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On languages on islands

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  • Joshua Nash, University of New England
  • ,
  • Peter Bakker
  • Kristoffer Friis Bøegh
  • Aymeric Daval-Markussen
  • ,
  • Hartmut Haberland, Roskilde University
  • ,
  • Dale Kedwards, University of Iceland, University of Southern Denmark
  • ,
  • John Ladhams, University of St Andrews
  • ,
  • Carsten Levisen, Roskilde University
  • ,
  • Jón Símon Markússon, University of Iceland
  • ,
  • Joost Robbe
  • Jeroen Willemsen

Islands as specific research sites in their own right have been given little direct attention by linguists. The physical segregation, distinctness, and isolation of islands from mainland and continental environments may provide scholars of language with distinct and robust sets of singular and combined case studies for examining the role of islandness in any appreciation of language. Whether distinct and particular sociolinguistic and typological phenomena can be attributable to islands and their islandness and vice versa remains unexplored. This position article considers the possibility of there being anything particular and peculiar about languages spoken on islands as compared to languages spoken on mainlands and continents. It arose out of a workshop titled ‘Exploring island languages’ held at Aarhus University, Denmark on 30 April 2018. The main question posed was: Is there anything special socially, linguistically, grammatically, and typologically about the languages of islands? If so, is it possible to talk about such a thing as an island language?.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Linguistica Hafniensia
Volume52
Issue1
Pages (from-to)81-116
ISSN0374-0463
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

    Research areas

  • Creoles, frames of spatial reference, island languages, linguistic isolates, sociolinguistics

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