Cross-linguistic parallels in language loss

  • What are the similarities and differences in the loss of grammatical systems across individual languages? To answer this question, I examine structural consequences of language attrition and the correspondences between language-particular and cross-linguistic phenomena under circumstances of severe attrition. However, the very formulation of this approach, involving "severe attrition", already warrants some clarification, It leads to the formuIation of two collateral questions. First, how can the level of language attrition be quantified? Second, which structural features are diagnostic of the decline of grammar? I present data on structural change in six attrited languages as compared to non-attrited control languages and demonstrate that there is significant parallelism in structural change across languages. Next, I show a correlation between levels of grammatical and lexical loss and introduce a simple test allowing us to measure the level of attrition.

Download full text files

  • E001510335.pdf

Export metadata

Additional Services

Share in Twitter Search Google Scholar
Author:Maria Polinsky
Parent Title (English):Southwest journal of linguistics
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2007/11/30
Year of first Publication:1995
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2007/11/30
Page Number:37
First Page:87
Last Page:123
Signatur: Zs 17941
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 40 Sprache / 400 Sprache
Licence (German):License LogoArchivex. zur Lesesaalplatznutzung § 52b UrhG