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Tania Kuteva, Seongha Rhee, Debra Ziegeler and Jessica Sabban

This article focuses on one particular linguistic feature of Singapore Colloquial English (sce), sentence-final what, which has been referred to as an ‘objection particle’.

sce (Smith, 1985: 126)

Context: Discussion of a student who is going overseas for one month and will be missing classes.

a. He’ll never pass the third year.

b. It’s only for one month what.

Sentence-final what in sce is analyzed in its (synchronic) behavior and (diachronic) development, and the proposal made by the authors is that sentence-final what is a result of a process which started in British English.

Anna Mikhaylova

The Bottleneck Hypothesis (Slabakova, 2008) assumes functional morphology to be a particular challenge in second language (L2) acquisition whereas acquisition of syntax and semantics to be unproblematic. I propose, following Polinsky (2011), that functional morphology can be seen as an acquisitional bottleneck for heritage language (hl) speakers as well. Russian verbal aspect is known to be problematic in bilingual Russian children (Anstatt, 2008; Gupol, 2009), in adult foreign language learners (Slabakova, 2005, Nossalik, 2009) and in Russian heritage speakers of low (Polinsky, 2008) and even near-native fluency (Laleko, 2010).

This comprehension study tested fluent and literate English dominant hl speakers of Russian on their interpretation of lexical and grammatical aspect. The findings suggest that the semantics and syntax of aspect were unproblematic, but aspectual morphology played both a facilitative and a hindering role in the comprehension of aspectual distinctions. In the untimed Semantic Entailments task, where participants chose the most logical continuation of an utterance, the morphological complexity of secondary imperfectives coupled with their semantic complexity, hindered hl interpretations. In contrast, in the Stop-Making-Sense self-paced reading task, in which participants read sentences one word at a time, the idiosyncratic morphology marking lexical aspect hindered hl processing, while the regular mechanism of marking grammatical aspect facilitated it.

Jérôme Lentin and Catherine Taine-Cheikh

With this detailed and comprehensive survey, Maarten Kossmann provides not only Berberists and Arabists, but also all linguists interested in language contact and related issues, with an impressive amount of data and with food for thought. Based on considerable documentation, his work offers a synthesis that had never been attempted before of most of the elements in the Maghrebian Berber languages that could be considered to be borrowings from Arabic, with a careful evaluation, in each case, of the validity of such an attribution. For this purpose, the author gives a summary of the relevant Arabic facts, followed by a detailed account of the Berber ones, which often leads him to real small monographic treatments of problems. From this point of view, his work can be considered, at least regarding the many issues studied, a historical and comparative grammar of ‘Northern Berber’. Therefore it seemed to us that this significant work deserved far more than a short notice, and we decided to review it in detail.

Csilla-Anna Wilhelm

This paper explores patterns in the integration of Hungarian and Romanian nouns as well as adjectives in the German dialect of the speech community of Palota, a German Sprachinsel in North-West-Romania. The main focus of the study is on both inflectional and derivational noun and adjective morphologies and on how they behave in the case of some more or less distantly related contact languages. Based on a select number of examples from first hand data and following standard code-mixing models such as that of Muysken (2000) and Myers-Scotton’s (1993, 2002) mlf model, it establishes a typology of code-mixing morphology ranging from more matrix language-like, i.e. German-like to more embedded language-like, i.e. Hungarian- and Romanian-like patterns and bare forms, suggesting an ongoing shifting process in the local German dialect of Palota towards a fused lect (Auer 1998). In terms of linguistic complexity, the present paper argues that this language shift process favour simplification of morphology in some domains, but also complexification in some other domains, supporting the idea that languages in long-term intensive contact settings become linguistically more complex (Trudgill, 2010, 2011; Fenyvesi, 2005; de Groot, 2005, 2008).

Dineke Schokkin

Many studies have focused on substrate influence on the creole languages of Melanesia – Tok Pisin, Solomons Pijin and Bislama. The same cannot be said with regard to influence in the opposite direction: contact-induced change occurring in local vernaculars due to pressure from the creole. This paper presents a case study of several instances of structural borrowing and semantic category change in Paluai, an Oceanic language spoken in Papua New Guinea. It is shown that a number of functional elements originating from Tok Pisin are now firmly embedded in Paluai grammar: two verbs, gat and inap, and a conjunction, taim. Moreover, semantic categories are undergoing change and possibly attrition due to many-to-one correspondences. This suggests that it is important to view language contact situations as dynamic and involving two-way processes of change.

David Natvig

Using loanword data from Haugen (1953), this paper investigates variation in vowel integrations of English loanwords in the Norwegian among 19th century Norwegian immigrants to the United States, as first-language Norwegian and second-language English speakers. Previous research, most notably Flege (1995), has argued that speakers make use of L1 categories that are the most similar to the integrated L2 sound. In contrast, this research argues that the “most similar,” as well as less similar but attested, L1 integrated phonemes can be understood through the Lahiri and Reetz (2002) Underspecified Recognition model, where phonetic features of L2 input sounds are mapped onto hierarchically organized L1 distinctive features (i.e., Dresher, 2009).

Janne Bondi Johannessen and Signe Laake

The American Midwest is an area that stretches over huge distances. Yet it seems that the Norwegian language in this whole area has some similarities, particularly at the lexical level. Comparisons of three types of vocabulary across the whole area, as well as across time, building on accounts in the previous literature from Haugen (1953) onwards, are carried out. The results of these comparisons convince the authors that it is justified to refer to this language as one lexically defined dialect, which we call lexicolect.