|Braunmüller, Kurt, Steffen Höder & Karoline Kühl
(Hgg.). 2014. Stability and divergence in language
contact. Factors and mechanisms (Studies in
Language Variation 16). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins.
Convergence, i.e. the increase of inter-systemic similarities, is usually considered the default development in language contact situations. This volume focuses on the other logical possibilities of diachronic development, namely stability and divergence – two well-attested, but under-researched phenomena. The contributions investigate the sociolinguistic and structural factors and mechanisms that lead to or at least reinforce both types of non-convergence, despite of language contact. The contributions cover a wide range of language contact situations, including standard and non-standard varieties.
|Höder, Steffen. 2014. Constructing
diasystems. Grammatical organisation in bilingual groups. In Tor A. Åfarli & Brit Mæhlum (Hgg.), The sociolinguistics of grammar (Studies in Language Companion Series 154), 137–152. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins. (Abstract)
From a global and historical perspective, multilingualism or at least multilectalism is the rule rather than the exception. However, linguistic theory continues to focus on the idea of a prototypically coherent, static, and monolingual language system. A more realistic approach can set out from the notion of ‘diasystems’, i.e. linguistic systems including more than one variety. Apart from being theoretical constructs, diasystems are also an important component of multilectal speakers’ linguistic knowledge. Within a usage-based construction grammar approach, this paper argues that multilectal speakers (re-)organise their grammars by generalisation over individual constructions and across language boundaries. Therefore, the multilectal system can be modelled as an inventory of constructions that are partly language-specific and partly unspecified for language.
|Höder, Steffen. 2014. Convergence
vs. divergence from a diasystematic perspective. In Kurt Braunmüller, Steffen Höder & Karoline Kühl (Hgg.), Stability and divergence in language contact. Factors and
mechanisms (Studies in Language
Variation 16), 39–60. Amsterdam/Philadelphia:
Convergence and divergence are usually defined as changes in opposite directions – convergence increases, divergence decreases interlingual similarities between two given languages or varieties. Additionally, convergence is often explained as the ‘natural’, expectable process in language contact, whereas divergence is associated with psychosocial mechanisms. Based on observations from the recent development of Low German in its present intense contact with High German, this contribution argues that the distinction between convergence and divergence is not as straightforward as it seems and that it is not convergence as such that can be explained without the involvement of any extralinguistic factors, but rather pro-diasystematic change (as opposed to counter-diasystematic change) – i.e. innovations that facilitate the establishment of language-unspecific structures in a common constructional system.
|Höder, Steffen. 2014–2016. Ältestes
Nordisch, Altisländisch, Altnordisch, Apokope, Assimilation,
Auslautverhärtung, Brechung, Dänisch, Desonorisierung, Diphthongierung,
Diphthongwandel, Entphonologisierung, Dissimilation, Entrundung, Epenthese,
Ersatzdehnung, Erste Lautverschiebung, Frikativierung, grammatischer
Wechsel, Grassmann’sches Gesetz, Haplologie, Hebung, Isländisch,
Lautspaltung, Lautverschiebung, Lautwandel, Lautzusammenfall, Lenisierung,
Metathese, Monophthongierung, Nebensilbenabschwächung, Norwegisch,
Ostnordisch, Palatalisierung, Phonologisierung, Primärberührungseffekt,
Primärumlaut, Proklise, Prokope, Rundung, Schwedisch, Sekundärumlaut,
Senkung, Sonorisierung, Sprossvokal, Verner’sches Gesetz, Vokalsenkung,
Westnordisch, Zweite Lautverschiebung. In Mechthild
Habermann & Ilse Wischer (Hgg.), Wörterbücher
zur Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft online: Historische
Sprachwissenschaft, Berlin/New York: de
|Höder, Steffen. 2014. Low German:
A profile of a word language. In Javier Caro
Reina & Renata Szczepaniak (Hgg.),
Syllable and word languages (Linguae & litterae 40), 305–326. Berlin/New York: de Gruyter. (Abstract)
This contribution claims that Modern Low German (as represented by North Low German dialects) is a rather prototypical word language according to the model provided by Auer (2001) and others. The interaction between syllable structure, stress, and phonemic alternations in different contexts is better explained as a consequence of word-related as opposed to syllable-related rules and restrictions. Apart from the relatively high complexity of possible consonant clusters at word boundaries, this view is supported by (a) the stress sensitivity of vocalic and consonantal syllable nuclei, including a highly differentiated vowel system, (b) word-level phonological processes such as word-medial obstruent voicing, and (c) the existence of a word-level suprasegmental phenomenon similar to a pitch accent. On the whole, Low German is even closer to the word language pole of the continuum between word and syllable languages than Standard German. The findings are also relevant in a wider perspective. First, it is of general importance to include dialectal or non-standard varieties in cross-linguistic typological studies and theoretical models. Second, some of the features found in Low German are also found in other non-standard varieties of (Northern) Germany as well as in neighboring languages, such as Danish (including South Jutlandic) and other Scandinavian and Circum-Baltic languages, which suggests an areal or contact-induced relation.
|Höder, Steffen. 2014. Phonological
elements and Diasystematic Construction Grammar. Constructions and Frames 6, 202–231.
Usage-based CxG approaches share the central assumption that any grammar has to be acquired and organised through input-based abstraction and categorisation. Diasystematic Construction Grammar (DCxG) is based on the idea that these processes are not sensitive to language boundaries. Multilingual input thus results in multilingual grammars which are conceived of as constructicons containing language-specific as well as language-unspecific constructions. Within such systems, phonological structures play an important part in the identification of schematic constructions. However, the status of phonology in DCxG, as in CxG in general, yet remains unclear. This paper presents some arguments for including phonological elements systematically in the construction-based analysis of (multilingual) constructional systems.