Shana Poplack

Shana Poplack
University of Ottawa · Department of Linguistics

Ph.D. Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania

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122
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Publications

Publications (122)
Article
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Cet article détaille les principales manifestations linguistiques du bilinguisme: le mélange des langues et la convergence de leurs grammaires. Ces produits apparaissent et se formalisent dans le contexte de la communauté bilingue lors des interactions régulières entre ses membres, qui font appel aux deux langues, peu importe les niveaux individuel...
Article
The English subjunctive has had a checkered history, ranging from extensive use in Old English to near extinction by Late Modern English. Since then, the mandative variant was reported to have revived, while the adverbial subjunctive continued to diminish. American English is heavily implicated in these developments; it is thought to be leading the...
Article
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The widespread occurrence of nouns in one language with a determiner in the other, often referred to as mixed NPs, has generated much theorizing. Since both a formal syntactic account based on abstract features of the determiner and an account highlighting the notion of a Matrix language yield largely the same predictions, we assess how the tenets...
Article
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Il est communément admis que le contact linguistique provoque la convergence gram-maticale. L'objectif de cette recherche est de proposer et d'appliquer une méthode empirique pour vérifier cette hypothèse. Nous illustrons l'utilité de cette méthode par l'entremise du cas des pré-positions sans régime en français, trait stéréotypé attribué à l'influ...
Preprint
Variability is a hallmark of speech, and bilingual speech is no exception. The variationist perspective on language contact capitalizes on this recognition, arguing that the outcomes of language contact cannot be fully understood without accounting for the fine details of inherent variability-in both donor and recipient languages. Moreover, since m...
Chapter
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Building on studies seeking to position the Romance languages on the cline of grammaticalization, this study targets the evolution of subjunctive into subordination marker in speech corpora of French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. By considering the conditioning of variation between subjunctive and indicative in complement clauses, we operationa...
Book
https://global.oup.com/academic/product/borrowing-9780190256388?lang=en&cc=ca Studies of bilingual behavior have been proliferating for decades, yet short shrift has been given to its major manifestation, the incorporation of words from one language into the discourse of another. This volume redresses that imbalance by going straight to the sourc...
Article
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New theories are a constant of the now vast literature on code-mixing (CM). The Gradient Symbolic Computation model proposed by Goldrick, Putnam and Schwartz (Goldrick, Putnam & Schwartz) will appeal to many, especially those who already espouse constraint-based approaches to grammar. As variationist sociolinguists, we particularly welcome the mode...
Article
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Reports on language mixing involving Arabic often qualify that language as resistant to constraints operating on other language pairs. But many fail to situate the purported violations with respect to recipient and donor languages, making it impossible to ascertain whether these are exceptional code-switches or (nonce) borrowings; isolated cases or...
Article
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This paper describes a massive project to characterize " Standard French " by constructing and mining the Recueil historique des grammaires du français (RHGF), a corpus of grammars whose prescriptive dictates we interpret as representing the evolution of the standard over five centuries. Its originality lies in the possibility it affords to ascerta...
Chapter
Observing that linguists' intuitions about the function of forms may be far removed from the motivations for variant choice operating in real interactions, we propose that the structure of variability inherent in speech can be marshaled to detect emergence on the ground. In discourse, emergence is observable in the favoring effect of contextual fac...
Chapter
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The prime mandate of the educational enterprise is to curb, if not reverse, community-based linguistic variation and change. Yet non-standard forms abound in spoken vernaculars. Why do they persist in the face of centuries of prescriptive stigma? Many blame the official conduits of normative prescription – teachers and schools. But this underestima...
Chapter
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Though code-switching (CS) has been exceptionally well-researched, controversy continues to reign over its identity, structure, and the rules governing its use. This article relates the state of the field to epistemological differences among researchers with respect to data, methods, the nature of evidence, and principles of scientific proof. Progr...
Article
Full-text available
The English mandative subjunctive has had a checkered history, ranging from extensive use in Old English to near extinction by Late Modern English. Then, in a dramatic (if still unexplained) reversal, it was reported to have revived, notably in American English, a scenario which is now widely endorsed. Observing that most references to this revival...
Article
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This paper compares the evolution and contemporary distribution of subjunctive and indicative in spoken Quebec French with the development of normative injunctions on variant choice over five centuries of grammatical tradition. The subjunctive has been prescribed with hundreds of lexical governors, verb classes and semantic readings since the 16th...
Article
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This study traces the diachronic trajectory and synchronic behavior of English-origin items in Quebec French over a real-time period of 61 years. We test three standard assumptions about such foreign incorporations: (1) they increase in frequency; (2) they originate as code-switches and are gradually integrated into recipient-language grammar; and...
