Principles at work.

Explaining linguistic features in World Englishes.


Master's Thesis, 2013
97 Pages, Grade: 1,0

Excerpt

Table of contents

List of abbreviations

1. Introduction
1.1 Aim of the paper
1.2. Methods
1.3 Basic assumptions

2. Current research
2.1 Sociolinguistic approaches
2.1.1 Schreier - linguistic endemicity
2.1.2 Andersen - center and periphery
2.1.3 Trudgill - new-dialect formation
2.2 Language evolution
2.2.1 Mufwene - language as an organism
2.2.2 Croft - Theory of Utterance Selection
2.3 Linguistic formalism
2.3.1 Chomsky - Universal Grammar
2.3.2 Bickerton - Language Bioprogram Hypothesis
2.3.3 Chambers - vernacular universals
2.4 Synthetic approaches
2.4.1 Tomasello - usage-based approach
2.4.2 Ansaldo - Adaption Theory
2.4.3 Bybee - usage-based functionalism
2.5 Summary

3. Selection of varieties of English
3.1 Traditional L1: Scottish English
3.2 High-contact L1: New Zealand English
3.3 Indigenized L2: Chicano English
3.4 Creole: Bonin Island English/Ogasawara Mixed Language
3.5 Pidgin: Norfolk Island/Pitcairn English

4. Selection of linguistic features
4.1 Morphosyntactic features
4.1.1 F34: alternative forms for 2nd person plural pronouns
4.1.2 F154: multiple negation
4.2 Phonological features
4.2.1 Monophthongization
4.2.2 Th -movement

5. Discussion
5.1 Sociolinguistic approaches
5.1.1 Theoretical outline
5.1.2 Matching the data
5.2 Language evolution
5.2.1 Theoretical outline
5.2.2 Matching the data
5.3 Linguistic formalism
5.3.1 Theoretical outline
5.3.2 Matching the data
5.4 Synthetic approaches
5.4.1 Theoretical outline
5.4.2 Matching the data
5.5 Conclusion - principles at work

6. Considerations
6.1 Does the input matter? Languages vs. dialects in contact
6.2 A different perspective on universals
6.3 Reflection upon material and methods
6.4 Outlook

Bibliography

Appendix
I. World map
II. Map of New Zealand
III. Bonin English evolution
IV. Areal distribution of F34 in Scotland
V. Pervasiveness of selected features
VI. Focal and relic dialect areas

List of abbreviations

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

1. Introduction

1.1 Aim of this paper

In this thesis, five varieties of English will be compared in two phonological and twomorphosyntactic features. In advance, different theories or explanations for processesin language development will be discussed. Later, the theories will be taken intoconsideration for the explanation of the prevalence, varying in degree, of the featuresdiscussed in the different varieties. Hereby, certain principles, general processes andtendencies in language development are supposed to be uncovered, confirmed orrefuted. Different models of explanations will be matched to certain features, andrecommendations on each theory will be made, hopefully resulting in thecontribution of an integrated model.

1.2 Methods

In order to achieve the aims, a set of five different varieties of the English language,ranging from traditional Scottish English dialect to an exotic pidgin spoken onremote Pacific Pitcairn Island, will be analyzed in four features. Two of them willfocus on phonology, another two focus on morphosyntax. The selection of featureswas made partly in order to grant fair chances to each explanatory model, and partlybecause of their high pervasiveness in most varieties. The five varieties of Englishfollow the five categories of non-standard varieties in the World Atlas of Varieties of English, WAVE (Kortmann/Lunkenheimer 2012: 3f.). As a next step, explanatorymodels and theories from a number of mainly sociolinguistic paradigms, such as language universals represented by Chambers, dialectology by Trudgill, evolutionarylinguistics represented by Mufwene, a usage-based approach by psycholinguist Tomasello, or an attempt of an integrated model by Ansaldo, are discussed, interpretedand matched with data from the varieties and features.

While doing so, we will encounter a large number of terms and concepts that originate from biology, especially genetics, in descriptions of linguistic phenomena. This is due to the fact that - as we will see - they share characteristics in many respects. Nevertheless, one aim of this paper is a balanced discussion of each model, which hopefully leads to a juxtaposition of the advantages and disadvantages of each model in the explanation of the chosen features in the five varieties.

1.3 Basic assumptions

Ca veats

WAVE and eWAVE samples and feature rankings are often dependent on only oneinformant, and often the body of source material is rather slim, or in some cases,outdated. As languages, contact languages in particular, are instable and may changein a short period of time, written evidence from half a century ago (e.g. Ross 1964 onPitcairn/Norfolk English) cannot be left unquestioned. In addition, the selection bothof the features and the varieties was not randomly done. This might skew the results,just as the selection of explanatory models or their adaption on contact languages.

Generalizations

The final recommendation for the best matching fields of explanatory models, features, and varieties will be a generalization, but it is supposed to give a hint wherethe strengths and weaknesses of each theory are, and what further models might takeinto account.

