Article published in:Language Contact and Change in the Americas: Studies in honor of Marianne Mithun
Edited by Andrea L. Berez-Kroeker, Diane M. Hintz and Carmen Jany
[Studies in Language Companion Series 173] 2016
► pp. 167–188
Contact and change in Oneida
Oneida is the highly endangered Iroquoian language of several communities of Oneida people in Wisconsin, Ontario, and New York. It is most closely related to Mohawk and then to the languages of the other five nations of the League of the Iroquois, whose homelands stretched across New York from Mohawk near the Hudson west through the territories in the order of Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca near Lake Erie. Over the last four centuries the Oneida speakers have had increasing contact with speakers of other languages. An initial inspection of the language suggests that it has been remarkably resistant to borrowing from these other languages; that deserves an explanation. This paper reviews the history of language contact for Oneida with a focus on the opportunities and pressures for bilingualism and how that bilingualism may have effected change in Oneida.
Keywords: bilingualism, history of language contact, language change, Oneida
Published online: 19 April 2016
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