Article published in:Language Contact: New perspectives
Edited by Muriel Norde, Bob de Jonge and Cornelius Hasselblatt
[IMPACT: Studies in Language, Culture and Society 28] 2010
► pp. 7–26
Ethnolects as a multidimensional phenomenon
This paper contrasts two different views of the phenomenon of ethnolect, ethnic varieties of a language: the shift perspective and the multidimensional perspective. In the shift perspective, the focus is on the approximation in the speech of ethnic groups to the dominant national target language, while in the multidimensional perspective the original languages of the ethnic group and processes of mutual convergence and simplification play an additional role. The multidimensional perspective allows us to contextualize the varieties that have emerged in the process of shift within an overall account of multilingual repertoires of speakers of a non-dominant language. The complexity of the verbal repertoire and the alternating reliance on strategies of maintenance and shift, convergence, mixing, and simplification create the ethnolectal varieties.
Published online: 03 March 2010
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