Extremely isolated communities offer 'laboratory conditions' for examining the processes of language change and dialect formation. This book presents findings of the first-ever ethnographic fieldwork on the most remote island in the world with a permanent population, Tristan da Cunha. It documents the historical formation of a unique local dialect and investigates the sociolinguistic mechanisms that underlie dialect contact and new-dialect formation. It also uncovers the linguistic consequences of post-insularity- language change processes as a result of increasing contacts with other communities and speakers. Researchers and students of language variation will find this book a unique resource.KEY FEATURES1 Large number of linguists interested in empirical studies of language variation/dialectology as basic to all sociolinguistic and historical linguistics training2 Unique data: the first-ever ethnographic fieldwork in this community, so both spoken and written evidence3 Isolation now recognised in language variationist work as a valuable 'laboratory' for testing theories of dialect formation4 Both historical and contemporary dataCONTENTSAcknowledgementsIntroductionContact, Isolation and Language Change: A Theoretical FrameworkTristan da Cunha - Methodology and Fieldwork - Determining Input InteractionPresent Tense ConcordCategoricality and HomogenisationPresent/past be regularisationDynamism vs RetentionCompletive doneInnovation and Independent Developments useta wentConclusionNotesAppendix: Some Phonetic and Phonological Aspects of Tristan da Cunha EnglishBibliographyIndexABOUT THE AUTHORDANIEL SCHREIER is an Assistant Professor of Linguistics at the University of Regensburg, Germany. He has published extensively on contact linguistics and new-dialect formation and has taught and lectured in Switzerland, theUSA and in New Zealand.