Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Language contact question

From:Thomas Leigh <thomas@...>
Date:Monday, February 5, 2007, 17:02

I have a general question relating to a long-hypothetical conlang
project I'm working on, and I don't know much about language contact.
Basically, the scenario is this: I have a new language emerging from the
prolonged contact of two parent languages. Both parent languages are
highly inflected, with noun cases, verbal inflection for person, number
and tense, etc.; however, the two parent languages are not related, but
belong to completely different language families (Indo-European and
Uralic). Given this, which is the more plausible scenario: (1) the fact
that both languages are highly inflected leads to the descendant,
"mixed" language retaining all this morphological complexity, despite
the fact that the parent languages are from different families, or (2)
the fact that the parent languages are from different families leads to
the descendant language being more of a creole, with loss of cases,
complicated verbal inflection, and the like?

Related question: the Indo-European parent language has grammatical
gender, while the Uralic parent language does not. Would the descendant
language be likely to have or not have grammatical gender?




David J. Peterson <dedalvs@...>
Tim May <butsuri@...>