Zaproszenie na seminarium „Slawistyczne środy”, 23 czerwca 2021 r.

Zapraszamy na ostatnie przed wakacjami seminarium z cyklu „Slawistyczne środy”. Już 23.06.2021 r. o godz. 16.00 na platformie zoom dr Robert Borges w wystąpieniu pt. „New Speakers of Minority Languages: emergent grammar and linguistic entrenchment as a catalyst for language change” zaprezentuje swoje badania wpisujące się w zagadnienia antropologii i socjologii języka. Tym razem prezentacja oraz dyskusja odbędą się w języku angielskim. Osoby zainteresowane wzięciem udziału w seminarium proszone są o zgłoszenie chęci uczestnictwa na adres: Przypominamy o konieczności podpisania okna Zoom pełnym imieniem i nazwiskiem.

Abstrakt wystąpienia

Grammar is often conceptualized as a self-contained system of rules that people are required to conform to in order to communicate. Language, however, is an abstraction that lives in the minds of individuals which is only made explicit by its usage. Thus rather than viewing language change plainly as modification of a system of rules, we must conceive of at least two interrelated process: a change in the behavior of individual speakers, and the acceptance and adoption of new behaviors in the speech community.

Second language acquisition has been hypothesized to play a role in language change. In the context of the previous paragraph, this would mean that second language learners develop patterns of speech behavior that are unique from the rest of the speaker population, but through use become accepted and eventually adopted by the rest of the speech community. Direct evidence of this hypothesis is scant, potentially because L2 acquisition studies typically focus on standardized national varieties with stable speaker populations, where influence from L2 speakers is relatively minor. We can reconstruct indirect evidence by looking at languages that had large numbers of L2 speaker in their history and deduce that certain features entered the language in question as a result of acquisition trajectories or interference from the L1 (or Ls).

As part of the NCN/Norway Grants-funded project (2021–2023) New Speakers of Minority Languages: proficiency, variation and change, the above-mentioned hypothesis will be explored using direct evidence in the form of language data produced by New Speakers of two minority languages spoken in Poland: Kashubian and Wymysorys. A New Speaker refers to an individual who has made the conscious decision to learn an endangered or minoritized language outside the ‘usual path’ of caregiver-child language socialization. Unlike standardized national varieties, endangered and minoritized languages are typically highly susceptible to language change by virtue of their population size, social position, etc. relative to the dominant society. Further, in the two cases to be addressed New Speakers are highly visible language users in their respective speech communities, meaning that idiosyncrasies of New Speakers reach a wider segment of the speech community than those of L2 learners of widely spoken national varieties.

In this lecture, I will first situate the research agenda within the theoretical framework of Linguistic Entrenchment and present some results of previous research that have contributed to the design of the current research questions and theoretical orientation. Then I will present the data collection protocols, including some measures to mitigate personal contact in the Covid era. Finally, I will discuss procedures for analyzing data and how the analysis of different data types work together to address the questions set out in the project.

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