Definitions

Before starting with the analysis we need to define certain (socio-)linguistic concepts. When speaking about a linguistic situation of a geographical or political area, we speak about:

die ethnische und/oder regionale Verteilung sowie die soziale Distribution und Hierarchie der Sprachen und/oder Sprachvarianten, die zu einem gegebenenZeitpunkt auf einem bestimmten (meist politisch-administrativ abgegrenzten) Territorium entsprechend den dort herrschenden ethnischen, politischen, sozial- ökonomischen und kulturellen Bedingungen zur Kommunikation verwendet werden. (Hansen et al. 1996: 13)

Furthermore, this very situation is characterized by historical processes leading to itscoming into existence, and the intensity, aims and fashion of language policy (ibid.).For this reason we will deal with the history, the characteristics, functions, prestige,areal and social distribution and political circumstances of each variety in order toget to know them in great detail. The linguistic situation has various names andfacets in the different approaches, for instance linguistic ecology. A language com- munity can be defined as a "group of people who regard themselves as using thesame language" (Hansen et al. 1996: 14), which implies a certain amount of linguis- tic awareness. This, next to a shared ethnic and cultural identity, can create a commu- nal spirit and form a certain togetherness. This definition will be most productive forour purpose here. Nevertheless, we have to take into account two more perspectiveson linguistic communities. A code community includes speakers who use one language as means of communication in intra-national exchange, regardless whether L1 orL2, but not as a foreign language (ibid.). A primarily social perspective is providedby the term communication community that is characterized by fairly stable socialrelations and hierarchies within a community which leads to a specific selection anddistribution of linguistic means and features, regardless whether only one or morelanguages are used. One individual can be member of a number of communicationcommunities, depending on the dialogue partner and situation (ibid.). This might be ahelpful perspective in colonial contact situations with clear-cut social hierarchies. Asa next step, we need to look at the linguistic potential of a language community, i.e."die Zahl und Art der zur Kommunikation innerhalb der Gemeinschaft verwendetenSprachen und/oder Sprachvarianten, deren Status und sozialkommunikative Funktionsowie auch deren regionale Verbreitung" (Hansen et al. 1996: 16). As we are mainlyinterested in contact situations here, always more than one language will be encountered. It is important to see whether there is a hierarchy, a substrate, adstrate or superstrate situation of the English language, which variety is more prestigious, to whatextent and why the output is more or less influenced by what input.

Hansen et al. (1996: 20) find two main influences for the attitude of speakers towardsthe languages or varieties used in their communication community. Firstly, it is theethnic or regional origin and the social or socio-economic status; secondly, it is thelanguage's or variety's prestige within this community. Those two factors do notnecessarily have to be congruent. Overt prestige is important for the variety's approval within the community and is mainly influenced by the speakers' associated socialrole and status. Covert prestige, on the other hand, seems to contradict the publicopinion. As a symbol for a minority's ethnic and social identity, it can become anexpression of group solidarity and distance from the establishment, which in turn canalso lead to depreciation or rejection by the majority. A variety's or language'sprestige can influence the willingness to acquire or master it, or to adopt certainfeatures. For a clear understanding of variety categories we need to define terms such as L1, L2, creole, and pidgin. An L1 is the speaker's mother tongue. It is the language that a person learns as a child and that he or she uses primarily. An L2 is a second language, "a language that sb learns to speak well and that they use for work or at school, but that is not the language they learned first" (Hornby 2010: 1380).

A pidgin is "a simple form of a language, especially English, Portuguese or Dutch,with a limited number of words, that are used together with words from a locallanguage" in contact situations of people who do not speak the same language or onespeaker does not speak a language well (Hornby 2010: 1144). In this definition, thefocus lies upon simplification, imperfection, language contact and the typical colonial languages. A more complex definition by Daniel Long (2007: 4) gives an extraperspective on the socioeconomic situation of pidgin communication:

A pidgin is a language system that evolves when speakers of two, three, or morelanguages come into contact with each other and cannot easily understand oneanother's language. Typically, the language of the people with 'power' (througheconomics, technology, warfare, sheer numbers, etc.) is learned imperfectly bythe other groups. These groups acquire lexical morphemes from the powerfullexifier (or superstrate) language, but their understanding of grammatical morphemes and syntax (the way words are joined together to make meaningful sentences) is influenced by their various native languages (the substrate languages). Their misinterpretations (reinterpretations) of the grammar of the targetlanguage result in the grammatical simplification and restructuring of thelanguage.

In addition, there might be many "complex relationships that the speaker canconceive of (in her mind, in her native language) but cannot verbalize in the pidgindue to its grammatically [and lexically] limited nature" (Long 2007: 6). Only arestricted pool of expressions and structures is available making formulations outsidethis corridor impossible.

Important here is that a pidgin, by definition, is not spoken as a first language incontrast to a creole language. "[P]idgins have no native speakers. A user of a pidginis by definition a native speaker of some other language. A nativized pidgin is a creole" (ibid.). A creole is "a language formed when a mixture of a European language with a local language (especially an African language spoken by slaves in theWest Indies) is spoken as a first language" (Hornby 2010: 359). This definition,though, is a bit narrow because it focuses on European languages, which is not necessary. Creolization is a process of "expansion through the nativization of a pidgin, and the creole language that the children create is a full-fledged language in which there are grammatical structures to express the cognitive relationships their mindscome up with" (Long 2007: 6). In Long's words (ibid.), we will later refer to creo- loids, a contact language with the typical admixture of two or more languages butwith less dramatic processes of restructuring, simplification and expansion. A highlyrecommended introduction on pidgins and creoles can be found in Sebba 2009.

