Contact-induced change in the Himalayas: the case of the Tamangic languages

Noonan, Michael

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This paper has two goals. The first is to describe the sorts of contact-induced changes the Tamangic languages are presumed to have undergone in recent times and to examine the sociolinguistic situations prevailing between speakers of the recipient and donor languages which existed at the time of the change. The second goal is to examine the data from the Tamangic languages in light of some hypotheses concerning both the relationship between kinds of contact situations and kinds of contact-induced change, and the grammatical effects of contact induced change. As Haspelmath 2004 has pointed out, diffusional linguistics is still in the ‘hunting and gathering stage’, with relatively little attention yet paid to the evaluation of models or competing hypotheses. Such hypotheses exist, however, and it is important to begin the process of examining them against linguistic data. The paper will be organized as follows. In the second part the author provides some linguistic, historical, and demographic background on Nepal and on the Tamangic languages. In section 3 he describes the linguistic effects of language contact on these languages, focusing especially on Chantyal (the most affected by contact) and Nar-Phu (one of the least affected). In the last part Michael Noonan discusses a number of hypotheses concerning contact-induced change in light of the data presented in the third part.

Document type: Article
Date: 2008
Version: Primary publication
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2008 11:24
DDC-classification: Other languages
Controlled Keywords: Tamang-Sprache, Sprachwandel, Sprachkontakt
Uncontrolled Keywords: Tamang-Sprachfamilie , Chantel-Sprache , Nar-Phu , Sprachveränderungen, Tamang Language , Chantyal Language , Nar-Phu , Language Contact , Language Change
Subject (classification): Linguistics
Countries/Regions: Nepal
Series: Personen > Electronic Publications by Michael Noonan
Volume: 22