Title: Dynamics Of Language Contact And Language Variation : The Case Of Transylvanian Saxon In The Homeland And The Diaspora / by Ariana Bancu
Autores: Bancu, Ariana
University of Michigan
Palabras clave: Lenguas Europa
Euskera Sintaxis
Issue Date to EMD: 26-Mar-2021
Description: Tesis de University of Michigan. Se menciona el euskera
A driving concern of this dissertation is to explore morpho-syntactic variation in Viscri Saxon, a dialect of Transylvanian Saxon (TrSax), originating in Viscri, Romania. I aim to determine if/how German and Romanian, the languages in contact with Viscri Saxon, affect the structure of the language. If contact effects are observable, are some domains of Viscri Saxon morpho-syntax more affected by contact effects than others? Do German and Romanian affect Viscri Saxon to different degrees? Can contact effects on Viscri Saxon be identified by comparing a variety from Romania to a variety from Germany? I address these questions by combining methods from language contact (focusing on factors that facilitate morpho-syntactic transfer) with methods from sociolinguistics (focusing on quantitative analyses that explore the effects of sociolinguistic factors on variation). The two grammatical domains of Viscri Saxon under consideration are two-verb clusters, i.e. auxiliary/modal + verb constructions in the right periphery of a clause, and conjunctions. The first analysis targets word-order variation in two-verb clusters. Viscri Saxon allows both Aux/M-V and V-Aux/M orders, German requires V-Aux/M order, while Romanian requires Aux/M-V order. A preference for V-Aux/M in German-dominant speakers would indicate that German has an effect on TrSax; conversely, Romanian-dominant speakers would prefer Aux/M-V (cf. Kootstra and Şahin 2018). Inter-speaker patterns of variation show that distributions of each order range from exclusive use of Aux/M-V to exclusive use of V-Aux/M and variants are in free variation. Language dominance has an effect on word-order choice. For example, German-dominant speakers prefer V- Aux/M constructions. The second analysis targets two coordinating conjunctions, end and och; both fulfill the grammatical function of ‘and’ in Viscri Saxon. Viscri Saxon end and German und are cognates. Viscri Saxon och and Romanian și are similar – both function as the conjunction ‘and’ or the additive particle ‘also’. I predicted that German-dominant speakers would use end more than och, while Romanian-dominant speakers would use och more than end. However, variation in conjunction choice is conditioned by linguistic factors and patterns similarly across all speakers: end is used to conjoin clauses, och is used to conjoin categories such as NPs, PPs, and APs, and clauses. Both end and och can conjoin clauses, but end is strongly preferred, and no dominant language effects on conjunction choice were present. The dissertation has implications for processes of language contact: Matras (2011) suggests that items that are more tightly bound in their structural domain, i.e. more connected to a specific environment may be less susceptible to contact effects. Because each TrSax conjunction is connected to a specific environment, conjunctions might be less structurally autonomous than verbs in verb clusters, and, thus, variation is not affected by the contact languages in this domain. Thus, results of the two case studies shed light on structural factors that facilitate transfer. This work also contributes to the documentation of TrSax verb clusters and coordinating conjunctions, and to the discussion of such phenomena in Germanic languages, by reviewing the scarcely available evidence from previous work, exemplifying similar phenomena in other related languages and dialects, and providing evidence from data gathered through my own fieldwork.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10357/59842
Origin repository: http://hdl.handle.net/2027.42/153360
Appears in Collections:Tesis, TFG, trabajos académicos, etc. de otros repositorios de universidades no vascas

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