2022 Michael Clyne Prize awarded

The ALS and ALAA are delighted to announce that the 2022 Michael Clyne Prize has been awarded to Chloe Castle of the University of Adelaide for her thesis The co-option of grammatical resources between languages: A focus on English and Czech. We congratulate Dr Castle. A summary of the thesis is below.

This thesis analyses the ways that bilinguals utilise grammatical resources across two languages – English and Czech. It focuses on language contact centring the bilingual individual as the “ultimate locus of contact”. Use of grammatical resources is considered through the lens of grammatical borrowing and replication, or matter (MAT) and pattern (PAT) borrowing, as well as shift and attrition. The research investigates whether grammatical borrowing and replication occur between English and Czech in the South Australian Czech community and for L1 English speakers in the Czech Republic. It provides an understanding as to why contact-induced borrowing occurs between these languages. It also addresses consciousness of borrowing, other contact and non-contact related processes in bilingual speech, and compares the two parallel linguistic situations.

The thesis consists of four papers. The first paper examines grammatical replication and shift in South Australian Czech. Qualitative analysis of grammatical features drawn from authentic speech, supported by steps for identifying contact-induced structural change and the dynamic model of multilingualism, reveals that non- Czech natural word order, overt subject usage, and tentative article formation are partially attributable to grammatical replication. Attrition and divergent attainment are also causes of grammatical features identified. The second paper identifies several reasons for South Australian Czech community members’ engagement in borrowing, including sociocultural pressures (such as community pressures, partner attitudes, etc.), cognitive pressures and prestige value. All of the factors are encompassed by need, which is the primary motive for borrowing in South Australian Czech. The third paper studies the opposite situation: the speech of L1 English L2 Czech speakers in the Czech Republic. It posits that non-use of articles, adjective placement, functional suffix borrowing, and diminutive suffix borrowing are partially attributable to language contact. The types of borrowing that occur here are different to those in South Australian Czech; there is not only syntactic borrowing but also morphological form borrowing present. Attrition processes and accommodation are also factors here. The fourth paper analyses motivators in language use amongst L1 English L2 Czech speakers in the Czech Republic. It is identified that social pressure, cognitive pressures, gap filling, and conscious creative decisions are drivers of grammatical borrowing, and social pressure and self-pressure are inhibiting forces. To show how bilingual speakers engage consciously with borrowing and innovations between their two languages, the author present a new model that addresses conscious and subconscious borrowing whilst also considering effects such as prescriptivism, self-pressure, language maintenance effort and societal pressure.

Language contact and links to language transfer have been of increasing interest to linguists for the past few decades. Ongoing research on the borrowing of grammatical resources in different communities can provide a more thorough insight into the phenomenon. Studies of language combinations with differing typologies in different sociolinguistic situations can provide a deeper understanding of the interrelationship between language contact and the co-option of grammatical resources.

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