part 2 question 9

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part 2 question 9

Post  Admin on Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:42 am


9) Did bilingualism play a role in the creation of OE? How (Marc-Andre, Simon)

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Re: part 2 question 9

Post  Admin on Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:36 am

Bilingualism certainly had an influence on old english. 3 languages mainly influenced old english Latin
(mostly the normans who in 1066 came in mass to England and influenced the language) Norse (from the invasion of the 9th and 10th century in addition to a great many place name also added basic vocabulary and words concerned with the administrative aspect) and finnaly Celtic (arguably it had less influence on old english however some claim that traces of syntax can be found from the post old english period)

http://acunix.wheatonma.edu/mdrout/grammarbook2005/historyofoe.html

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Re: part 2 question 9

Post  mavezina on Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:35 am

Question #9.
Did bilingualism play a role in the creation of OE? How?
‘Language shift’ is the process whereby members of a community in which more than one language is spoken abandon their original vernacular language in favor of another. The historical shifts to English by Celtic language speakers of Britain and Ireland are particularly well-studied examples for which good census data exist for the most recent 100–120 years in many areas where Celtic languages were once the prevailing vernaculars. We model the dynamics of language shift as a competition process in which the numbers of speakers of each language (both monolingual and bilingual) vary as a function both of internal recruitment (as the net outcome of birth, death, immigration and emigration rates of native speakers), and of gains and losses owing to language shift. We examine two models: a basic model in which bilingualism is simply the transitional state for households moving between alternative monolingual states, and a diglossia model in which there is an additional demand for the endangered language as the preferred medium of communication in some restricted sociolinguistic domain, superimposed on the basic shift dynamics.
Reasons for contact: languages can come into contact in a variety of ways. Basically there are two types: the first is direct contact in which speakers of one language turn up in the midst of speakers of another (because of invasion, emigration, etc.), the second is where the contact is through the mediation of literature or nowadays television and radio. This is the case with the contact between German and English at the moment; the former type can be illustrated clearly with examples from history such as Scandinavian or French contact with English.
In any contact situation there will be two possible scenarios for change. One is where lexical borrowing takes place from language one into language two. The second is where structural interference from one language leads to changes in language two. The essential difference is that for interference to take place, there must be a degree of bilingualism in the community, otherwise there are no speakers to transfer structures from a second language into their mother tongue. With an indirect contact situation borrowing can take place without bilingualism. However in this case, the contact only results in lexical borrowing (see German vis à vis English today). In the history of English the contact with the Scandinavians lead to a lot of bilingualism and thus to more extensive borrowing, e.g. on the morphological level, cf. the pronouns of the third person plural in th- which are imports from Scandinavian. Contact situations have a number of further consequences for the languages involved. If contact is accompanied by extensive bilingualism then there is a distinct tendency for both languages to simplify morphologically to a more analytic type. This can be seen in the history of English where the periods of contact appear to have led to an accelerated movement from a synthetic to an analytic type. The most extreme case in this respect is that of pidgins which, given the type of imperfect bilingualism which is characteristic of them, always result in severely analytic language types. There is in fact an even clearer kind of stable bilingualism, called diglossia (see section on sociolinguistics above). By this is meant a situation in which two languages (Spanish and Guaraní in Paraguay) or two distinct varieties of the same language (Swiss and High German in Switzerland) are used side by side in separate spheres of life, typically in the public and private sphere. The functional distinction of the two varieties/language guarantees their continuing existence in a speech community.


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