2. Current research

We can find a broad range of perspectives on linguistic phenomena such as isolatedspeech communities, language contact, internally and externally motivated change,and the resulting features in varieties of English all over the world. In this chapter, anumber of these perspectives will be presented in brief. Here, different attitudestowards new dialect formation or contact language formation become apparent, including arguments for and against each approach. The perspectives are grouped according to the main statements they make, even though it is difficult to form groups.There are overlapping aspects in the different theories, but also mutually exclusiveaspects.

We start with Schreier in order to explain the phenomenon of linguistic contact andisolation, and continue by outlining the relevant principles that might be at work incontact situations. Here, universalistic, evolutionistic, psycholinguistic, and mainlysociolinguistic approaches will be presented, discussed, and used as a starting pointfor the discussion in chapter 5 in which data from chapters 3 and 4 will be included.

2.1 Sociolinguistic approaches

Almost all approaches in chapter 2 have a sociolinguistic dimension as contact situations are often central aspects of their statements. The approaches in 2.1 are mainly concerned with the speakers and their geographic and social movements, though, and put emphasis on the social facet.

2.1.1 Schreier - linguistic endemicity

Daniel Schreier (2003) stepped into the tradition of usage of terminology frombiology for linguistic purposes, see 2.3. Endemicity in biology or medicine means theexistence or distribution of species, both animals and plants, only in a certain locallyrestricted area (Duden 2009: 274). Insularity is geographical isolation including itsspecial case of local restriction on a single island. Linguistic endemicity then is theoccurrence of certain linguistic phenomena in geographically isolated speechcommunities. In his research, Schreier mainly focused on the South Atlantic island ofTristan da Cunha, probably the most remote inhabited island in the world. Theclosest settlements are St. Helena 1,400 miles north and Cape Town 1,800 miles east (Schreier 2003: 252). His findings can be adapted to most of the varieties we will discuss here as they share characteristics such as a small population, and geographi- cal and social isolation.

2.1.2 Andersen - center and periphery

Henning Andersen (1988) describes new-dialect formation with an expanded modelof the classic Adoption Theory. In this theory, the simplistic standard scenario forcontact-induced language change is outlined. Speakers with different traditionalnorms get into contact, adopt each other's norms and adjust their usage accordingly.Features that were formerly marked differences in the two varieties are obliterated ormerged; traditional features will not continue to be passed on. As a result, a linguisticboundary - an isogloss - disappears (Andersen 1988: 40). Here, the new and vitalpoint is the model of center and periphery. Andersen describes a phenomenon thatwas already discovered by Ferdinand de Saussure, namely that "regardless of whichlanguage areas they work with, there are palpable differences between the kinds ofdevelopments that characteristically occur in central and in peripheral speech areas"(ibid.: 39). Depending on the characteristics of the dialect, speakers are conservativeor open toward change. This creates reduction and regularization, or differentiationand complication, i.e. language change.

2.1.3 Trudgill - new-dialect formation

Trudgill (2004) proposes three stages of new-dialect formation, each subdivided inseveral steps. As he states, the relative influence of "language contact versus dialectcontact [...] may be rather hard to disentangle" (2004: 5). With small adaptations, histheory of new-dialect formation seems to work for both dialect and language contact.

Trudgill describes a process of new-dialect formation in six steps. After comingtogether in a special location, speakers of different dialects or mutually intelligiblelanguages mix in a multi-dialectal society. The variants will reduce over time inaccordance with certain deterministic, social factors such as socio-economic status ofthe speakers and the associated prestige. Too heavily marked features will be reducedor abandoned because they are not locally shared. Unmarking as a subtype oflevelling often happens in favour of forms "which offer greatest structural simplicity"(Trudgill 2004: 86). An interdialect develops. This is a dialect that has a set of features which was not actually present in any of the of the contributing dialects, andwhich arise out of interaction between them. The interdialect's structure and systemmay be simpler, as complex as, or - owing to hypercorrection - even more complex than a speaker's initial dialect. After reallocating leftovers of initial dialects to phono- logical, morphological, or register-related niches, the five necessary steps of koinéisation are completed. After that, in a final step, the new dialectal features are focussed; this is their norms and stability are consolidated within the communication community (Trudgill 2004: 84-89). According to him, the six steps occur in three different chronological stages, roughly corresponding with three successive generations of speakers (Trudgill 2004: 89).

2.2 Language evolution

2.2.1 Mufwene - language as an organism

Salikoko S. Mufwene is mostly known for his concept of language ecology andevolution including the ideas of the founder principle and the feature pool which hehas elaborated since the mid-1990s (Mufwene 2012a). He defines language as "acomplex adaptive system and as a piece of technology that was built incrementallyand has been modified several times over by its users and makers (speakers andsigners alike) to meet their current communicative needs, under the influence ofhabits developed previously" (Mufwene 2012b: 3), or in another text, as a"Lamarckian species, whose genetic makeup can change several times in its lifetime.It is also a parasitic species, whose life and vitality depend on (the acts anddispositions of) its hosts, i.e. its speakers, on the society they form, and on the culturein which they live" (Mühlhäusler 2005: 266).

