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Substratum Theory

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Gaby Docker

on 6 December 2012

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Transcript of Substratum Theory

THEORY The SUBSTRATUM theory focuses on influences of different language forms that come into contact with English. This happens, mainly through languages of non-native speakers or regional dialects coming into contact with the English Language. For example when immigrants go to a new area or when an indigenous population learn the language of newly arrived conquerors, they learn their adopted language imperfectly. These slight imperfections will be handed down to their children and to other people in their social group, eventually altering the language. E.g. The Norman invasion of England (1066)

The Normans brought French into Middle English language. French was then adopted by the ruling class and adapted into the higher social classes (it was linked to education and religion).
Evidence of this has been shown in Jean Aitchison’s

Language Change: Progress or Decay

She cited that with 2nd generation Jewish and Italian immigrants, there was a lot of hypercorrecting their language, which went on to form the distinctive New York accent. This information is based on William Labov's study of Jewish communities in New York.
Ways in which the language borrowing/ adaptations can occur

•1. Invasion- bringing over features of the invading forces language
2. •Immigration
3. •Through media (taking language features from t.v shows/ films)
•4. Through travel
Thank You For Watching
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