The volume deals with previously undescribed morphosyntactic variations and
changes appearing in settings involving language contact. Contact-induced
changes are defined as dynamic and multiple, involving internal change as
well as historical and sociolinguistic factors. A variety of explanations
are identified and their relationships are analyzed. Only a multifaceted
methodology enables this fine-grained approach to contact-induced change. A
range of methodologies are proposed, but the chapters generally have their
roots in a typological perspective. The contributors recognize the
precautionary principle: for example, they emphasize the difficulty of
studying languages that have not been described adequately and for which
diachronic data are not extensive or reliable.
Three main perspectives on contact-induced language change are presented.
The first explores the role of multilingual speakers in contact-induced
language change, especially their spontaneous innovations in discourse. The
second explores the differences between ordinary contact-induced change and
change in endangered languages. The third discusses various aspects of the
relationship between contact-induced change and internal change.