Metatypy in Sri Lanka Malay
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Metatypy in Sri Lanka Malay was published in Annual Review of South Asian Languages and Linguistics on page 3.
This paper reviews the notion of metatypy in relation to the genesis of Sri Lanka Malay. Metatypy is a process of typological congruence known to occur in prolonged and intense situations of contact due to wide-spread multilingualism. In this process, contact-induced transfer of predominantly semantic categories leads to the evolution of grammatical patterns that emerge as syntactic compromises between the actual grammars in contact (Ross 2006). In this paper I show that metatypy efficiently explains the evo-lution of a new language – Sri Lanka Malay – as the outcome of the contact between Sinhala, Lankan Tamil and Trade Malay. The grammar of Sri Lanka Malay shows an extremely high degree of syntactic compromise, due to contact-induced transfer of semantic categories from Sinhala and Lankan Tamil in the everyday usage of Trade Malay. This is first and fore-most illustrated in the nominal domain, where Sri Lanka Malay exhibits a typical South Asian case system, though the verbal domain also shows in-teresting metatypic effects in its Tense and Aspect categories. In explaining a majority of the features of Sri Lanka Malay grammar, metatypy emerges as a more convincing explanation than previous accounts of its genesis (Ansaldo 2009). In addition, it sheds light on the reasons for the evolution of a new language, relying on the principles of second/third language transfer and contact-induced cognitive compromise known to occur in metatypic settings.
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Ansaldo, Umberto (2011)Sri Lanka Malay is the vernacular language of the descendants of the Malay-Javanese diaspora of Sri Lanka. It is a restructured variety of Malay, which emerged from the prolonged contact between speakers of Malay varieties ...
Ansaldo, Umberto (2009)Why do groups of speakers in certain times and places come up with new varieties of languages? What are the social settings that determine whether a mixed language, a pidgin or a Creole will develop, and how can we ...
Ansaldo, Umberto (2009)The aim of this paper is to present a view of contact language formation in which language creation in multilingual ecologies follows the same principles as language maintenance in monolingual ecologies, i.e. selection ...