1st Edition

Urban Contact Dialects and Language Change Insights from the Global North and South

Edited By Paul Kerswill, Heike Wiese Copyright 2022
    368 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    368 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume provides a systematic comparative treatment of urban contact dialects in the Global North and South, examining the emergence and development of these dialects in major cities in sub-Saharan Africa and North-Western Europe.

    The book’s focus on contemporary urban settings sheds light on the new language practices and mixed ways of speaking resulting from large-scale migration and the intense contact that occurs between new and existing languages and dialects in these contexts. In comparing these new patterns of language variation and change between cities in both Africa and Europe, the volume affords us a unique opportunity to examine commonalities in linguistic phenomena as well as sociolinguistic differences in societally multilingual settings and settings dominated by a strong monolingual habitus.

    These comparisons are reinforced by a consistent chapter structure, with each chapter presenting the linguistic and social context of the region, information on available data (including corpora), sociolinguistic and structural findings, a discussion of the status of the urban contact dialect, and its stability over time. The discussion in the book is further enriched by short commentaries from researchers contributing different theoretical and geographical perspectives.

    Taken as a whole, the book offers new insights into migration-based linguistic diversity and patterns of language variation and change, making this ideal reading for students and scholars in general linguistics and language structure, sociolinguistics, creole studies, diachronic linguistics, language acquisition, anthropological linguistics, language education and discourse analysis.

    Introduction, by Paul Kerswill and Heike Wiese


    Chapter 1: Cameroon: Camfranglais, by Roland Kiessling

    Chapter 2: Democratic Republic of the Congo: Lingala ya Bayankee/Yanké, by Nico Nassenstein

    Chapter 3: Senegal: Urban Wolof then and now, by Fiona Mc Laughlin

    Chapter 4: South Africa: Tsotsitaal and urban vernacular forms of South African languages, by Ellen Hurst-Harosh

    Chapter 5: Ghana: Ghanaian Student Pidgin English, by Dorothy Pokua Agyepong and Nana Aba Appiah Amfo

    Chapter 6: Kenya: Sheng and Engsh, by Maarten Mous and Sandra Barasa

    Chapter 7: Finland: Old Helsinki slang, by Heini Lehtonen and Heikki Paunonen


    Chapter 8: Baby steps in decolonising linguistics: Urban language research, by Miriam Meyerhoff

    Chapter 9: Variation, complexity and the richness of urban contact dialects, by Joseph Salmons



    Chapter 10: Tanzania: Lugha ya Mitaani, by Uta Reuster-Jahn and Roland Kiessling

    Chapter 11: Denmark: Danish urban contact dialects, by Pia Quist

    Chapter 12: Norway: Contemporary urban speech styles, by Bente A. Svendsen

    Chapter 13: The Netherlands: Urban contact dialects, by Frans Hinskens, Khalid Mourigh and Pieter Muysken

    Chapter 14: Sweden: Suburban Swedish, by Johan Gross and Sally Boyd

    Chapter 15: France: Youth vernaculars in Paris and surroundings, by Françoise Gadet

    Chapter 16: United Kingdom: Multicultural London English, by Paul Kerswill

    Chapter 17: Germany: Kiezdeutsch, by Yazgül Şimşek and Heike Wiese


    Chapter 18: Ethnolects, multiethnolects and urban contact dialects: Looking forward, looking back, looking around, by David Britain

    Chapter 19: Migrants and urban contact sociolinguistics in Africa and Europe, by Rajend Mesthrie


    Paul Kerswill is Emeritus Professor of Sociolinguistics at the University of York, UK. His research focuses particularly on dialect and language contact resulting from migration. With Jenny Cheshire, Sue Fox and Eivind Torgersen, he has published “Contact, the Feature Pool and the Speech Community: The emergence of Multicultural London English” (Journal of Sociolinguistics).

    Heike Wiese is Professor of German in Multilingual Contexts and founder of the Centre “Language in Urban Diversity” at Humboldt-Universität in Berlin. Her 2012 monograph on Kiezdeutsch as a new German dialect received national and international media attention, and raised awareness of urban contact dialects as a legitimate part of the linguistic landscape.