Uncovering hidden constraints in micro-corpora of contact Englishes

in Corpus Linguistics and Variation in English
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Abstract

This paper explores the effect of language contact on English and considers the subtle effects of variable input from one or more languages on contact varieties of English. It uses corpus data to assist in this and takes a sociolinguistic approach to variation. It considers how contact between English and indigenous languages in Vanuatu (SW Pacific) has shaped properties of current day Bislama, focusing on the fact that variable input often results in variable output. It proposes some general principles of contact-induced replication of variation, and identifies parallels between the creole data and migrants’ acquisition of English in the UK.1

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