Vorlesung: Languages in Contact

Thursdays, 9:00 – 11:00 s.t. in room U1.42, building 23.21
May 14 – July 2, 1998


Prof. Dr. Richard F. Young
rfyoung at wisc dot edu
Office hours: 13:00 – 15:00 Thursdays in room 01.70 building 23.21
Phone: 811-3066


Appel, R., & Muysken, P. (1987). Language contact and bilingualism. London: Edward Arnold.

Romaine, S. (1995). Bilingualism. (2nd ed.). Oxford: Blackwell.

Course description

Throughout history, speakers of different languages have come in contact with one another. Thanks to the globalization of communications in the second half of the 20th century, however, the frequency and extent of such contacts have reached levels never before witnessed. Communication between speakers of different languages results in psychological changes in individuals as well as changes in the languages themselves. What are the consequences of these changes for the future of the languages that we now know and for their speakers? In this series of lectures, we will review some of the effects of linguistic contact on speakers and on their languages - focusing in particular on those contact situations in which English is one of the languages involved.

Topics to be covered include:

bulletCode switching
bulletPidgins and creoles
bulletLanguage transfer
bulletCrosscultural communication
bulletThe bilingual brain
bulletBilingual education

Course outline

Date Topic Readings
May 14 Introduction to the Course: Code Switching Appel & Muysken chapter 10
Romaine chapter 4
"Freefalling Toward a Borderless Future" in Gómez-Peña (1996)
May 28 Pidgins and Creoles Appel & Muysken chapter 15
Bickerton (1983)
June 7 Language Transfer Appel & Muysken chapter 8
Odlin (1989)
Romaine chapter 5
June 18 Cross-Cultural Communication Appel & Muysken chapter 12
Romaine chapter 2
Scollon & Scollon (1995)
June 25 The Bilingual Brain Appel & Muysken chapter 7
Romaine chapter 3
July 2 Bilingual Education Appel & Muysken chapter 12
Romaine chapter 6

Other readings

Bickerton, D. (1983, July). Creole languages. Scientific American.

Gómez-Peña, G. (1996). The new world border: Prophecies, poems & loqueras for the end of the century. San Francisco, CA: City Lights.

Odlin, T. (1989). Language transfer: Cross-linguistic influence in language learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Scollon, R., & Scollon, S. W. (1995). Intercultural communication: A discourse approach. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.

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