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Language Contact and Bilingualism

Rene Appel Pieter C. Muysken

228 pages
Amsterdam University Press
What happens – sociologically, linguistically, educationally, politically – when more than one language is in regular use in a community? How do speakers handle these languages simultaneously, and what influence does this language contact have on the languages involved?
Although most people in the world use more than one language in everyday life, the approach to the study of language has usually been that monolingualism is the norm. The recent interest in bilingualism and language contact has led to a number of new approaches, based on research in communities in many different parts of the world. This book draws together this diverse research, looking at examples from many different situations, to present the topic in any easily accessible form.
Language contact is looked at from four distinct perspectives. The authors consider bilingual societies; bilingual speakers; language use in the bilingual community; finally language itself (do languages change when in contact with each other? Can they borrow rules of grammar, or just words? How can new languages emerge from language contact?). The result is a clear, concise synthesis offering a much-needed overview of this lively area of language study.
Author Bio
René Appel is an established independent author (mostly of well-received psychological thrillers). He has widely published on second language acquisition and the language education of immigrant children. Pieter C. Muysken († 2021) was born in Bolivia but grew up in the Netherlands. He was a Professor of Linguistics at the universities of Amsterdam, Leiden, Nijmegen, and Stellenbosch, South Africa. As the winner of the Bernhard Prize, Prix des Ambassadeurs, the Spinoza Prize, and many other awards, he is considered one of the greatest, most diverse linguists of the time. He has over 230 publications to his name and his life-long research on Ecuadorian Quechua culminated in the book El kichwa ecuatoriano: Orígenes, riqueza, contactos (2019).