In the course of time, speakers of a language introduce "variation and thereforecompetition and selection, as different innovators often introduce variants (forms orstructures) for the same functions" (Mufwene 2012b: 3). First, change happens inidiolects on an individual level. Later, this change, if accepted by the speechcommunity, will be applied by a larger number of speakers. Over time, the languageself-organizes communal norms, reduces variation, and certain standards rise topopulation level (ibid.). He "focused on how indirect external ecological factors (e.g.population movements, the particular dialect mix of the allopatric1 population, thekinds of languages spoken by the people they came in contact with in the colony, and population structure, which determines patterns of social interaction) influenced language change" (ibid.).

Exactly his inspiration from biology has led him to the re-introduction of the founderprinciple 2 that is also called the doctrine of first effective settlement (Mühlhäusler2005: 266). It explains how "structural features of creoles have been predeterminedto a large extent (but not exclusively!) by characteristics of the vernaculars spoken bythe populations that founded the colonies in which they developed" (Mufwene 1996:84). The "ethnographic setting in which the lexifier [...] has come into contact withdiverse languages (or populations) whose structural features [...] enter intocompetition with its own features" is called the ecology of a language (ibid.: 85). Atthis point, Mufwene puts great emphasis on the idiolectal level. He says that everyindividual's realization of his or her L1 is an incomplete abstraction of the L1because of the speaker's limited input - depending on the ecology on the individual'slevel. This means two speakers of the same language must differ in their acquisitionof their L1 due to input that is not identical.

When dealing with Mufwene, analogies to biology, especially genetics, becomeobvious. He first started to compare language with population, as speakers are theagents of a language - just as living creatures are the carriers of genes. A language isonly a useful but abstract extrapolation of the (mutually intelligible) idiolects of theirspeakers - just as a species is an abstraction of similarities of its (genetically compatible and similar) members. There is interindividual variation in genes and L1 realization, the latter identified by linguistic features. As genes are inherited, linguisticfeatures can be passed on, though rather via transmission and restructuring than byinheritance, but both being dependent on the ecology or surrounding. Furthermore,there is change in both genetics and linguistic usage, which can be described asevolution (Mufwene 2002: 46). In the same way, the feature pool is an analogy to thegene pool (ibid.). Input from feature donors are more or less equally collected in apool which causes competition among them. Finally, a selection is made and certainfeatures make it to the output language with different probabilities, some of them only appearing sporadically in individuals, others being salient in the majority of the population; comparable to recessive and dominant genes, one could say (ibid: 46f.). The founder principle, in biology a term for a reduced gene pool owing to geographic or genetic isolation of (small) populations, is used to describe the increased likelihood of an establishment of the founders' linguistic features existing in a population. Here, it is more likely that the lexifier's features will dominate and only few items (or genes) of the substrate will prevail.

2.2.2 Croft - Theory of Utterance Selection

Croft, himself influenced by Hull, developed a similar concept, the Theory of Utterance Selection. Language can be seen as a "population of linguistic features andgrammar as a combination of idiolects" (Ansaldo 2009: 14). Social forces such asprestige or status are understood as a "mechanism that selects an innovative variantfor subsequent propagation across the speech community" (Croft et al. 2006: 2). Anutterance is taken as the analogue to DNA as it passes (grammatical) informationfrom one speaker to another, forming the lingueme-genome- analogy . Speakers are interactors, genes are replicators; speakers, by exchanging linguistic features, replicate the lingueme. Variation exists not only among speakers but also within individuals. And because neither two speakers nor two situations are alike, communicationcreates variation through imperfect replication of words, sounds and constructionsspeakers have heard before, an aspect also considered in usage-based models (chapter 2.4). Social circumstances such as the "social success" cause the "differentialsurvival of the linguemes they produce" (Croft et al. 2006: 3). This accounts forchange over time (ibid.: 2f.). Similarities to Mufwene's Feature Pool notion with itscompetition and selection become apparent.

2.3 Linguistic formalism

2.3.1 Chomsky - Universal Grammar

The notion of linguistic universals is highly debated and ambiguous. In general, universals can refer to "a superficial descriptive property true of the expression of alllanguages", a descriptive universal, or to a cognitive universal, "a property true of allhuman minds" (Winford 2013: 224). Descriptive universals are associated with Joseph Greenberg's functional, empiricist approach in which a representative sample of languages is typologically compared in certain features, and cross-linguistic generali- zations are made. Cognitive universals have their origin in Noam Chomsky's formalist approach of generative grammar, which proposes a set of universal principles thatlimit the possible forms of grammar, both in language acquisition and change. Here,central is the formulation of generalizations about the "essential nature of language,from which particular language-specific grammatical features can be derived", leading to a theoretical construct of Universal Grammar, an innate human language faculty (Winford 2013: 225). While functionalists usually make empirical studies andderive their deductions about similarities in languages and in mechanisms of language change world-wide from corpus-based data, their evidence and results seem to bemore relevant and logical than those of formalists who have a starting point of innategrammar governed by universal principles, and try to support this view with data, aswe will see below (ibid.).

