Language Change: Polish in Contact with other Languages


While languages have arguably been in contact with each other for as long as linguistic interaction has been a part of human sociality, the linguistic effects of world politics, globalization and migrations make studies of Language Contact relevant for contemporary linguistics and social theory. These studies consider how language structure bears witness to the contact situations, inter-cultural interactions, and multilingual practices that shaped the ways the contributing languages changed through time. This course will begin with a survey of historical, social, and political settings of language contact in the Polish context. We will consider multilingualism and code switching practices. We will study how the beliefs, behavior and attitudes of speakers can influence the linguistic outcomes of language contact situations. This background discussion will lead us to a more detailed examination of Polish case-studies of contact-induced language change mostly involving borrowing of vocabulary and/or transfer of grammatical features from one language to another.