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The phenomenon of language contact, and how it affects the structure of languages, has been of great interest to linguists. This study looks at how grammatical forms and structures evolve when speakers of two languages come into contact, and offers an interesting insight into the mechanism that induces people to transfer grammatical structures from one language to another. Drawing on findings from languages all over the world, Language Contact and Grammatical Change shows that the transfer of linguistic material across languages is quite regular and follows universal patterns of grammaticalization - contrary to previous claims that it is a fairly irregular process - and argues that internal and external explanations of language structure and change are in no way mutually exclusive. Engaging and informative, this book will be of great interest to sociolinguists, linguistic anthropologists, and all those working on grammaticalization, language contact, and language change.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521608282
ISBN-10: 0521608287
Format: Paperback
(228mm x 152mm x 19mm)
Pages: 328
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 27-Jan-2005
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Bernd Heine

Bernd Heine is Professor of African Studies in the Institute for African Studies, University of Cologne. Tania Kuteva is Professor of English Linguistics at the Institute for English and American Studies, University of Dusseldorf.

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