Thinking for speaking and the construction of evidentiality in language contact

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Long-term habitual use of two languages can have consequences for mappings between form and content in one or the other of the languages. In processes of thinking for speaking, speakers attend to dimensions of experience that are available for morphosyntactic and lexical coding. In situations of longterm language contact there are tendencies, in some conceptual domains, for common patterning across languages. Merging of conceptual frameworks may be especially salient in communicating point of view. An example is the marking of evidentiality, where some Balkan languages fashioned evidential marking in contact with Turkish, and Andean Spanish did the same in contact with Quechua and Aymara. The case study shows that either the dominant or subservient language can change, depending on the need to fill a felt communicative gap in the other language. This process is tempered by sociolinguistic factors of language attitudes.


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