Contact and semantic shift in extreme language endangerment: Ahtna riverine directionals in a cardinal world

Date
2016
Authors
Berez-Kroeker, Andrea L.
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
John Benjamins Publishing Company
Abstract
This paper examines the effects of contact with English on the directional system of Ahtna, an endangered Athabascan language of Alaska. The Ahtna directionals reference direction and location in the geographic landscape, but contact with the dominant English system is causing changes in lexicon and possibly the replacement of the entire semantic basis of directional reckoning in Ahtna.
Description
This paper examines the effects of contact with English on the directional system of Ahtna, an endangered Athabascan language of Alaska. The Ahtna directionals reference direction and location in the geographic landscape, but contact with the dominant English system is causing changes in lexicon and possibly the replacement of the entire semantic basis of directional reckoning in Ahtna.
Keywords
Linguistics
Citation
Berez-Kroeker, Andrea L. 2016. Contact and semantic shift in extreme language endangerment: Ahtna riverine directionals in a cardinal world. In Andrea L. Berez-Kroeker, Diane M. Hintz, & Carmen Jany (eds.), Language Contact and Change in the Americas: Studies in Honor of Marianne Mithun, 107-138. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
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