Article
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In a climate where many researchers are content to characterize the linguistic manifestations of language contact using ad hoc criteria or anecdotal data, Jonathan Stammers and Margaret Deuchar (S&D) are to be commended for undertaking an empirical study with speakers, data and an accountable analysis. S&D (this issue) are right to say that the cla...
Article
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We are most grateful to our commentators for their careful reading of our Keynote Article (henceforth KA) and their incisive observations on contact-induced change, and for the many challenging and thought-provoking issues they raise. We welcome the opportunity to respond to (some of) them, especially since, perhaps not surprisingly, these are symp...
Article
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In this study, we investigate whether preposition stranding, a stereotypical non-standard feature of North American French, results from convergence with English, and the role of bilingual code-switchers in its adoption and diffusion. Establishing strict criteria for the validation of contact-induced change, we make use of the comparative variation...
Article
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Résumé: Le présent article décrit la constitution d'un corpus de français oral, baptisé les Récits du français québécois d'autrefois (RFQ), qui comprend des contes, des légendes et des entrevues recueillis auprès de locuteurs nés entre 1846 et 1895. Leur parler est celui du Québec rural du 19e siècle; il montre la variabilité inhérente et les struc...
Article
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Studies of language change have begun to contribute to answering several pressing questions in cognitive sciences, including the origins of human language capacity, the social construction of cognition and the mechanisms underlying culture change in general. Here, we describe recent advances within a new emerging framework for the study of language...
Article
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Because many of the forms participating in inherent variability are not attested in the standard language, they are often construed as evidence of change. We test this assumption by confronting the standard, as instantiated by a unique corpus covering five centuries of French grammatical injunctions, with data on the evolution of spontaneous speech...
Chapter
This paper traces the evolution of French interrogative structure after it was transplanted to Canada, by analyzing the variable expression of yes/no questions over a century and a half of real-time speech. In a radical departure from the current one-variant system of European French, the four original variants continue to divide the labor - lingui...
Chapter
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Article
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This article describes the construction of a corpus of spoken French with a time depth of a century and a half, the Récits du français québécois d'autrefois (RFQ). The folktales, local legends, and interviews constituting the RFQ were produced by speakers born between 1846 and 1895. They spoke the French of 19th-century rural Québec, a variety show...
Article
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Using a variationist, i.e. accountable, approach to the study of code-switching, this paper attempts to validate the equivalence contraint on intrasentential code-switching on the basis of natural speech data from two typologically different languages, Finnish and English. Though the data include many apparent exceptions to the constraint, the auth...
Article
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This paper examines the trajectory of a spectacular change in the development of future temporal reference in Brazilian Portuguese over five centuries. Focus- ing on four competing exponents of futurity, we show how the incoming form gradually expropriates the preferred contexts of the older variants, prior to ousting them from the sector. These re...
Chapter
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Article
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Although the received wisdom is that English in Quebec, as a minority language, has undergone contact-induced language change, little scientific evidence has been brought to bear on this claim. We describe a project designed to assess the impact of a majority language on the structure of the minority language in a situation of long-term contact. Th...
Article
Full-text available
Although the received wisdom is that English in Quebec, as a minority language, has undergone contact-induced language change, little scientific evidence has been brought to bear on this claim. We describe a project designed to assess the impact of a majority language on the structure of the minority language in a situation of long-term contact. Th...
Article
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The abstract for this document is available on CSA Illumina.To view the Abstract, click the Abstract button above the document title.
Chapter
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Examining an apparently abrupt change in the expression of future temporal re ference in Brazilian Portuguese, we trace the traj ectory of its exponents over five centuries of development, Focusing speci fically on the variability inherent in the syste m, we document the means by which the incoming for m gradually expropriates the preferred context...
Chapter
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Of the linguistic features stereotypically associated with African American Vernacular English (AAVE), the variable inflection of present-tense verbs, regardless of grammatical person or number of the subject, illustrated in (1), is among the best documented. © Cambridge University Press 2004 and Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Chapter
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Article
This paper describes the construction of the Ottawa Repository of Early African American Correspondence (OREAAC), a corpus of over 400 letters written by antebellum African American settlers in Liberia. Identifying the most speech‐like letters by the least literate authors, we constituted perhaps the largest linguistically useful corpus of diachron...
Article
Full-text available
This paper describes the construction of the Ottawa Repository of Early African American Correspondence (OREAAC), a corpus of over 400 letters written by antebellum African American settlers in Liberia. Identifying the most speech-like letters by the least literate authors, we constituted perhaps the largest linguistically useful corpus of diachron...
