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The Handbook of Language Contact

Raymond Hickey (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4051-7580-7
890 pages
April 2010, Wiley-Blackwell
The Handbook of Language Contact (140517580X) cover image


The Handbook of Language Contact offers systematic coverage of the major issues in this field – ranging from the value of contact explanations in linguistics, to the impact of immigration, to dialectology – combining new research from a team of globally renowned scholars, with case studies of numerous languages.
  • An authoritative reference work exploring the major issues in the field of language contact: the study of how language changes when speakers of distinct speech varieties interact
  • Brings together 40 specially-commissioned essays by an international team of scholars
  • Examines language contact in societies which have significant immigration populations, and includes a fascinating cross-section of case studies drawing on languages across the world
  • Accessibly structured into sections exploring the place of contact studies within linguistics as a whole; the value of contact studies for research into language change; and language contact in the context of work on language and society
  • Explores a broad range of topics, making it an excellent resource for both faculty and students across a variety of fields within linguistics
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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors.


Language Contact: Reconsideration and Reassessment (Raymond Hickey).

Part I Contact and Linguistics.

1 Contact Explanations in Linguistics (Sarah Thomason).

2 Genetic Classification and Language Contact (Michael Noonan).

3 Contact, Convergence, and Typology (Yaron Matras).

4 Contact and Grammaticalization (Bernd Heine and Tania Kuteva).

5 Language Contact and Grammatical Theory (Karen P. Corrigan).

6 Computational Models and Language Contact (April McMahon).

Part II Contact and Change.

7 Contact and Language Shift (Raymond Hickey).

8 Contact and Borrowing (Donald Winford).

9 Contact and Code-Switching (Penelope Gardner-Chloros).

10 Contact and Dialectology (David Britain).

11 Contact and New Varieties (Paul Kerswill).

12 Contact and Change: Pidgins and Creoles (John Holm).

Part III Contact and Society.

13 Scenarios for Language Contact (Pieter Muysken).

14 Ethnic Identity and Linguistic Contact (Carmen Fought).

15 Contact and Sociolinguistic Typology (Peter Trudgill).

16 Contact and Language Death (Suzanne Romaine).

17 Fieldwork in Contact Situations (Claire Bowern).

Part IV Case Studies of Contact.

18 Macrofamilies, Macroareas, and Contact (Johanna Nichols).

19 Contact and Prehistory: The Indo-European Northwest (Theo Vennemann).

20 Contact and the History of Germanic Languages (Paul Roberge).

21 Contact and the Early History of English (Markku Filppula).

22 Contact and the Development of American English (Joseph C. Salmons and Thomas C. Purnell).

23 Contact Englishes and Creoles in the Caribbean (Edgar W. Schneider).

24 Contact and Asian Varieties of English (Umberto Ansaldo).

25 Contact and African Englishes (Rajend Mesthrie).

26 Contact and the Celtic Languages (Joseph F. Eska).

27 Spanish and Portuguese in Contact (John M. Lipski).

28 Contact and the Development of the Slavic Languages (Lenore A. Grenoble).

29 Contact and the Finno-Ugric Languages (Johanna Laakso).

30 Language Contact in the Balkans (Brian D. Joseph).

31 Contact and the Development of Arabic (Kees Versteegh).

32 Turkic Language Contacts (Lars Johanson).

33 Contact and North American Languages (Marianne Mithun).

34 Language Contact in Africa: A Selected Review (G. Tucker Childs).

35 Contact and Siberian Languages (Brigitte Pakendorf).

36 Language Contact in South Asia (Harold F. Schiffman).

37 Language Contact and Chinese (Stephen Matthews).

38 Contact and Indigenous Languages in Australia (Patrick McConvell).

39 Language Contact in the New Guinea Region (William A. Foley).

40 Contact Languages of the Pacific (Jeff Siegel).

Author Index.

Subject Index.

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Author Information

Raymond Hickey is Professor of Linguistics at Essen University, Germany. His main areas of research are varieties of English (especially Irish English) and general questions of language contact, shift, and change as well as computer corpus processing. He has published widely, the most recent titles being A Sound Atlas of Irish English (2004), Legacies of Colonial English (2004), Dublin English: Evolution and Change (2005), Irish English: History and Present-Day Forms (2007), and Eighteenth-Century English: Ideology and Change (2010). He has also published over 80 articles on various issues within linguistics and produced an electronic corpus of Irish English.
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“This volume represents a welcome addition to the literature on language contact, assembling contributions from international experts to offer an extensive resource which encompasses a broad range of language contact research.”  (The Linguist List, 12 April 2014)

"Despite its century-long history, contact linguistics has received unprecedented attention in the past decades, and it is in this context that one must view the publication of ''The handbook of contact linguistics'' (henceforth HLC), edited by Raymond Hickey for the Blackwell Handbooks in Linguistics series. While a handbook is essentially a reference work aimed at introducing particular concepts for a given discipline, it is also, by its encompassing nature, an opportunity to capture the current state of that discipline and the directions in which it is moving." (The Linguist, 6 January 2012)


"Excellent! Truly thorough coverage of all aspects and areas of language contact. This handbook surveys virtually everything known about the topic to date but also provides much new information and provocative thinking here for the first time. With 40 chapters written by the most stellar scholars in this field, this is an important book, not to be missed."
Lyle Campbell, University of Utah

"This latest addition to Blackwell's authoritative Handbook series is an impressive achievement. The editor has assembled an outstanding team of contributors, who collectively provide a comprehensive and unparalleled survey of the field of language contact, covering both theoretical, conceptual and methodological issues and a wide range of case studies. It will be an invaluable resource for researchers and advanced students alike."
Patrick Stevenson, University of Southampton

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