[Lingtyp] (A)symmetry of linguistic convergence in different domains
jb77 at buffalo.edu
Mon Aug 2 19:19:46 UTC 2021
Dear Siva — Many thanks for bringing this important follow-up on Gumperz & Wilson’s classic study to the attention of this community! I found a draft of the paper downloadable from Researchgate:
One thing that Kulkarni-Joshi shows clearly is that there’s much less convergence in younger Kupwar Marathi speakers than in older ones. Of course, that doesn’t contradict G&W’s work, since the social situation in Kupwar and other border villages has also changed a lot since G&W did their research in the 1960s.
She also points out that G&W specifically elicited cross-languoid story retellings in order to test their intertranslatability hypothesis (as Gumperz discusses in a 1966 paper, which K-J quotes extensively), which of course biased their data toward material that was less than maximally representative of everyday communicative practice in the village.
It seems a reasonably safe conclusion that G&W’s claims about intertranslatability (“(…) the codes used in code-switching situations in Kupwar have a single syntactic surface structure”, p155) were overstated, and probably by quite a bit.
Which … on a moment’s reflection shouldn’t be all that surprising, I would think. The grammars of these contact varieties are by their very nature fluid, moving targets. That’s really the aspect of G&W’s paper that has always struck me the most problematic: they describe Kupwar Marathi as if it were a local dialect of Marathi, where in reality it should presumably be treated in terms of repertoires, like a post-creole continuum.
OTOH when you say she "found little to no evidence of structural convergence between local varieties of Marathi and Kannada in Kupwar”, I’m afraid I wasn’t able to confirm that in the draft I found online.
The issue is this: the quantitative presentation of K-J’s data is broken down into two categories: Standard-Marathi-like usage and “Variation”. The latter comprises both convergence patterns and other usage, i.e., uses corresponding neither to Marathi nor to Kannada or any of the other Dravidian languages spoken in the area. This “Variation” category is robustly represented in her data, showing the tell-tale variation by age and village that one would predict under the hypothesis of socially-driven convergence. But, how much of it is in fact convergence is unclear from K-J’s paper, at least based on my extremely cursory glance.
Meanwhile, K-J does not seem to contest the other side of G&W’s claims about Kupwar: the scarcity of borrowing in line with the importance of lexical material for the function of the languages as social identity badges.
Anyway, thanks again for drawing my attention to this paper! I discuss G&W a lot in various classes, so it’s very important to me to be aware of K-J’s work and her critique of G&W.
Best — Juergen
> On Jul 29, 2021, at 10:06 PM, Siva Kalyan <sivakalyan.princeton at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi all,
> I'd like to point out that Kulkarni-Joshi (2016) tried to replicate Gumperz & Wilson (1971), and found little to no evidence of structural convergence between local varieties of Marathi and Kannada in Kupwar. In fact, she suggests (pp. 168–170) that the apparent structural convergence may have been an artefact of the elicitation methodology (which consisted of playing a recording of one language to speakers of another, and asking them to translate it accurately).
> Kulkarni-Joshi, Sonal. 2016. Forty years of language contact and change in Kupwar: A critical assessment of the intertranslatability model. Journal of South Asian Languages and Linguistics 3(2): 147–174.
>> On 29 Jul 2021, at 11:44 pm, Juergen Bohnemeyer <jb77 at buffalo.edu> wrote:
>> Dear Ian — The central finding of Gumperz & Wilson (1971), one of the classics in the literature on areality, is that in their particular case study of the Dravidian-Indic border, there is extensive morphosyntactic convergence, but not so much phonological and lexical convergence. There is in particular massive calquing and very little borrowing. The authors’ explanation for this distribution is that it facilitates rapid intertranslatability while simultaneously allowing the various contact varieties to retain their social indexical functions, which G&W argue are primarily tied to the domains speakers/hearers are most consciously aware of: phonology and lexicon.
>> To be sure, this outcome is the specific product of the social dynamics at play in that particular context and don’t generalize to areas where the underlying social dynamics is very different.
>> Gumperz, J. J. & Wilson, R. (1971). Convergence and creolization: A case from the Indo-Aryan/Dravidian border in India. In D. Hymes (Ed.), Pidginization and creolization in language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 151-167.
>> I’d be happy to email you a copy.
>> Best — Juergen
>>> On Jul 29, 2021, at 8:34 AM, Nicholas Evans <nicholas.evans at anu.edu.au> wrote:
>>> Hi Ian
>>> I think it's also good to remember that contact can produce divergence.
>>> Also: google Malcolm Ross and 'metatypy' for some interesting discussions on where convergence does and does not occur
>>> See attached
>>> Best Nick
>>> Nicholas (Nick) Evans
>>> Director, CoEDL (ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language)
>>> Coombs Building, Fellows Road
>>> CHL, CAP, Australian National University
>>> nicholas.evans at anu.edu.au
>>> I acknowledge the Ngunnawal people as custodians of the land on which I work, and pay my respects to their elders, past and present. Their custodianship has never been ceded.
>>> From: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org> on behalf of JOO, Ian [Student] <ian.joo at connect.polyu.hk>
>>> Sent: Thursday, July 29, 2021 9:53 PM
>>> To: LINGTYP <lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org>
>>> Subject: [Lingtyp] (A)symmetry of linguistic convergence in different domains
>>> Dear typologists,
>>> I would appreciate it if you can suggest literature that can answer my following question:
>>> When linguistic convergence happens due to contact, does it necessarily happen in every domain? For example, when two languages develop phonological similarity due to contact, do they also develop syntactic similarity, lexical similarity, etc.? Or is it possible for two languages to converge in one domain but not in another domain?
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>> Juergen Bohnemeyer (He/Him)
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