Subversion of Language Structure in Heterogeneous Speech Communities: the Work of Discourse and the Part of Contact

in Journal of Language Contact

Abstract

Change is an ongoing process constitutive of human language to which will be refered by the term of dynamics. It will be worked out how mere interaction conditions the language dynamics and how the disposable structural resources will be coordinated in microsystems. Since from this point of view grammar exists as a process, it will be of interest to work out by what type of mechanisms a bilingual speaker elaborates his/her discourse. It will be discussed what can be called a (more) 'useful' construction and through what type of mechanisms the constructions get coordinated. We will argue that all discursive mechanisms are bound to satisfy the pragmatic demands of an actual speech production and that the most useful items are those which best satisfy these pragmatic demands.One of the most characteristic phenomena of the linguistic dynamics in Ivory Coast is the microsystem of LA: In a highly heterogeneous context of social interaction, LA is used in (the locally dominant) discursive traditions of French and Mande languages, undergoing a grammaticalization process separately in each of them and used - consequently - in various constructions. The wide range of its referential values, the very importance of the negotiation of discourse referents between speaker and hearer and its simple phonological form seem to predestine LA to get reappropriated and to become a 'favorite' form in the emergent speech community.

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Subversion of Language Structure in Heterogeneous Speech Communities: the Work of Discourse and the Part of Contact

in Journal of Language Contact

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