The Universal Grammar Hypothesis can be characterized by four interrelated claims (see Goldberg 2009: 202):

1) domain-specificity: Language acquisition is constrained by representations or principles that are specific to language;
2) universality: These representations or principles are universal;
3) innateness: These representations or principles are not learned;
4) autonomous syntax: These representations or principles depend on syntactic representations and not their functional correlates.

This means that every newborn child has the capacity to acquire a language (L1)relatively easily, the faculty of speech and basic grammatical processes are innate,genetic information is the source for learning every possible language because theinput during first language acquisition triggers certain parameters to attain a distinctvalue, all of them following deep universal principles. The language faculty as thebasis for linguistic universals is a black box, but functionalist-inductive approachesare interested in exactly those processes happening in this black box, "providingexternal explanations for observable universal properties of language and mainlyaddress physical and cognitive constraints" (Siemund 2009: 334). The combinationof all parameters is characteristic for each language. However, there is a lack of dataon this theory and thus no empirical or developmental-psychological support (Nünning 2008: 95f.).

2.3.2 Bickerton - Language Bioprogram Hypothesis

Moreover, we can find Derek Bickerton's Language Bioprogram Hypothesis, LBH, aformalist approach that treats creole genesis as the outcome of L1 acquisition "in acontext of restricted linguistic input from the surrounding community" (Thomason2001: 178). Children growing up in a highly unstable linguistic environment, as inpre-pidgin-speaking plantation creole communities, construct a grammar that derivesfrom their innate bioprogram, so to speak a genetically programmed grammar "hardwired in every newborn human infant's brain" (ibid.). In a stable, 'normal' surrounding, the grammar of the community overlays the bioprogram features, wiping outgenetic traces. This approach seems "shaky on the empirical evidence" (ibid.: 179)and was refuted in various recent studies on Caribbean English-lexicon creoles,showing no evidence for grammatical predetermination in Bickerton's sense (Winford 2013: 228). The LBH can only account for a small number of incidences ofplantation creole L1 acquisition, and is thus not an option for the five varieties discussed in this thesis.

2.3.3 Chambers - vernacular universals

The term of vernacular universals or vernacular roots was introduced by sociolinguist Jack Chambers "to refer to linguistic features which are absent from Standard English, but which recur in many different non-standard varieties of Englisharound the world" (Trudgill 2009: 307). Chambers (2004: 128) emphasises thatbecause universals "arise naturally in pidgins, child language, vernaculars, and elsewhere, they are primitive features, not learned. As such, they belong to the languagefaculty, the innate set of rules and representations that are the natural inheritance ofevery human being." We can clearly recognize Chomsky in this approach. Chamberssays that "[s]ociolinguists have amassed copious evidence in the past 35 years for asurprising conclusion: a small number of phonological and grammatical processesrecur in vernaculars wherever they are spoken. This conclusion follows from theobservation that, no matter where in the world the vernaculars are spoken [...] thesefeatures inevitably occur" (Chambers 2004: 128). Their prevalence can only comeinto existence by diffusion by the dialect's founders, or by developing "independentlyas natural structural linguistic developments" (Chambers 2004: 128). Because,according to Chambers, any approach basing on diffusion is inadequate here distances are just too great and universals occur in all types of varieties (ibid.: 128) - the discussion will focus on vernacular universals. Examples are consonant cluster simplification, copula deletion, or multiple negation (ibid.: 129). Possible reasons fortheir occurrence may be underlying principles of cognitive overload, motor eco-nomy, or avoiding redundancy (ibid.: 140), tendencies that are pervasive in vernacularsbut suppressed in the standard. These reasons, in fact, are of a rather cognitivefunctional nature.

2.4 Synthetic approaches

2.4.1 Tomasello - usage-based approach

Michael Tomasello, co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, is expert on developmental psychology and psycholinguistics. Histheory on L1 acquisition in young children can hardly be adapted to contact scenarios, and young children's processes in language acquisition are different from thoseof adults, as "children operate with different psycholinguistic units than adults"(Tomasello 2000: 62). Nevertheless, it underlines the importance of linguistic rolemodels, i.e. linguistic input in the early stages of language acquisition. Usage can beunderstood in two ways. On the one hand, a speaker can become used to a structurethrough permanent exposure; on the other hand, the speaker applies a structure inform of imitative and inductive learning. Imitative refers to the circumstance thatchildren hear how their linguistic environment speaks. "In the early stages, childrenmostly use language the way they have heard adults using it. This leads to aninventory of item-based utterance schemas" (Tomasello 2000: 70). In other words,language use shapes the grammar and lexicon (Bybee 1999: 236). Inductive refers tothe process of making generalizations from an exemplary usage on a grammaticalstructure, because "[c]hildren are focused on the adult's communicative intentions asthey attempt to comprehend her immediate utterance, and communicative function isthe main basis for their linguistic generalizations over time (otherwise they would betotally baffled by a language's many homonyms and proforms, among other things)"(Tomasello 2003: 324).

Furthermore, high-frequency use of words and phrases leads to a certain automatization and phonological reduction, which in turn leads to a higher variability in theitem's realization and perception or recognition, but high frequency can also lead toentrenchment or lexical strength, making the item resistant to change or conformity.

