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Towards a Continuous Model of Contact-Induced Change

image of Journal of Language Contact

This article draws attention to three general problems in existing theories and models of contact-induced language change: the problem of autonomous types of change, that of autonomous contact languages, and that of the metaphors used in contact linguistic terminology. Parting from a discussion of these problems and two case studies of contact varieties that heavily challenge existing models of contact-induced change (Chamorro and Zamboangueño-Chabacano), I provide a new and comprehensive model based on the conception of contact-induced change as a continuous space, in which interrelated and interconnected parameters dominate over autonomous types. This model is embedded in an ecological conception of language and language contact, as expressed in Ludwig, Mühlhäusler and Pagel (in press). The relevance of the early years of contact, as seen from the perspective of the presented model, is addressed in the last section and offers one possible prospect to future discussion and research.

Affiliations: 1: Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg,


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