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ERIC Number: ED205021
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Multiple Causation in Language Contact Change.
Joseph, Brian D.
Analysis of a specific language change--the loss of the Balkan infinitive--demonstrates the inadequacy of either a language-internal or a language-contact explanation in accounting for the change. A composite explanation, in which the infinitive-loss process is explained through multiple causation, seems more appropriate. Whithin the language, pre-existing tendencies for replacing infinitives by functionally equivalent finite clauses would have given old forms of Romanian and Greek a degree of competition between infinitives and finite forms. Contact with other Balkan peoples would have increased frequency of finite complementation. The pidginization brought about by intermediate stages of second language learning would have futher reinforced the change. A striking parallel to this multiple causation account occurs in developments found in the English-based creolizing language of New Guinea, Tok Pisin. In cases where the multiple-causation model is plausible, it offers the advantage of accounting for non-uniform change among several languages in the same geographic area, since the contact-induced change would depend on the internal receptivity to change of each language. (JB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Balkan Languages; Balkans; Language Contact; Tok Pisin
Note: Paper presented at the Annual University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Linguistics Symposium on Language Contact (10th, Milwaukee, WI, March 1981). Best copy available.