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Language InterruptedSigns of Non-Native Acquisition in Standard Language Grammars$
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John McWhorter

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195309805

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195309805.001.0001

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A New Typology of Language Contact

A New Typology of Language Contact

(p.252) 9 A New Typology of Language Contact
Language Interrupted

John McWhorter

Oxford University Press

This chapter reiterates the qualitative differences in overall structural complexity between the five languages considered in the book and their sister languages, and states that these differences were caused by incomplete acquisition of a moderate degree in contact situations. However, a problem remains: that there is no clear place for the phenomenon identified in conventional models of language contact. Instead, the reduction in question — where perceived at all — has tended to elicit surmises that the languages are, or were once, pidgins or creoles. But these claims fail to compel, because neither synchrony, diachrony, nor sociohistorical data support classing these languages with Saramaccan, Haitian Creole, Papiamentu, and Tok Pisin.

Keywords:   languages, pidgin, Creole, Mandarin, Chinese, English, Germanic, Afrikaans

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