Languages in Contact in South-Eastern Europe

Jun 22nd, 2015
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There is – or used to be - probably more language contact (LC) in South-Eastern Europe (SEE) than anywhere else in Europe. Intensive LC led to the rise of the so-called “Balkan Linguistic League” (Balkansprachbund, q.v.) In Macedonia in the pre-national period adult men typically spoke a number of different languages or dialects.

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Languages in Contact in South-Eastern Europe0 IntroductionThere is or used to be - probably more language contact (LC) in South-Eastern Europe (SEE) than anywhere else in Europe. Intensive LC led to the rise of the so-called Balkan Linguistic League (Balkansprachbund, q.v.) In Macedonia in the pre-national period adult men typically spoke a number of different languages or dialects. With the triumph of the nation state on the French model and the disintegration first of the multilingual empires and then of multinational states such as Yugoslavia there is less of the traditional language contact. The principal language contact is now between the national languages and English.1. The history of LC in SEE1.1 The first contact of which we have any evidence is between Greek and pre-Greek languages as evidenced by pre-Greek loan words in classical Greek.1.2 The Roman conquest began in the 2nd century BC. This brought a new language, Latin, both classical and vulgar Latin, to SEE, which has left a lasting imprint. Romanian (Rumanian) and Vlach are romance languages still spoken in SEE, Albanian is a typologically isolated language but it has been heavily romanized,

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