Accentual Change and Language Contact: A Comparative Survey by Joe Salmons

By Joe Salmons

Spoken language is topic to consistent switch and the effect of alternative audio system. This e-book takes in a survey of literature on hand concerning accessory attrition and merging, and is going directly to exhibit that accessory shift occurs the world over and in all social settings, ultimately taking in an research of prehistoric ecu proto-language with the focal point on a proposed shared Celtic-Germanic accessory procedure.

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LePage and Tabouret-Keller (1985:71) suggest another possible explanation, perhaps more in line with evidence for the vulner-ability of tone in language contact. They describe a process of “reAfricanization” which occurred in Maroons (settlements established by escaped slaves) such as among the Saramaccan, proposing that tonal contrasts may have been reintroduced in Saramaccan by recently arrived runaway slaves, who served as important cultural models for helping to preserve African culture and language.

Many other examples in the literature of accentual change with language contact are sketchy, extremely speculative, or both. Two examples which are nevertheless worthy of note are those in Thomas (1923) and Brockelmann (1940). Thomas (1923:831) alludes to a possible connection between syllabic tone and initial consonant differences in Punjabi and Siamese (that is, Thai), Tibetan, and other languages. Brockelmann (1940:365) hypothesizes that an unknown substrate influence might be at work in the final stress accent of northwest Semitic languages and Armenian.

Russian dialects bordering on Karelian-Olonec- and Vespianspeaking areas (both initially stressed Finnic languages) show a tendency toward fixed initial stress, a change Veenker (1967:74, 165) regards as clear influence, that is, playing a causal and not a catalytic role (that is, hervorrufend as opposed to begünstigend), from these languages on the neighboring Russian dialects. 19 He takes this to be more adstratal than substratal influence, but finds substratal accentual influence clearer in the initial stress of Latvian—replacing the Baltic free accent—taken over from Livonian.

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