Moreover, "linguistic capabilities are not presumed to be different in structure from other cognitive capabilities. Linguistic units are stored like other percepts that come from our experience [...] Thus there is no separation of lexicon and grammar, lexicon and phonology" (Bybee 1999: 236).

2.4.2 Ansaldo - Adaption Theory

In his 2009 paper, Umberto Ansaldo tried to integrate several approaches to typologyin contact linguistics. With his draft of a functional-typological theory of language,he shows how to account for as many linguistic phenomena in language change aspossible without having to employ universals. He assumes that there is no significantdifference in contact-induced language change taking place in traditional types ofcontact languages such as pidgins, creoles and mixed languages (Ansaldo 2009: 2).Differences are only there in labels given for socio-historic reasons. His frameworkis inspired by Croft's Theory of Utterance Selection, added by an interpretation of thefeature pool notion in language contact (ibid.: 5). He suggests "an evolutionaryframework based on principles of selection, innovation and propagation, with thehelp of functional-typological analysis of the matrix. In this way, sociohistorical dynamics and functional-typological features are integrated within the same framework" (ibid.: 27).

Ansaldo names three principles in Contact Language Formation, CLF. Firstly, we can find differential replication in contact scenarios, secondly, we understand contact scenarios as a complex typological matrix, and thirdly, in contact language formation "selection, innovation and propagation occur iteratively and feed into one another. The most likely candidates for selection and propagation are determined based primarily on sociohistorical analysis and typological make-up, within which frequency patterns play a dominant role" (Ansaldo 2009: 27f.).

Andersen's criticism on terminology and concept borrowings from biological evolution (see section 2.3) is denied by Ansaldo because of two aspects. Firstly, it demands a complete overlap between two explanatory models in order to be useful, and secondly, it is Croft's field of conceptual - not biological - evolution that provides the necessary foundations for a linguistic framework (Ansaldo 2009: 5). As long as such analogies are fruitful, they are welcome.

As Goldberg (2009: 219) mentioned, the "(mostly minor) differences among variouscognitive, functionalist or usage-based approaches pale in comparison to the stark contrasts between these approaches and traditional generative grammar." According- ly, Ansaldo does not use Universal Grammar as an explanation here, because "[w]hatcannot be reconstructed does not necessarily indicate UG, universal cognitivepatterns or other abstractions, but may simply indicate a gap in our knowledge"(2009: 3f.). Imperfections in the data of linguistic ecology and history or understanding of mechanisms may provide better explanation than "invisible hand changes[that] should be treated very carefully, as a last resort in trying to account for CLF"(Ansaldo 2009: 28). His criticism on Andersen's denial of evolutionary concepts wasexplained with their fruitfulness. We will see below whether or not a bias towards theexplanation of formalist language change with universals might be a similar mistake.

2.4.3 Bybee - usage-based functionalism

Bybee supports a synthesis of functionalism and usage-based approaches, both beingof cognitive and functional nature, combining language structure with language use.The central statement is that "the general cognitive capabilities of the human brain,which allow it to categorize and sort for identity, similarity, and difference, go towork on the language events a person encounters, categorizing and entering in memory these experiences" (Bybee 2006: 711). This results in a cognitive representation of linguistic experience, both morphological and phonological, that can be calledgrammar. Important are three effects of usage. A high token frequency, the repeatedoccurrence of a word or phrase, leads to a faster rate of phonetic reduction throughautomatization and neuromotor routines. Furthermore, high-frequency tokens become lexically more entrenched than low-frequency ones, making them more resistant to morphological change.3 Analogical reformation is not necessary because highfrequent words are easily accessible in the memory. Thirdly, morphologically complex and high-frequent forms can lose their internal structure and become autonomous from their etymological source - they grammaticize4 and become productive(Bybee 2006: 715). The storage must be very complex, as Bybee states:

Each token of use of an item affects its memory representation. Since tokens of use vary, the stored representation must include a range of variation. As wordsslowly and gradually reduce in production, the center of the range of variation gradually shifts. [...] Not only do lexical representations have to be fully speci- fied and represented in concrete phonetic units, these units cannot be an idealized systemic phonetic set of units, but rather must represent in some realisticway the range of variation occurring in the individual pronunciations that are constantly being mapped onto the existing representations. (Bybee 1999: 221)

2.5 Summary

In this chapter, the basic ideas of different theoretical approaches to linguistic change (in contact situations) have been outlined. On the one hand, we can see profound differences between some approaches. On the other hand, other approaches seem to take similar or related paths. A combination of the approaches seems to be productive in accounting for linguistic processes and mechanisms of language change. As a next step, varieties of the English language will be presented with a focus on their linguistic ecology. After providing feature samples in chapter 4, our findings hitherto will be discussed and matched to the approaches in chapter 5.