Chapter
Full-text available
Though code-switching (CS) has been exceptionally well researched, controversy continues to reign over its identity, structure, and the rules governing its use. This article relates the state of the field to epistemological differences among researchers with respect to data, methods, the nature of evidence, and principles of scientific proof. Progr...
Article
Full-text available
Focusing on the process of grammaticization, whereby items with lexical meaning evolve into grammatical markers, this article examines the future temporal reference sectors of three diaspora varieties of African American English which have evolved in linguistic isolates and compares them with those of British-origin rural and mainstream varieties o...
Article
Essays on the history of African American Vernacular English (AAVE) include: an introduction to the evolution of AAVE within the African American diaspora (Shana Poplack); "Rephrasing the Copula: Contraction and Zero in Early African American English" (James A. Walker); "Reconstructing the Source of Early African American English Plural Marking: A...
Article
The hospitality of the future temporal reference sector to multiple exponents is well exemplified by French, where the inflected future (IF) currently competes with both periphrastic future (PF) and futurate present (P) forms. Most scholars contend that the variant expressions are selected according to distinctions in the way the speaker envisions...
Article
Full-text available
The hospitality of the future temporal reference sector to multiple exponents is well exemplified by French, where the inflected future currently competes with both periphrastic future and futurate present forms. Most scholars contend that the variant expressions are selected according to distinctions in the way the speaker envisions the future eve...
Article
Full-text available
La evaluación de las relaciones forma / función es de notoria controversia en el caso de las gramáticas criollas desde que marcadores gramaticales explícitos alternan normalmente con flexiones cero en numerosos subsistemas de la gramática. La tendencia categórica estructuralista a atribuir una función individual para cada forma contribuye a fomenta...
Article
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Introduces articles in this journal volume on bilingual borrowing. Each paper carries out two methodological imperatives: (1) All are focused on well-defined speech communities using a standard social network; (2) most authors were members of the communities and data was collected from interactions with their own close contacts. (Author/VWL)
Article
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This paper examines the pluralization system of Nigerian Pidgin English (NPE). Extrapolating from proposals in the literature on English-based créoles as well as other vernaculars, we utilize quantitative methodology to assess the contribution of syntactic, semantic, and phonological features to variability in plural marking. Although the English p...
Article
The status of lone nouns of one language in discourse of another is often ambiguous, since they typically provide few indications of their language membership. Making use of the facts of linguistic variability in each of Ukrainian and English, we examine the quantitative conditioning of such forms in bilingual performance data. Results yield a sync...
Article
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When one language has a grammatical category that is rare or lacking in another, this “orphan” category may constrain the types of structures employed when the two languages are combined in bilingual discourse. We systematically examine the effect of categorial nonequivalence on language mixture in two corpora of spontaneous bilingual speech—Wolof—...
Article
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This paper examines the past temporal reference system in two data sets representing "early" Black English: Sarnana and the Ex-slave Recordings, with a view to discovering the structure underlying variable use of overt verbal morphology. Extrapolating from proposals in the literature on the behavior of past temporal reference structures in known cr...
Article
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In this article, we describe a new research project on African Nova Scotian English (ANSE), a variety spoken by descendants of African American slaves who immigrated to Nova Scotia in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Subsequent segregation from surrounding populations has created a situation favoring retention of the vernacular, in conjuncti...
Article
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Nonce borrowings in the speech of bilinguals differ from established loanwords in that they are not necessarily recurrent, widespread, or recognized by host language monolinguals. With established loanwords, however, they share the characteristics of morphological and syntactic integration into the host language and consist of single content words...
Article
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L'alternance subjonctif/indicatif en francais a-t-elle un sens ou decoule-t-elle de la nature du verbe principal ? L'examen d'un corpus de francais canadien parle nous amene a penser que le subjonctif n'est qu'une variante d'une variable linguistique qui alterne avec l'indicatif et le conditionnel dans certaines propositions nominales enchâssees. U...
Article
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This article contributes to the understanding of the origin and function of verbal -s marking in the Black English grammar by systematically examining the behaviour of this affix in two corpora on early Black English. To ascertain whether the variation observed in (early and modern Black English) -s usage has a precedent in the history of the langu...
Article
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This article examines the tense system of Samaná English, a lineal descendant of early nineteenth-century American Black English. Independent evidence from quantitative phonological, grammatical, and narrative analyses reveals the existence of a past tense marker comparable in surface form, function, and distribution to that of Standard English. In...
Article
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Linguistic consequences of language contact : a variationist analysis model. Exposition of the variationist model of code switching and of borrowing, determined by the observing or breaking of equivalence constraint between the syntaxes of the languages in contact at the intra-sentence level. This constraint predicts that the switch will occur at s...
Chapter
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