Contact Languages and Light Warlpiri

Session Date: 
Feb 20, 2015

Contact languages represent some of the ways that new languages can be created, as they systematically combine elements from more than one existing language, resulting in novel linguistic systems. When multiple sources provide input to a rapidly emerging new system, elements are likely to be reanalyzed, and new structural categories may be created that differ from those in the source languages. For example, Light Warlpiri, a newly emerged mixed language spoken in north Australia, combines Warlpiri nominal structure with verbal structure from varieties of English and/or Kriol (an English-lexified creole), but with the addition of radical restructuring of the verbal auxiliary system. In this talk, I will give examples of restructuring in contact languages, including Light Warlpiri.

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