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Contact Languages
Ecology and Evolution in Asia


Part of Cambridge Approaches to Language Contact

  • Date Published: August 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521682534

£ 23.99

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About the Authors
  • Why do groups of speakers in certain times and places come up with new varieties of languages? What are the social settings that determine whether a mixed language, a pidgin or a Creole will develop, and how can we understand the ways in which different languages contribute to the new grammar? Through the study of Malay contact varieties such as Baba Malay, Cocos Malay and Sri Lanka Malay, as well as the Asian Portuguese vernacular of Macau, and China Coast Pidgin, this book explores the social and structural dynamics that underlie the fascinating phenomenon of the creation of new, or restructured, grammars. It emphasizes the importance and interplay of historical documentation, socio-cultural observation and linguistic analysis in the study of contact languages, offering an evolutionary framework for the study of contact language formation - including pidgins and Creoles - in which historical, socio-cultural and typological observations come together.

    • Each chapter starts with a non-technical introduction making it accessible to students new to this area of linguistic study
    • Presents a number of case studies, providing evidence and examples, backing up theories of language evolution
    • Presents information on language contact in East and Southeast Asia which is often underrepresented in the literature on contact studies
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Ansaldo offers a detailed and highly informative historical account of trade and power relations in the region … [this book is] very suitable for beginners as well as specialists, and I would certainly recommend it as a secondary textbook for students of linguistics and related areas.' Languages in Contrast

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2013
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521682534
    • length: 276 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.37kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Introduction:
    1. Introduction to contact language formation
    2. Research questions
    3. The role of ecology in Asian contexts
    4. Theory of language and contact language formation
    5. Contact language formation beyond exceptional evolution
    6. Outlook
    Part II. The Ecology of Monsoon Asia:
    7. Monsoon Asia
    8. Sino-Javanese trade
    9. The city-ports
    10. Manpower in Southeast Asia
    11. The Western impact
    Part III. Linguistic Ecologies of Southeast Asia:
    12. Southeast Asia and the role of Malay
    13. Malay contact varieties
    14. Introducing contexts of formation
    15. The role of Portuguese in Southeast Asia and Southern China
    16. Summary
    Part IV. Methodological Issues in the Study of Contact Languages:
    17. The ideology of theory
    18. Multilingualism and transmission
    19. Conclusions
    Part V. Contact Language Formation in Evolutionary Theory:
    20. Competence, performance and socialization
    21. Language evolution and contact languages
    22. Functionalist assets for contact linguistics
    23. Conclusions
    Part VI. Congruence and Frequency in Sri Lanka Malay:
    24. The SLM community
    25. Selection and replication in SLM
    26. Freeing SLM from the chains of exceptionalism
    27. Final remarks
    Part VII. Identity Alignment in Malay and Asian-Portuguese Diaspora:
    28. The ecology of identity alignment
    29. Multiple alignments in contact settings
    30. Identity alignment and admixture
    31. Conclusions
    Part VIII. Pidgin Ecologies of the China Coast:
    32. Sociohistorical background of Europe-China relations
    33. The ecology of Macau and the Pearl River Delta
    34. Grammatical features of China Coast Pidgin
    35. The missing Makista link?
    36. Discussion
    Part IX. Implications, Conclusions and New Horizons:
    37. Theoretical and methodological implications
    38. Conclusions and new horizons
    Author index.

  • Author

    Umberto Ansaldo, The University of Hong Kong
    Umberto Ansaldo is Associate Professor in Linguistics at the University of Hong Kong. He was formerly a Senior Researcher and Lecturer with the Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication at the University of Amsterdam. He has also worked in Sweden and Singapore and conducted fieldwork in China, the Cocos and Christmas Islands and Sri Lanka. He is the co-editor of the Creole Language Library Series and has co-edited various journals and books including Deconstructing Creole (2007).

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