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Volume Editors: Nikolaos Lavidas and Kiki Nikiforidou
The volume brings together contributions by scholars working in different theoretical frameworks interested in systematic explanation of language change and the interrelation between current linguistic theories and modern analytical tools and methodology; the integrative basis of all work included in the volume is the special focus on phenomena at the interface of semantics and syntax and the implications of corpus-based, quantitative analyses for researching diachrony.
The issues addressed in the 13 papers include the following: explanations of change in the interface of semantics and syntax; universal constraints and principles of language change (e.g., economy, reanalysis, analogy) and the possibility of predicting language change; constructional approaches to change and their relation to corpus-based research; language contact as an explanation of change and approaches to historical bilingualism and language contact, all on the basis of empirical corpus findings; the challenges of creating diachronic corpora and the question of how quantitative linguistics and diachronic corpora inform explanations of language change variation.
Editor-in-Chief: Peter Bakker
This series deals specifically with contact languages, i.e. new languages that emerged out of contact between two or more ethnolinguistic groups, and includes pidgins, creoles, pidgincreoles, and mixed languages. It welcomes comprehensive grammatical descriptions and collections of grammatical sketches of hitherto undescribed or underdescribed varieties. Creoles and pidgins with both European and non-European lexifiers are of interest. In the case of mixed languages, it is desirable that the components from the different source languages are indicated graphically.

We encourage a unifying typological approach, so that these volumes are both accessible to typologists coming from different theoretical backgrounds and intelligible to the wider linguistic readership. Authors are expected to follow Leipzig glossing rules and IPA conventions. The editors may specify the TOC structure and the list of abbreviations; these will be discussed with authors at the book proposal stage.

This is a peer-reviewed series; the editors will work with authors to ensure high standards. Interested scholars should contact the series editor Dr Peter Bakker. Please direct all other correspondence to Associate Editor Elisa Perotti.
Nobody can deny that an account of grammatical change that takes written contact into consideration is a significant challenge for any theoretical perspective. Written contact of earlier periods or from a diachronic perspective mainly refers to contact through translation. The present book includes a diachronic dimension in the study of written language contact by examining aspects of the history of translation as related to grammatical changes in English and Greek in a contrastive way. In this respect, emphasis is placed on the analysis of diachronic retranslations: the book examines translations from earlier periods of English and Greek in relation to various grammatical characteristics of these languages in different periods and in comparison to non-translated texts.
Author: Alexander Borg
Deploying a bottom up instead of the conventional top down approach, and drawing extensively on both literary and dialectal Arabic lexical sources, the present glossary proposes and validates the contention of a prehistoric symbiosis transpiring between Ancient Egyptian and Arabic two and a half millennia before the advent of Islam. Its empirical rationale and methodological basis rest firmly on these venerable idioms’ rich textual documentation, yielding the language historian an ample etymological database enriched—in the case of Arabic—with a virtually unlimited corpus drawing on the living speech of some 300 million speakers across the Near East and Africa. The muster provided here comprises over 800 lexemes and reveals, for the first time in longue durée research on Afroasiatic, striking unsuspected commonalities linking Old Egyptian to Yemeni Arabic.
In: Journal of Language Contact

Abstract

The main aim of this study is to examine what kind of phonological system emerges because of language contact wherein adult speakers of L1 (Chinese) attempt to speak L2 (Russian) without any previous instruction in L2. The main findings of this study are as follows: a) The speakers of L1 largely adopt the phonetic inventory and phonotactics of L2 and b) the only underlying (distinctive) features in the emerging phonological system are those of place of articulation while voicing plays no distinctive role in the emerging phonological system of Chinese speakers. Moreover, the speakers of L1 faithfully replicate the stress system of L2, even though L1 (Chinese) is a tonal language and L2, Russian, is a stress language. The most important finding of this study is that speakers of L1 discern the entity ‘word’ in L2. The emerging phonological system is geared towards assuring the identifiability of words in L2 rather than towards consistency of phonological rules.

Open Access
In: Journal of Language Contact

Abstract

This study focuses on the issue of language proficiency attainment among young heritage speakers of Russian living in Spain and examines factors that have been claimed to promote heritage language proficiency, namely, age, gender, age of onset to L2, quantity of exposure and family language use. A group of 30 Russian-Spanish-Catalan trilingual children aged 7–11 participated in the study. In order to measure heritage language proficiency (L1 Russian), oral narratives were elicited.

The results demonstrated a significant relationship between L1 proficiency and three sociolinguistic variables (age of onset to L2, quantity of exposure and family language use). Additionally, the multiply regression model demonstrated that the only significant variable affecting language proficiency was family language use and it accounted only for 33% of the variation of children’s language proficiency. The study raises the question about what are the other, yet unknown factors, which can affect heritage language proficiency.

Open Access
In: Journal of Language Contact

Abstract

In this article, we present a qualitative and quantitative comparative account of Final Vowel Loss (fvl) in the Bantu languages of the Lower Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We argue that this diachronic sound shift rose relatively late in Bantu language history as a contact-induced change and affected adjacent West-Coastal and Central-Western Bantu languages belonging to different phylogenetic clusters. We account for its emergence and spread by resorting to two successive processes of language contact: (1) substrate influence from extinct hunter-gatherer languages in the center of innovation consisting of Bantu B80 languages, and (2) dialectal diffusion towards certain peripheral Bantu B70, C80, H40 and L10 languages.

Open Access
In: Journal of Language Contact
In: Journal of Language Contact