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Multilingualism research group, seminar 2

When Mar 12, 2015
from 01:00 PM to 02:30 PM
Where Brown Library, DTAL, English Faculty
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Auregnais: Insular Norman’s invisible relative

Dr. Mari Jones (Dept. of French)

Insular Norman was, for the most part, the everyday language of the Channel Islands until the nineteenth century. Today, the dialects spoken on Jersey, Guernsey and Sark are all severely endangered. The dialect of Alderney (Auregnais) is extinct and has disappeared with very little trace. This talk explores the reason why the Channel Island  geographically closest to the Norman mainland should lose its Norman tongue first. It considers the sources  that can be examined for Auregnais in the nineteenth century, when it was still a living language, in an attempt to determine what linguistic information can be uncovered about this seemingly invisible variety of insular Norman.

Null objects in Romeyka: Contact-induced change or internal conditioning?

Dr Ioanna Sitaridou (Dept. of Spanish and Portuguese)

Asia Minor Greek has always been the play-field of contact linguistics. The borrowing of Turkish inflectional suffixes into dialects of Asia Minor Greek (Dawkins 1916), in particular, has been dubbed one of the most ‘spectacular’ contact induced changes (Poplack & Levy 2010: 392). Romeyka, contrary to Greek (see Dimitriadis 1994, Giannakidou & Merchant 1997, Tsimpli and Papadopoulou 2006), does not require the presence of an overt object with transitive verbs. We examine whether the null objects in Romeyka are due to contact with Turkish, which, as is well-known, has null objects, or not.  However, as we shall see the picture is more complicated given that (i) Hellenistic Greek also allowed null objects; and (ii) the Turkish dialects of the region show overt pronominal objects.