Dialect Contact and Grammaticalization

Dialect Contact and Grammaticalization in the Rise of Arabic Future Tense Markers
Thomas Leddy-Cecere, Ph.D.
Faculty in Sociolinguistics, Bennington College
Thursday, October 10, 2019
4:30 pm
Reed 108 (tentative)

In this talk, I will describe the phenomenon of contact-induced grammaticalization (CIG) between Arabic dialects, in particular its significance as a proposed account for the development of innovative future tense markers across modern Arabic varieties.  Beginning with an introduction to relevant aspects of grammaticalization theory and CIG, I will describe the methods involved in the identification of specific CIG processes and demonstrate how their outcomes have shaped the distribution of future tense operators across the contemporary Arabophone world. Finally, we will discuss the extension of this analysis to other potential products of CIG in Arabic and beyond, and consider the implications of the present findings for broader inquiry in Arabic dialectology and theories of language contact and language change more generally.

Leddy-Cecere is a scholar of language variation and change. His recent work has focused on both synchronic and diachronic dimensions of the interaction between speakers of related language varieties, and has involved studies of multiple varieties of modern Arabic, North American English, Miskitu, and Fur. These projects have built on fieldwork with speakers of multiple languages in Egypt and across the United States, and inhabit the intersections of sociolinguistics with other subfields including historical linguistics, contact linguistics, and documentary dialectology. A faculty member in sociolinguistics at Bennington College, Leddy-Cecere earned his BA from Dartmouth College (2010) and his PhD from the University of Texas (2018); his work has appeared in the journals American Speech and Al-‘Arabiyya and has been supported by the National Science Foundation.

Free and open to the public!

Sponsored by the Program in Linguistics