Naomi Nagy

Linguistics at U of T

to appear in Rassegna Italiana di Linguistica Applicata 2011

A Multilingual Corpus to Explore Variation
in Language Contact Situations

Naomi Nagy, University of Toronto


Numerous claims exist about types and ordering of linguistic change in language contact situations. I describe a project to develop a multilingual corpus to allow inter-generational, cross-linguistic, and diatopic comparison to determine what generalizations are possible about the types of variable features, structures or rules that are borrowed earlier and more often. It investigates how social factors (speaker status, network membership, language use, ethnic identity, and linguistic attitude at the individual level, and demographic characteristics and institutional support at the community level) relate to type and degree of language change. The corpus contains data from 40 speakers of each of six heritage languages (Cantonese, Faetar, Korean, Italian, Russian, Ukrainian) spoken in Toronto.

*Collaboration with experts in these languages, especially their homeland varieties, is sought.*

[Paper based on a presentation at CLAVIER IX]


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