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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."


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Academic Paper


Title: On the cognitive basis of contact-induced sound change: Vowel merger reversal in Shanghainese
Paper URL: https://www.linguisticsociety.org/sites/default/files/08_92.2Yao_2.pdf
Author: Yao Yao
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://www.cbs.polyu.edu.hk/yaoyao/
Institution: Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Author: Charles B. Chang
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: https://cbchang.com
Institution: Boston University
Linguistic Field: Cognitive Science; Historical Linguistics; Language Acquisition; Phonetics; Phonology; Psycholinguistics; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: Chinese, Wu
Abstract: This study investigated the source and status of a recent sound change in Shanghainese (Wu, Sinitic) that has been attributed to language contact with Mandarin. The change involves two vowels, /e/ and /ɛ/, reported to be merged three decades ago but produced distinctly in contemporary Shanghainese. Results of two production experiments showed that speaker age, language mode (monolingual Shanghainese vs. bilingual Shanghainese-Mandarin), and crosslinguistic phonological similarity all influenced the production of these vowels. These findings provide evidence for language contact as a linguistic means of merger reversal and are consistent with the view that contact phenomena originate from cross-language interaction within the bilingual mind.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: Language, 92(2), 433-467.
URL: https://www.linguisticsociety.org/sites/default/files/08_92.2Yao_2.pdf
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