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Abstract

Chaplinski Yupik (also often referred to as Siberian Yupik), a critically endangered Eskimo language spoken on the Bering coast in the north-eastern Siberia, shows numerous traces of language contact with Chukchi. A striking example is Chaplinski Yupik personal names, a significant part of which have Chukchi origin. In this study Chaplinski Yupik names are analyzed based on the genealogies of Chaplinski Yupik people compiled in 1970–1980s. The article focuses on phonological and grammatical adaptation of Chukchi names in Chaplinski Yupik. The case of personal names clearly reflects the history of Chukchi-Yupik language contact in the area – from an asymmetrical contact situation (the knowledge of Chukchi was common among Yupik speakers but not vice versa) and regarding Chukchi as a more prestigious language to a gradual loss of Chukchi-Yupik bilingualism by the end of the 20th century.

Open Access
In: Journal of Language Contact

Abstract

The Dolgan language is a Turkic variety, closely related to Sakha but differing from it due to contact, primarily with Evenki (Tungusic). We analyze the linguistic identity of translocal Dolgan communities in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) in the Anabar District, which is home to a minority of the larger group of Dolgan people. Linguistically, Anabar Dolgan is best classified as a northern Sakha variety with significant lexical borrowings from Tungusic. Anabar Dolgans consider it a separate language, and see themselves as speaking Dolgan, Sakha, or a mixture of the two. Their strong sense of Dolgan identity comes from an attachment to language, culture, and territory, an identity reinforced by social ties with and ongoing migrations to and from the Taimyr Dolgan-Nenets District, home to the majority of Dolgans. Data come from sociolinguistic questionnaires, structured interviews, and linguistic elicitation with 50 respondents, and a subset of open-ended interviews.

Open Access
In: Journal of Language Contact

Abstract

The paper analyses on the basis of new fielddata the transformations of kinship terminologies in three Even dialects which have come about through cultural and linguistic contacts. We investigate two possible sources of change. First, the adaptation of kinship terminology to the ways of subsistence, such that, e.g., hunting and gathering cultures preferably use one, while herding cultures prefer other types of kinship systems, with the corollary that shifts in subsistence type can lead to shifts in the kinship terminology. Second, linguistic and cultural convergence, whereby in multilingual groups either one group adapts its terminology to the system of the dominant group or, in the situation of symmetrical multilingualism, both groups change their kinship systems to accommodate to each other. We argue that both causes, the cultural and the linguistic ones, are at work in the Even communities investigated in the paper.

In: Journal of Language Contact
Free access
In: Journal of Language Contact

Abstract

In addition to canonical noun incorporation, Chukchi exhibits other kinds of incorporating morphology that are consistent with polysynthesis but have seldom been considered as part of a unified morphological phenomenon. This paper examines different patterns of incorporation in Chukchi across time and asks: what are the useful loci of variation for typological comparison, how do these distinct patterns emerge diachronically, and how do these features spread in contact? I consider the existing documentation of Chukchi from the early 20th century through the present, including modern data which exhibits some novel patterns. Consistent with previous investigations of Chukchi in contact (Bogoras, 1922; de Reuse, 1994; Pupynina and Aralova, 2021), I demonstrate that the effects Chukchi has had on other languages is greater than the reverse: many morphological phenomena in Chukchi are internally-motivated and emerge from speakers’ reliance on incorporation as a discourse strategy. Specifically, I provide a unified analysis of incorporation across the nominal and verbal domains, valency-changing derivational morphology, and inflectional morphology built on the morpheme -in(e), which I argue functions as a generic underspecified noun in the language. In the realm of language contact, I propose a cline to model patterns in the borrowing of derivational phenomena like incorporation, and present shared patterns in Chukchi, Central Siberian Yupik, and Even which support this cline. Finally, I examine data from Chukchi as it is spoken today and argue that the historical linguistic ecology of northeastern Siberia has made it possible for incorporation to remain highly productive even with significant shift to Russian.

In: Journal of Language Contact
In: Journal of Language Contact

Abstract

The paper deals with recent contact-induced changes in the grammar of two languages of the Lower Kolyma tundra, Tundra Yukaghir (TY) and Lower Kolyma Even (LKE). The morphosyntax of these languages has undergone a rather strong influence from Sakha in the course of the 20th century. The investigation focusses on the structural copying of Sakha patterns into TY and LKE, which resulted in the emergence of several new categories, in particular, the future imperative, the necessitive based on the future participle with or without proprietive marking, evaluative morphology, and contrastive markers deriving from the converbs of the copula verb. In addition, the TY system of differential object marking has changed under the influence of Sakha. These phenomena are interpreted against their historical and sociolinguistic settings, specifically, the types of multilingual situations in the region. The ramifications of the findings for the theory of language contact are also discussed.

Open Access
In: Journal of Language Contact

Abstract

The article presents the results of a longitudinal study of the language situation in a multilingual village of Andryushkino (northeast of the Sakha Republic). It is one of two localities where the endangered Tundra Yukaghir (TY) language is still used. Data on TY proficiency were collected in this village by one of the authors in 1987 and then, 35 years later, by the other author in 2022. In both cases, the same methodology for assessing the degree of language competence (DLC) with the help of experts was used. Comparison of data from 1987 and 2022 shows a significant decrease in DLC in younger and middle-aged generations. Our data include 13 people whose DLC was assessed in both studies. The degree of TY competence in six cases out of thirteen has increased over 35 years. The article provides several possible explanations for this growth against the background of linguistic biographies of the speakers and the multicultural and multilingual environment of the village of Andryushkino.

In: Journal of Language Contact
Free access
In: Journal of Language Contact

Abstract

Chinese Buddhist translations are an outstanding source of information on Middle Chinese. In the last three decades, Buddhist Chinese has increasingly gained the attention of historical linguists interested in the linguistic peculiarities of the Chinese sutras. Different hypotheses have been proposed to explain the unusual grammatical features occurring in Buddhist translations, which have been described either as vernacular elements surfacing in the language of the translations or as the product of grammatical interference with the Indic source-texts. This paper aims to provide a concise theoretical framework for the phenomenon of grammatical interference through Chinese Buddhist translations, arguing that the vernacular hypothesis appears to be more tenable.

In: Journal of Language Contact