asia). High-complexity languages are in areas of linguistic diversity and contact. Example: Ket vs. Gilyak (next slide)
A. Contact and Complexification (2) Ket is in the area of more linguistic diversity and contact than Gilyak. Picture Source: http://webspace.ship. edu/cgboer/language families.html The Ket verb is notoriously complex; its morphology can involve tense and subject-number suppletion, discontinuous roots, and the prefixation, suffixation, and infixing of diverse series of agent and patient markers. (http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/315634/Ket-language)
A. Contact and Complexification (3) Nichols (1992: 193): “It can be concluded that contact among languages fosters complexity, or, put differently, diversity among neighbouring languages fosters complexity in each of the languages.” The contact will have to be long-term contact situations involving childhood–and therefore proficient bilingualism.
B. Contact and Simplification Types of Simplification: 1.Regularisation of Irregularities 2.Increase in transparency 3.Loss of redundancy
B.1. Regularisation of Irregularities English Language: Help (present) – Holp (past) Help (present) – Helped (past) Cow (singular) – Kine (plural) Cow (singular) – Cows (plural)
B.2. Increase in transparency (1) English Language Twice Two times Seldom Not often ‘Two times’ and ‘not often’ are more transparent than ‘twice’ and ‘seldom’, respectively. See the Corpus Evidence on the Next Slide: BNC (British National Corpus) published in 1994 vs. BAWE (British Academic Written English) published in 2008.
B.2. Increase in transparency (2) twice two times % for two times seldom not often % for not often BNC 6087153 2.45% 1469480 24.63% BAWE 23712 4.82% 3418 34.62% *The calculation is based on www.sketchengine.co.uk The corpus evidence shows that the percentages of using ‘two times’ and ‘not often’—the more transparent forms— have increased. BNC, 100 million words, UK, 1980 – 1993. BAWE, UK, 6.5 million words, UK, 2004 – 2007.
B.3. Loss of Redundancy (1) Loss of repetition of information In Indonesian language: Old manuscript: banyak rumah-rumah ‘many houses’ New manuscript: banyak rumah ‘many house’ Loss of morphological categories: Faroese has undergone fewer changes than the continental Scandinavian languages (Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish).
For example: The adjective narrow has 3 forms in Norwegian, but 2 stems and 11 different forms in Faroese. Compared to Faroese, Norwegian has undergone considerable loss of morphological complexity. B.3. Loss of Redundancy (2)
B.3. Loss of Redundancy (3) Faroese has been a relatively isolated language over the last millennium. Contact has played an important role in the developments in continental Scandinavian. Adult language and dialect contact, because of the diminished language-learning abilities of speakers who have passed the critical threshold, favor pidginization. (Notice that pidginization is a process which occurs wherever adult language acquisition takes place, and only in very exceptional circumstances leads to the development of a pidgin language.)
Conclusion 1.High-contact, long term pre-critical threshold contact situations are more likely to lead to additive (and only additive) complexification; 2.High-contact, short term post-critical threshold contact situations are more likely to lead to simplification; 3.Low contact situations are likely to lead to preservation of existing complexity.
References http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/languagefamilies.html. Posted July 15, 2000; revisions posted November 25, 2003. http://www.sketchengine.co.uk. Accessed 29 June 2009. Ket language. (2009). In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved July 14, 2009, from Encyclopaedia Britannica Online: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/315634/Ket-language Nichols, Johanna. 1992. Linguistic diversity in space and time. Chicago: Chicago University Press. Trudgill, Peter. 2002. Linguistic and social typology. In J. K. Chambers, N. Schilling-Estes and P. Trudgill (eds.) Handbook of Linguistic Variation and Change. Oxford: Blackwell, 707-728.