Re: [tied] Stratum Terminology - (was Keeping up, barely)

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 15124
Date: 2002-09-05

Even the usage of historical linguists varies. Anttila (1972: 171) writes:
"One distinguishes a _substratum_ when speakers abandon their language for another, a prestige language; and a _superstratum_, in which conquerors take up the language of their new environment. Thus French is said to have a Gaulish or Celtic substratum and then a Frankish or Germanic superstratum."
Hock's _Principles..._ (1986) is the only handbook known to me in which both meanings are noted (sections 14.5.2 and 16.1.4), and the reader is not only warned of the difference but also referred to the section where the other meaning is illustrated. Even the index contains two separate items: "Substratum (linguistic contact)" and "Substratum (~ source language for 'interference')".
----- Original Message -----
From: richardwordingham
Sent: Thursday, September 05, 2002 12:10 PM
Subject: [tied] Stratum Terminology - (was Keeping up, barely)

--- In cybalist@......, Piotr Gasiorowski <piotr.gasiorowski@......>
> And of course the obsessive concentration on a single substratal
element in a language that has several such components, and even
demanding that the language should be genetically re-classified for
the sake of that particular substrate is something no linguist can
approve of.

I wonder how much grief has been caused by the ambiguity of the
word 'substrate':

1. The remains of a (usually dead) language embedded in another.

2. The remains (including influences) of a population's original
language embedded in the higher-status language that has replaced it.

(There may be better definitions of these two notions.)

Meaning 1 is the one given by the OED.

I looked up the term in Crystal's 'Encyclopedia of Language' last
night.  It gives Meaning 2 only.

Examples of grief:
A. Alex is keenly interested in a 'substrate' as defined by Meaning
2.  What he latched onto was a 'substrate' with Meaning 1.

B. Piotr and I had one exchange on Bangani simply because I was
unaware of Meaning 1.


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