Social factors in language contact

2 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)
Many see social factors as the most important determinants of the outcomes of language contact. Yet they are among the least theorized causes of linguistic change. Approaches either single out a specific factor without identifying its place in the bigger picture (e.g. “network density” in Trudgill 2011; or “demography” in Lupyan & Dale 2010), or are vague (e.g. “intense cultural pressure” in Thomason & Kaufman 1988). They fail to identify micro-, meso- and macro-social features and parameters and their causal relations with each other and therefore do not provide a structural analysis of social systems in determining contact outcomes. In this lecture, I will attempt to develop a multi-layered view of social factors in language contact, focusing on demography and socio-economic stratification, two factors that appear to be particularly relevant.