3. Selection of varieties of English

In order to create a subset as interesting and representative as possible, five varieties of English were chosen for our purpose. We find one member of every variety type as classified in Kortmann/Lunkenheimer (2012: 3f.). The five types are:

1) L1t, a low-contact traditional L1 dialect or native-speaker variety, defined as "[t]raditional, regional non-standard mother-tongue varieties, e.g. East Anglian English and the dialects spoken in the Southwest, the Southeast and the North of England" (Kortmann/Lunkenheimer 2011),
2) L1c, a high-contact L1 variety, including "transplanted L1 Englishes and colonialstandards (e.g. Bahamian English, New Zealand English), as well as language shiftvarieties (e.g. Irish English) and standard varieties (e.g. colloquial American English)" (ibid.),
3) L2, an indigenized non-native variety that compete with local native languages, and "that have a certain degree of prestige and normative status in their political communities, like Pakistani English, [...] but also non-native varieties that compete with local L1 varieties for prestige and normative status, e.g. Chicano English and Black South African English" (ibid.),
4) Creoles, English-based contact languages and native language to many people,and "that developed in settings where a non-English-speaking group was understrong pressure to acquire and use some form of English, while access to its L1 speakers was severely limited (e.g. in plantation settings). Many creoles have become thenative language of the majority of the population", e.g. Jamaican Creole (ibid.), and
5) Pidgins, "English-based contact languages that developed for communication between two groups who did not share the same language, typically in restricted domains of use (especially trade)." Almost all pidgins in eWAVE can be consideredexpanded pidgins in contrast to prototypical pidgins, i.e. they are less restricted in thedomains of use, and many people speak them as native or primary languages (ibid.)5.

Furthermore, the chosen varieties have historically quite well-recorded influences with respect to the origin of their settlers. In other words, we know the linguistic ecology of these varieties quite well, which provides fair chances of explanation to alltheoretical approaches. Another aspect is the broad but distinct variety of substrateinfluences. We can find European, Asian, and Pacific languages in contact situationswith non-standard varieties of English, creating quite a diverse impression, see appendix I

Scottish English was chosen as L1t because of its distinct features distinguishing itfrom Standard British English, and its influence on other language types as a result ofcontact situations due to colonial seafaring in the past centuries, especially as of theseventeenth century colonial expansion which finally lead to an increase of Englishspeakers all over the world (Hansen et al. 1996: 25). All varieties discussed herehave founders who were British, partly Scottish, navy sailors - "men of littleeducation" and probably speakers of a non-standard variety of English (Zettersten1969: 133). An attractive L1c is New Zealand English, spoken almost at the oppositeend of the world and influenced by native Maori. The indigenized L2 in this workwill be Chicano English which is mainly spoken by Mexican immigrants to theUnited States but which took an interesting development. The Bonin Island English,also called Ogasawara Mixed Language, is an English-Japanese hybrid spoken on anarchipelago south of Japan and will serve as creole. Last but not least, we will dealwith the pidgin spoken on Norfolk Island and Pitcairn with its Tahitian roots.

In the following, the five varieties will be introduced in order to gain insight in their sociolinguistic, historical and geographic situation, outlining their main characteristics and providing aspects for later discussion.

3.1 Traditional L1 variety: Scottish English

It seems to be rather difficult to define the term Scottish English. Aitken and othersthink of "Scottish English as a bipolar linguistic continuum, with broad Scots at oneend and Scottish Standard English at the other" (Stuart-Smith 2004: 47). Maguire(2012: 55) expands this bipolar continuum to "a multi-dimensional sociolinguistic include spontaneous generation, restricted vocabulary, absence of complex grammatical features, that they are not L1, and focus on essentials; definitions on creoles include nativeness (L1), and reduction of redundant features (see Romaine 1988, 23f.). variation space" in which the speakers operate. This space is dependent on the spea- kers' socioeconomic class, level of education, identification as a Scot or a British, religion, urban or rural origin, age, and fashion of speaking, which still is an abstraction from reality. By far the greatest differences between Standard English and ScE exist in pronunciation and intonation (Hansen et al. 1996: 71).

Scots is generally, with exceptions, spoken by working class people, and in informalsituations with friends and family, mainly in the rural area. Scottish StandardEnglish, in contrast, is typically spoken by educated middle class people in the urbanareas of Edinburgh and Glasgow, and is used in more formal occasions (Stuart-Smith2004: 47). Many speakers are able to switch between degrees of broader or standardnear Scots, what Aitken describes as style/dialect shifting or style/dialect drifting(ibid.). Most examples cited in WAVE are from the broad Scots end of the continuum. For this reason, Scots features are mainly ranked B in the WAVE description,as they do not account for all speakers in all contexts. This means, features are notpervasive in all occasions of language production; rather they depend on thesituation's and speakers' sociolinguistic and socioeconomic characteristics (Smith2012: 21).

