chapter  8
17 Pages

Language Contact

Previous chapters established the principles of variationist analysis, which is concerned not only with whether a linguistic feature is present or absent, but also the relative frequency of its occurrence and, more importantly, the linguistic factors conditioning its occurrence. Indeed, variationist linguistics takes the linguistic conditioning of variation to reflect the linguistic system. Under this approach, we use the hierarchy of conditioning by language-internal factors to infer the linguistic system. By comparing the linguistic conditioning of variation between different varieties of language, we can determine the extent to which those varieties share a linguistic system.