Conventionalized creativity in the emergence of a mixed language A case study of Light Warlpiri

Carmel O'Shannessy

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    Questions of how contact languages are best categorized and how their paths of development are most accurately described remain contentious. Mixed languages or split languages raise many unanswered questions about mechanisms of change in multilingual contexts, and how they lead to specific structural outcomes. An examination of the structure of Light Warlpiri, a mixed language spoken in a Warlpiri community in northern Australia, shows that the main mechanism of change is insertional code-switching where a verbal phrase from one language, Kriol (an English-lexified Creole) is inserted into a string of another language, Warlpiri. The result is a way of speaking that is mixed at every level, and can be categorized as underlyingly Warlpiri with innovative insertions and reanalyses from Kriol.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationVariation Rolls the Dice
    EditorsEnoch O. Aboh & Cécile B. Vigouroux
    Place of PublicationAmsterdam/Philadelphia
    PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Co.
    ISBN (Print)9789027209399
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


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