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Computing the ambiguities part 2

30 Mai 2016 , Rédigé par Med Zied Arbi

Language contact models

Throughout history people traveled to every corner of the earth, taking with them all the cultural features that had shaped their history and present. This cultural flux resulted on languages interacting with each other leading to new forms of languages or simply to the extinction of some languages. In this article we will deal with the language contact models, or how to model the interaction between languages.


We have a language contact when two languages or more interact; the field of linguistics dealing with this contact is called contact linguistics.

The study of language contact is fueled with the widespread of multilingualism, when the speakers interact directly with different languages it is typical for their cultural features to interact, influencing each other. An approach to study contact is to take notice of the geographical borders of language communities classifying adstratum (neighboring), superstratum and substratum languages resulting from an intrusive migration or invasion.

Language contact is witnessed in a variety of linguistic phenomena including language conversion

( whereby languages with many bilingual speakers mutually borrow morphological and syntactic features, making their typology more similar typology)

, borrowing and relexification

( mechanism of language change by which one language replaces much or all of its lexicon, including basic vocabulary, with that of another language, without drastic change to its grammar)

, this results in many linguistics products like pidgins

( pidgin language, is a grammatically simplified means of communication that develops between two or more groups that do not have a language in common: typically, a mixture of simplified languages or a simplified primary language with other languages' elements included. It is most commonly employed in situations such as trade)

, creoles

(is a stable natural language that has developed from a pidgin (a simplified language or simplified mixture of languages used by non-native speakers) becoming nativized by children as their first language, with the accompanying effect of a fully developed vocabulary and system of grammar)

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