Edited by Kurt Braunmüller and Christoph Gabriel
[Hamburg Studies on Multilingualism 13] 2012
► pp. 241–258
A diasystematic approach to common structures
Language contact phenomena are often described with reference to their effect on the monolingual systems of the varieties involved, both in historical and in contact linguistics. This contribution argues that an essentially multilingual perspective on these phenomena is more adequate. Bilingual speakers in stable bilingual groups create a common system for all their languages, incorporating both interlingual links and language-unspecified elements along with language-specific structures. In a construction grammar analysis, such systems as well as changes within this type of system can be conceptualized as interlingual constructional networks, which are established, stored, and processed in exactly the same way as monolingual grammars.
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