Isolation and Language Change: Contemporary and Sociohistorical Evidence from Tristan da Cunha English

Overview

Extremely isolated communities offer "laboratory conditions" for examining the processes of language change and dialect formation. This book presents findings of the first ever ethnographic field work on the most remote island in the world with a permanent population, Tristan da Cunha. It documents the historical formation of a unique local dialect and investigates the sociolinguistic mechanisms that underlie dialect contact and new-dialect formation. It also uncovers the linguistic consequences of ...

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Overview

Extremely isolated communities offer "laboratory conditions" for examining the processes of language change and dialect formation. This book presents findings of the first ever ethnographic field work on the most remote island in the world with a permanent population, Tristan da Cunha. It documents the historical formation of a unique local dialect and investigates the sociolinguistic mechanisms that underlie dialect contact and new-dialect formation. It also uncovers the linguistic consequences of post-insularity - language change processes as a result of increasing contacts with other communities and speakers. Researchers and students of language variation will find this book a unique resource.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...convincing and well-written, very up-to-date, and highlights both theoretically, and with empirically tested examples, the importance of this small community's dialect to our understanding of language change."—David Britain, University of Essex
"It's hard to imagine a sociolinguistic situation more intriguing than Tristan da Cunha. Its unique settlement history and subsequent isolation make it an ideal setting for considering critical issues related to founder effects, language contact influence, and innovation. This is a captivating study, told with the perfect blend of sociolinguistic sophistication and human interest."—Walt Wolfram, North Carolina State University
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781403904072
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 9/17/2003
  • Series: Palgrave Studies in Language Variation
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Schreier is at University of Regensburg, Germany.

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Table of Contents

List of Tables
List of Maps and Figures
Acknowledgements
List of Abbreviations
1 Introduction 1
2 Contact, Isolation and Language Change: A Theoretical Framework 8
3 Tristan da Cunha 41
4 Methodology and Fieldwork 73
5 Determining Input Interaction: Present Tense Concord 91
6 Categoricality and Levelling: Present/Past be Regularisation 111
7 Dynamism v. Retention: 'Completive done' 143
8 Innovation and Independent Developments: Useta went 169
9 Conclusion 195
Appendix 207
Notes 213
References 219
Index 233
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