Language Contact in Amazonia

Paperback | June 1, 2010

byAlexandra Y. Aikhenvald

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This book considers how and why forms and meanings of different languages at different times may resemble one another. The author explains the relationship between areal diffusion and the genetic development of languages, and reveals the means of distinguishing what may cause one language toshare the characteristics of another. Professor Aikhenvald uses the example of Arawak and Tucanoan languages spoken in the large area of the Vaupes river basin in northwest Amazonia, which spans Colombia and Brazil. In this region language is seen as a badge of identity: language mixing, interaction, and influence are resisted forideological reasons. The book considers which grammatical categories are most and least likely to be borrowed in a situation of prolonged language contact where lexical borrowing is reduced to a minimum. The author provides a genetic analysis of the languages of the region and considers theirhistorical relationships with languages of the same family outside it. She also examines changes brought about by recent contact with European languages and culture, and the linguistic and cultural effects of being part of a group that is aware of the threat to its language and identity. The book ispresented in relatively nontechnical language and will interest linguists and anthropologists.

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This book considers how and why forms and meanings of different languages at different times may resemble one another. The author explains the relationship between areal diffusion and the genetic development of languages, and reveals the means of distinguishing what may cause one language toshare the characteristics of another. Profess...

Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald is Professor and Research Leader (People and Societies of the Tropics) in the Cairns Institute, James Cook University, Australia. She has worked on descriptive and historical aspects of Berber languages and has published, in Russian, a grammar of Modern Hebrew (1990; second edition 2009). She is a major authori...

other books by Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald

A Grammar of Tariana, from Northwest Amazonia
A Grammar of Tariana, from Northwest Amazonia

Kobo ebook|Aug 7 2003

$69.79 online$90.55list price(save 22%)
see all books by Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald
Format:PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:June 1, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199588244

ISBN - 13:9780199588244

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Table of Contents

1. Language Contact and Language Change in Amazonia2. Diffusional Phenomena in Phonology3. Typological Profile and Pronominal Systems of East Tucanoan and Arawak Languages4. Nominal Categories and Diffusion5. The Diffusion of Verbal Categories6. Diffusional Phenomena in Syntax and in Discourse7. The Impact of Portuguese on Tariana8. How to Keep Languages Apart: Code-Switching and Code-Mixing9. Language Awareness and Correct Speech Among the Tariana10. Diffusion of Patterns and Direct Diffusion in the Vaupes11. Language Obsolescence and Language Change in Tariana12. Language Contact in Multilingual Situations: ConclusionsReferencesIndex of LanguagesIndex of AuthorsSubject Index

Editorial Reviews

"Language Contact in Amazonia is must reading for students of Amazonian languages, language change, convergence, areal linguistics, lexical and grammatical borrowing, and many other areas in the sociology of language." --SIL Electronic Book Reviews