Traces of contact: The languages of Suriname

Paramaribo (Suriname)The Traces of Contact project  at the Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands combines broad approaches of areal-typological and historical linguistics with a language contact perspective centred on the speaker community.

In my previous activity as a Researcher with this project headed by Pieter Muysken, I coordinated a component entitled Language contact in Suriname and the Caribbean. Our team gathered linguistic data through field research covering seven languages of Suriname (see map of field research locations) from four of the world’s major language families (Sranan, Sarnámi, Dutch, Javanese, Ndyuka, Saramaccan, Hakka). We have been analyzing the data and and have begun to obtain information on how the grammatical systems of the various languages spoken in the highly multilingual Republic of Suriname have changed and converged. The results of our research will be published in 2015 in a collective volume entitled Boundaries & Bridges: Language Contact in Multilingual Ecologies (ed. Yakpo, Kofi & Muysken, Pieter, De Gruyter Mouton, Berlin).

 

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