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Bislama into Kwamera: Code-mixing and Language Change on Tanna (Vanuatu)

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Title:Bislama into Kwamera: Code-mixing and Language Change on Tanna (Vanuatu)
Authors:Lindstrom, Lamont
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Date Issued:17 Dec 2007
Publisher:University of Hawai'i Press
Citation:Lindstrom, Lamont. 2007. Bislama into Kwamera: Code-mixing and language change on Tanna (Vanuatu). Language Documentation & Conservation 1(2):216–239.
Abstract:People throughout Vanuatu frequently mix Bislama (that country’s national Pidgin) into their vernaculars. Extensive code-mixing is an obvious indicator, and sometime cause, of language change or even language replacement. This paper discusses several sorts of Bislama code-mixing on Tanna among speakers of that island’s Kwamera language. It assesses levels and kinds of Bislama use in four village debates, tape-recorded in 1982 and 1983. Among other uses, Kwamera speakers mix Bislama when interjecting, reiterating, reporting speech, neutralizing marked vernacular terms, and qualifying what they say. The paper concludes with some remarks on the phonological, morphological/syntactic, and lexical/semantic consequences of recurrent language mixing—on how Islanders’ insertions of Bislama into their oratorical and everyday talk may or may not be effecting linguistic change in Kwamera. Bislama, so far at least, has enriched more than it has impoverished Tanna’s linguistic ecology. Speakers’ frequent Bislama mixes have not yet seriously undermined their vernacular.
Appears in Collections: Volume 01 Issue 2 : Language Documentation & Conservation

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