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Friday, October 11 • 9:20am - 9:45am
Bancu: Morpho-syntactic variation in a multilingual setting: how contact varieties can shed light on the structure of under-documented languages

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Morpho-syntactic variation in a multilingual setting: how contact varieties can shed light on the structure of under-documented languages

Transylvanian Saxon (TrSax) is an endangered Germanic language, used along socially dominant languages (i.e. German and Romanian) in multilingual settings predictive of structural borrowing among languages. There are two areas that display morpho-syntactic variation in TrSax: word order in verbal constructions, and the use of two coordinating conjunctions that fulfill the function of ‘and’. In each case one of the variants has structural/ functional overlap with German and the other with Romanian. The frequency distributions of auxiliary/modal + verb constructions in subordinate clauses are influenced by speakers’ language dominance in German and Romanian (assessed via a questionnaire). However, conjunction choice is determined by specific categories each conjunction favors and speakers with different levels of language dominance use the two conjunctions in a similar way. This research addresses the role of structural factors in contact-induced language change and proposes that frequently occurring structures may be more resistant to such change. 

Speakers
AB

Ariana Bancu

University of Michigan


Friday October 11, 2019 9:20am - 9:45am
EMU Cedar & Spruce
  • Session type Talk
  • Chair: Rebecca Starr


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