Partial fusion in long-term bilingualism : The case of vernacular Kildin Saami

Faculty/Professorship: Slavic Linguistics  
Author(s): Hakimov, Nikolay  ; Rießler, Michael
Publisher Information: Bamberg : Otto-Friedrich-Universität
Year of publication: 2022
Pages: 401–424
Source/Other editions: International Journal of Bilingualism, 25 (2021), 2, S. 401-424, ISSN 1367-0069, 1756-6878
is version of: 10.1177/1367006920924959
Year of first publication: 2021
Language(s): English
Licence: Creative Commons - CC BY - Attribution 4.0 International 
URN: urn:nbn:de:bvb:473-irb-522512
Objectives: Distinguishing between language mixing and language fusion is a non-trivial task, particularly in situations of long-standing bilingualism. The main goal of this paper is thus to propose and test a methodology for discerning language fusion from conventionalized mixing. In addition, we examine the hypothesis that the fusion of unbound elements evolves from alternational mixing.
Design: The paper addresses the goals through a distributional analysis of a vernacular variety of Kildin Saami, a seriously endangered East Saamic (Uralic) language spoken on the Kola Peninsula in Northwest Russia, as a partially fused lect due to contact with Russian.
Data and Analysis: A one-hour recording of an informal group conversation with three native speakers, comprising some 10,000 word tokens, was transcribed and annotated for Russian-origin items. For comparison, other available speech samples, documenting the earlier stages of the language development, as well as the few existing grammatical descriptions and dictionaries were referred to.
Findings: The paper develops and showcases three diagnostic criteria indicative of language fusion: (a) regularization of the donor language items’ usage patterns in the mixed variety; (b) functional reduction, or functional extension, of the donor language element, and/or of its inherited native equivalent; (c) the introduction of new constructions involving the donor language grammatical elements by way of loan translation. Finally, we report multiple parallels existing between the distribution of Russian-origin items in vernacular Kildin Saami and alternational mixing.
Originality: This paper is the first to propose and systematically test diagnostic criteria indicative of language fusion in a situation of long-term bilingualism.
Significance: The proposed criteria may reliably be employed as indicators of fusion in future studies of contact varieties with little, or undocumented, linguistic histories. Furthermore, in contrast to the mainstream assumption, this study also provides evidence for the claim that alternational mixing can be a starting point for the emergence of a fused lect.
GND Keywords: Sprachwechsel; Mehrsprachigkeit
Keywords: fused lect, loan translation, functional reduction, functional extension, contact-induced change, conventionalized mixing, alternational mixing, Kildin Saami, Russian
DDC Classification: 400 Language & linguistics  
RVK Classification: ER 930   
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Type: Article
Release Date: 2. March 2022

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