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Multilingual Practices in Language History: English and Beyond

Julkaisun tekijätPäivi Pahta, Janne Skaffari, Laura Wright

PaikkaBoston, Berlin


Sarjan nimiLanguage Contact and Bilingualism

Numero sarjassa15






Texts of the past were often not monolingual but were produced by and
for people with bi- or multilingual repertoires; the communicative
practices witnessed in them therefore reflect ongoing and earlier
language contact situations. However, textbooks and earlier research
tend to display a monolingual bias. This collected volume on
multilingual practices in historical materials, including
code-switching, highlights the importance of a multilingual approach.
The authors explore multilingualism in hitherto neglected genres,
periods and areas, introduce new methods of locating and analysing
multiple languages in various sources, and review terminology, theories
and tools. The studies also revisit some of the issues already
introduced in previous research, such as Latin interacting with European
vernaculars and the complex relationship between code-switching and
lexical borrowing. Collectively, the contributors show that multilingual
practices share many of the same features regardless of time and place,
and that one way or the other, all historical texts are multilingual.
This book takes the next step in historical multilingualism studies by
establishing the relevance of the multilingual approach to understanding
language history.

Last updated on 2021-24-06 at 09:31