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Introduction: Convergence as an emergent property in bilingual speech

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 July 2004

BARBARA E. BULLOCK
Affiliation:
The Pennsylvania State University, 211 Burrowes Building, University Park, PA 16802, USA, E-mail: beb2@psu.edu, ajt5@psu.edu
ALMEIDA JACQUELINE TORIBIO
Affiliation:
The Pennsylvania State University, 211 Burrowes Building, University Park, PA 16802, USA, E-mail: beb2@psu.edu, ajt5@psu.edu

Extract

In introducing this special issue of Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, we feel it is critical to clarify what we understand ‘linguistic convergence’ to mean in the context of bilingualism, since ‘convergence’ is a technical term more readily associated with the field of language contact than with the field of bilingualism (for recent discussions of the role of convergence in contact see Thomason and Kaufman, 1988; Thomason, 2001; Myers-Scotton, 2002; Clyne, 2003; Winford, 2003). Within the language contact literature, the term invites a variety of uses. Some researchers adopt a definition of convergence that requires that all languages in a contact situation change, sometimes to the extent that the source of a given linguistic feature cannot be determined (see April McMahon's commentary in this issue). For others, convergence may be more broadly defined to also apply to situations in which one language has undergone structural incursions of various sorts from contact with another.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© Cambridge University Press 2004

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Footnotes

We have been encouraged in this research program by Jürgen Meisel, to whom we express a debt of gratitude. The overall project is much strengthened by the thoughtful and critical responses prepared by Ad Backus, José Ignacio Hualde, April McMahon, Pieter Muysken, Ricardo Otheguy, and Antonella Sorace, and by the editorial assistance of Claudia Stöber.
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