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Open Access Hybridity versus Revivability: Multiple Causation, Forms and Patterns

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Hybridity versus Revivability: Multiple Causation, Forms and Patterns

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The aim of this article is to suggest that due to the ubiquitous multiple causation, the revival of a no-longer spoken language is unlikely without cross-fertilization from the revivalists' mother tongue(s). Thus, one should expect revival efforts to result in a language with a hybridic genetic and typological character. The article highlights salient morphological constructions and categories, illustrating the difficulty in determining a single source for the grammar of Israeli, somewhat misleadingly a.k.a. 'Modern Hebrew'. The European impact in these features is apparent inter alia in structure, semantics or productivity. Multiple causation is manifested in the Congruence Principle, according to which if a feature exists in more than one contributing language, it is more likely to persist in the emerging language. Consequently, the reality of linguistic genesis is far more complex than a simple family tree system allows. 'Revived' languages are unlikely to have a single parent. The multisourced nature of Israeli and the role of the Congruence Principle in its genesis have implications for historical linguistics, language planning and the study of language, culture and identity.


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