Sociolinguistics: Myers-Scotton (fwd)

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Tue Dec 17 18:17:16 UTC 2002

Forwarded from LINGUIST List:  Vol-13-3317. Tue Dec 17 2002. ISSN:

Title: Contact Linguistics
Subtitle: Bilingual Encounters and Grammatical Outcomes

Publication Year: 2002 Publisher: Oxford University Press

Book URL:

Author: Carol  Myers-Scotton, University of South Carolina

Hardback: ISBN: 0198299524, Pages: 448 pp, Price: $ 98.00
Paperback: ISBN: 0198299532, Pages: 448 pp, Price: $ 29.95


Contact Linguistics is a critical investigation of what happens to the
grammars of languages when bilingual speakers use both their languages
in the same clause. It consolidates earlier insights and presents the
new theoretical and empirical work of a scholar whose ideas have had a
fundamental impact on the field. It also shows that bilingual data
offer a revealing window on the structure of the language
faculty. Carol Myers-Scotton examines the nature of major contact
phenomena, especially lexical borrowing, grammatical convergence,
codeswitching, first language attrition, mixed languages, and the
development of creoles. She argues forcefully that types of contact
phenomena often seen as separate in fact result from the same
processes and can be explained by the same principles. Her discussion
centers around two new models derived from the Matrix Language Frame
model, previously applied only to codeswitching. One model recognizes
four types of morphemes based on their different patterns of
distribution across contact phenomena; its key hyothesis is that
distribution depends on differential access to the morphemes in the
production process. The other analyzes three levels of abstract
lexical structure whose splitting and recombination across languages
in bilingual speech explains many contact outcomes. This is an
important volume, of unusual relevance for theories of competence and
performance and vital for all those concerned with language

Carol Myers-Scotton is a Carolina Distinguished Professor of
Linguistics at the University of South Carolina. She is a specialist
in language contact phenomena and sociolinguistics and has a special
interest in East and Southern African linguistics. In 1993, she
published two volumes on codeswitching, Social Motivations for
Codeswitching: Evidence from Africa, and Duelling Languages:
Grammatical Structure in Codeswitching (both OUP). She has also edited
a volume of essays on language and literature (OUP 1998) and published
many articles in her areas of interest.

Lingfield(s):  Sociolinguistics

Written In:  English (Language Code: ENG)



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