The contact between languages can lead to smaller or bigger changes in one or all of the languages involved. This lecture will give an overview of how English has been shaped by contact with a large number of languages in a variety of contact situations. Perhaps most significantly, the lexicon of English has been affected considerably by borrowing from languages in a range of different social settings. But also the structure of English has been impacted on as it was imposed recurrently on communities who did not speak English before. English has also engendered new languages, and it has played a significant role in complex contact situations with multiple contact languages. In addition, varieties of English have been in contact with each other. This has led to new dialects both in terms of divergence but also convergence as dialect differences disappeared in the emergence of new varieties of English.
The class will take place in an online format.
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