Language Succession

Rick Mc Callister rmccalli at sunmuw1.MUW.Edu
Tue Jan 26 18:05:50 UTC 1999

	I get the feeling that in England, the fact that the conquest [from
Kent to Cumberland & Cornwall] took a good 500 years may have had a hand in
this. They were presumibly able to "digest" the conquest in small enough
chunks that they could impose a minority language upon them one shire at a
time, whereas the Franks, Goths, Bungundians, Lombards & Normans conquered
large territories all at once.

>In cases where the immigrant language _did_ supplant that of the natives --
>early Anglo-Saxon England, areas of South Slav language in the Balkans, and so
>forth -- I think a different model than "elite dominance" is required.

>In particular, the immigrants would have to come in complete family units, and
>with a diverse enough social structure that most households would not be
>required to practice everyday bilingualism.  Numbers would count.

>And there would have to be some mechanism to assimilate speakers of the native
>language _as individuals_ within the immigrant households, so that even if the
>native speakers were numerous in relation to the incomers in the countryside
>as a whole, in the actual micro-setting of language acquisition (the
>households of the speakers of the new language) the native speakers would be
>isolated among a majority speaking the new tongue.

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