Languages in Contact
French, German and Romansh in twentieth-century Switzerland
Introduction and notes by
The appearance of Uriel Weinreich's Languages in Contact: Findings and Problems (1953) marked a milestone in the study of multilingualism and language contact. Yet until now, few linguists have been aware that its main themes were first laid out in Weinreich’s Columbia University doctoral dissertation of 1951, Research Problems in Bilingualism with Special Reference to Switzerland. Based on the author's fieldwork, it contains a detailed report on language contact in Switzerland in the first half of the 20th century, especially along the French-German linguistic border and between German and Romansh in the canton of Grisons (Graubünden). The present edition reproduces Weinreich's original text in full, with only minor alterations and corrections, as well as the author's fieldwork photographs and many of his hand-drawn diagrams. A new foreword reviews Weinreich's life and legacy, as well as developments in contact linguistics and the Swiss linguistic situation over the past 60 years. With selected comments on noteworthy points and references to more recent literature, this volume will be of interest not only to those working on the languages of Switzerland, or specialists in language contact, but all scholars today whose work builds on the broad and lasting foundations laid over half a century ago by Uriel Weinreich.
[Not in series, 166] 2011. xxxiv, 401 pp.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins Publishing Company
Table of Contents
List of tables | pp. xv–xvi
List of figures | pp. xvii–xviii
Introduction | pp. xix–xxx
Foreword to the original | pp. xxxi–xxxiv
Chapter 1. The bilingual individual | pp. 1–18
Chapter 2. Patterns of bilingual communities | pp. 19–36
Chapter 3. Linguistic problems of bilingualism | pp. 37–64
Chapter 4. Switzerland as a quadrilingual country | pp. 65–80
Chapter 5. Intralingual relations: Contact between standard language and dialect | pp. 81–120
Chapter 6. French-German bilingualism: General characteristics | pp. 121–142
Chapter 7. Case study: A static bilingual situation in the canton of Fribourg | pp. 143–176
Chapter 8. The linguistic effects of bilingualism in Fribourg | pp. 177–190
Chapter 9. German-Romansh bilingualism: General characteristics | pp. 191–214
Chapter 10. Case study: A dynamic bilingual situation in Central Grisons | pp. 215–268
Chapter 11. Reversing language shift: The Romansh language movement in Central Grisons | pp. 269–300
Chapter 12. The linguistic effects of bilingualism in Central Grisons | pp. 301–324
Chapter 13. German-Italian bilingualism | pp. 325–326
Chapter 14. Conclusions | pp. 327–336
Appendix A: Excerpts from interviews with bilingual children | pp. 337–354
Poll of Chur students concerning their language background | pp. 355–368
Bibliography | pp. 369–394
“The importance of this volume lays first in the fact that, until now, few linguists have been aware that the main themes of LiC were first proposed in embryonic form here and even fewer had access to it. Besides its undeniable utility, the book is pleasant reading also thank to the inclusion of photos, hand-drawn diagrams and other material personally prepared by the author.”
Ilaria Fiorentini, University of Pavia/Free University of Bozen, on Linguist List 22. 4961, 2012
“Overall, this is a groundbreaking book that offers important insights into bilingualism and language contact. Although the dissertation was written in the 1950s, it is still highly relevant. It raises important questions in the field of bilingualism and language contact, such as questions regarding the direction and nature of cross-linguistic influence and the borrowability of linguistic elements. These questions are still a topic of debate. In addition, the book addresses methodological issues and is an inspiring example of well-conducted fieldwork. Finally, it shows the importance of comparative research to better understand the outcome of bilingualism at different levels.”
Antje Muntendam, Radboud University Nijmegen, in Journal of Sociolinguistics 17-2 (2013) pag. 257-260.
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Main BIC Subject
Main BISAC Subject
LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number: 2011023564 | Marc record