Creole and Dialect Continua

Standard acquisition processes in Belize and China (PRC)

| University of Minnesota
ISBN 9789027252401 (Eur) | EUR 120.00
ISBN 9781556191732 (USA) | USD 180.00
ISBN 9789027275868 | EUR 120.00 | USD 180.00
Although there is a substantial amount of linguistic research on standard language acquisition, little attention has been given to the mechanisms underlying second dialect acquisition. Using a combination of function-based grammar and sociolinguistic methodology to analyze topic marking strategies, the unguided acquisition of a standard by speakers of nonstandard varieties is examined in two distinct linguistic and geographical situations: in a Caribbean creole situation (Belize), with special attention to the acquisition of acrolects by native speakers of basilects, and in a noncreole situation (PRC), documenting the acquisition of standard Chinese (Putonghua) by speakers of nonstandard varieties represented in Cultural Revolution literature, Wuhan Chinese, and Suzhou Wu story-telling style. In both cases psychosocial factors, linguistic bias toward nonnative renderings of the standard varieties, the social status of their speakers, and related political and educational consequences play an important role in the development of second dialects. The broad-ranging analysis of a single feature of oral discourse leads to the formulation of cross-linguistic generalizations in acquisition studies and results in an evaluation of the putative uniqueness of creole languages. Related issues addressed include the effect of linguistic bias on the development and use of language varieties by marginalized groups; the interaction of three major language components — semantics, syntax, and pragmatics — in spontaneous communication; and the development of methods to identify discourse units. The ultimate goal underlying the comparison of specific discourse variables in Belizean and Chinese standard acquisition is to evaluate the relative merits of substratal, superstratal, and universal explanations in language development.
[Creole Language Library, 18]  1997.  x, 307 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Introduction: Developmental continua
The Belizean speech community and the use of English
Creole acrolects as innovations
The interaction of syntax and pragmatics in acrolets: Topic marking
Sociolinguistic perspectives on Chinese
Topic mechanisms in Chinese: An overview
Literary and colloquial Putonghua
Topic strategies in varieties of Putonghua as second dialects
Conclusions: Pragmatic universals in second dialect acquisitiom
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Subjects & Metadata
BIC Subject: CF – Linguistics
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  97004278 | Marc record