Multilingual language contact

14 juin 2022 --10h00 - 12h00

dans le cadre des projets Labex VC4/5 INALCO PLC 5.24 – 10h Conférence de Kofi Yakpo (University of Hong Kong)

Research on language change has privileged neat approaches: genetic over areal relations, internal over external causes, a discrete over a fuzzy notion of linguistic boundaries, and monocausal over multicausal explanations. Suriname in the South American Guianas region epitomizes the characteristic messiness of linguistic ecologies (e.g. Migge & Léglise 2013; Yakpo & Muysken 2017). We find functionally specialized, (a)symmetrical interactions between languages; plurilingual codeswitching and multidirectional transfer lead to simultaneous borrowing and imposition and blended structures. The languages in contact in Suriname are highly diverse and include Afro- European Creoles, Indo-European, Indic, Austronesian, Sinitic, Arawakan, and Cariban. We find contact outcomes like creolization, koineization, nativization of colonial languages, language shift and death next to each other. Drawing on recent work, (Yakpo 2017b; 2017c), I will discuss how social and typological factors drive language contact, change and convergence in a type of complex ecology also found in other parts of the world (e.g. West Africa, Indonesia, India, South East Asia, Melanesia)