How did this variety continuum evolve? Scots is often perceived of as StandardEnglish spoken with a Scottish accent. The continuum itself results from dialectcontact and language change over many centuries (Stuart-Smith 2004: 47), Smith(2012: 21) traces it back to the seventh century Old English dialect spoken inNorthumbria influenced by further spread of English from the thirteenth century onward. Before the Anglian invasion, the area was predominantly Celtic-speaking, buta northern variety of Anglo-Saxon was introduced. About 150 years later, Vikingsinvaded Scotland from the south. At the time of the Norman Conquest, most peoplein the area of Scotland spoke a form of Celtic, while Norse was used in the far northand west, and Anglian was spoken in the south-east, with an increase of Anglianspeakers from the twelfth century onwards (Stuart-Smith 2004: 47). Until 1500 A.D.,a Lowlands variety of English known as Inglis - Gaelic was called Erse or Irish developed under the main historical influence of Norse. Later, Norman French left itstraces in Scots place names and literature (ibid.: 48). In 1398, Scots was declared thelanguage of record, and flourished as a literary language, until influence of Englishincreased after the 1603 Union of Crowns and 1707 Union of Parliaments (ibid.). In a process of language shift, Scots replaced Gaelic in the Lowlands and English replaced Gaelic in the Highlands (Maguire 2012: 53). From that time on, Standard Southern English became the written standard in Scotland while the spoken standardapproximated as well, especially because of its prestige among the middle class.Today's spoken Scottish English in urban areas has a low overt prestige, and isconsidered as bad or degenerate. In contrast, rural varieties are considered good (Stuart-Smith 2004: 48). Despite the still prestigious role of Received Pronunciationin Scotland, most speakers do not assimilate, especially because a too obvious assimilation in speech habits is perceived of as affected or hypercorrect, such as the twoRP-oriented varieties Morningside accent and Kelvinside accent spoken in Edinburgh or Glasgow respectively. These marked forms of RP are socially stigmatisedfor most speakers, and are mainly spoken by elderly middle-class women (Hansen etal. 1996: 71f.).

Today, there are roughly 5 million potential speakers of Scottish Standard English, ofwhich two thirds speak Urban Scots. Still, it is difficult for both speakers andlinguists to distinguish Scots from Scottish Standard English, and to determinewhether or not it is an independent, autonomous language, facing the ongoingprocess of dialect levelling towards Standard English (ibid.: 49). Next to varieties ofEnglish, Scottish Gaelic is spoken, albeit only by 1.2% of the population, andpassively understood by less than 2%. Only little phonological influence by Gaelicspeakers on English is attested (ibid.: 50). Other ethnic minorities of Asian orAfrican descent are statistically insignificant, except for agglomerations of immigrants in urban areas, creating a bilingual, ethnically diverse culture in a number ofpublic schools. Throughout its history, Scots has been under constant influence andwas neither geographically nor linguistically isolated, and it shares many featureswith its neighbours northern English and (northern) Irish English (Maguire 2012:54).

[...]


1 Allopatric speciation in biology is the separate existence and development of closely related species in different places due to sudden geographic isolation.

2 "Whenever an empty territory undergoes settlement, or an earlier population is dislodged by invaders, the specific characteristics of the first group able to effect a viable, self-perpetuating society areof crucial significance to the later social and cultural geography of the area, no matter how tiny theinitial band of settlers may have been [...] in terms of lasting impact the activities of a few hundred, oreven a few score, initial colonizers can mean much more for the cultural geography of a place than thecontributions of tens of thousands of new immigrants generations later" (Zelinsky quoted in Mühlhäusler 2005: 267).

3 We can see this phenomenon in English irregular verbs. Highly frequent verbs, such as keep-kept- kept, are less likely to regularize or to change morphologically than less frequent verbs such as weep- weeped-weeped (instead of weep-wept-wept), as it can be found in various sources (Bybee 2006: 715).

4 This process can be found in the going-to future that employs a grammaticized form of the former local meaning of going to a place in order to do something (Bybee 2006: 719).

5 Additional definitions for creoles and pidgins can be found in various places. Most often they havein common that they are not definitely sure about what pidgins and creoles are, or blur their definitions. Some even say they form one group, the pidgin-creole-continuum, and a distinction betweenthem is not fruitful.

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Details

Title
Principles at work.
Subtitle
Explaining linguistic features in World Englishes.
College
Dresden Technical University  (Anglistik)
Grade
1,0
Author
Year
2013
Pages
97
Catalog Number
V264081
ISBN (eBook)
9783656532781
ISBN (Book)
9783656533450
File size
10478 KB
Language
English
Notes
This paper deals with different explanatory models for the emergence or existence of linguistic features in varieties of the English language. After a brief overview of the current research, 5 non-standard varieties from all over the world, ranging from a traditional dialect to pidgins and creoles, are analyzed in 2 morphosyntactic and 2 phonological features. The theoretical approaches are discussed with reference to the features, providing recommendations for or advise against certain explanatory models. Finally, usage-based functionalism and cognitive universals are recommended.
Tags
Anglistik, Linguistik, Pidgin, Creole, Universals, linguistics, language universals, dialects, varieties of English, English language, contact, language contact, functionalism, cognitive linguistics, usage-based linguistics, usage, universal grammar, New Zealand English, Scottish English, Pitcairn, Norfolk, Pitkern, Pitcairn Island Norfolk English, Bonin Island, Ogasawara, Mufwene, founder principle, Croft, Trudgill, linguistic features, Chicano English, Chicano, Mexican English, Variäteten der englischen Sprache, Bybee, Ansaldo, Andersen, Tomasello, Schreier, cognitive universals, descriptive universals, World Englishes, usage-based functionalism
Quote paper
B.Ed. Tobias Weber (Author), 2013, Principles at work., Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/264081

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