Linguistic stability and divergence

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In contrast to the amount of research that has been performed on linguisticconvergence in language contact, this paper focuses on the possibility of linguisticsystems remaining stable, or even diverging, in language contact settings. Itcarves out multiple relevant mechanisms and factors that influence linguisticstability and divergence (e.g. degree and type of multilingual competence, sociolinguistic,socio-economic and socio-political factors, cognitive mechanisms,etc.) and gives an account of contact situations where structural divergence andstability can be observed. Based on these examples, we suggest a classification ofdivergence and stability that builds on the assumption that these developmentsmay take place either due to, or despite, language contact.


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