Sarah Thomason

Learn More
1. Introduction. It is easy to show that contact-induced change can have a profound effect on the typological profile of the receiving language. Probably the most obvious examples , and also the ones that are easiest to find, are changes in basic sentential word order. These are especially striking because it is word order features that have attracted the(More)
Note: This draft chapter was first written almost twenty years ago for a textbook that never got finished. (Or, to be more precise, my chapters were pretty much finished; my co-authors’ chapter wasn’t. Too bad, because we had a contract for the textbook with Oxford University Press.) One co-author, Richmond Thomason, also contributed to this chapter, though(More)
Linguistic areas, or Sprachbünde, have been the topic of a very large amount of research for more than a century.1 But although there are numerous valuable studies of particular linguistic areas and of particular features within certain linguistic areas, there is still little consensus on the general nature of the phenomenon. This paper is a preliminary(More)
Historical linguists have always known that some linguistic changes result from deliberate, conscious actions by speakers. But the general assumption has been that such changes are relatively trivial, confined mainly to the invention or borrowing of new words, changes in lexical semantics, and the adoption of a few structural features from a prestige(More)
1. Introduction A recurring theme in theoretical discussions of language contact is the question of borrowability—specifically, whether there are any substantive constraints governing the kinds of lexicon and structure that can be borrowed. Nowadays historical linguists are less likely to propose absolute constraints than they used to be, because everyone(More)
  • 1