Feature diffusion vs. contact effects in the evolution of new Englishes
A typological case study of negation patterns
This paper proposes an investigation of New Englishes in a diachronic and typological-comparative perspective. It is suggested that the structural and functional constituents of these varieties can be accounted for by either of two processes, labelled diffusion (the largely unmodified transmission of earlier forms of English (dialectal and standard) through space and time), and selection (the choice of a new, typically indigenous item in a process of feature competition under language contact conditions); some tentative properties of these processes are discussed. Subsequently, the framework is applied to a documentation and interpretation of negation patterns as found in many New Englishes around the world.
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