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Contact, Isolation, And Complexity In Arabic

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Chapter Summary

The role of language contact in linguistic change seems to have caused considerable perplexity and bewilderment in the historical linguistics and sociolinguistics literature in the last decades. Proponents of the contact-leads-to-simplification view very often point out that the simplest languages in the world are obviously pidgins and thus creoles, and that these languages are equally obviously the result of language contact. Language contact, then, can fairly obviously be associated with both simplification and complexification. Contact-induced simplification in non-creole varieties of Arabic generally has been a more controversial topic. There is, then, evidence, that the two different types of language contact have indeed given rise to two different kinds of outcome in Arabic in terms of complexification and simplification.

Keywords: Arabic; complexification; language contact; simplification



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