Minority languages in language contact situations: three case studies on language change
AbstractThe phenomena described in this paper ideally represent the convergence of two apparently distant fields in linguistics, namely language contact and grammatical change. Taking into account minority languages in contact with standard languages, we will show that contact itself can actually play a role in affecting the speed of ongoing changes in both the “stronger” and the “weaker” language. The intuitive idea that syntactic structures per se can be borrowed from neighboring languages will be proved false – or too coarse – as only in rare cases do grammatical phenomena manifest themselves as replicas of their counterparts in the other language: our major claim is that borrowing occurs at a more abstract level, i.e. the level of formal features.