Slovene-English Language Contact and Language Change


  • Nada Šabec University of Maribor



language contact, language change, accommodation, language shift, borrowing, code switching, identity


The paper focuses on Slovene - English language contact and the potential language change resulting from it. Both the immigrant context (the U.S. and Canada) and Slovenia, where direct and indirect language contact can be observed respectively, are examined from two perspectives: social on the one hand and linguistic on the other. In the case of Slovene Americans and Canadians the emphasis is on language maintenance and shift, and on the relationship between mother tongue preservation and ethnic awareness. The linguistic section examines different types of bilingual discourse (borrowing, code switching), showing how the Slovene inflectional system in particular is being increasingly generalized, simplified and reduced, and how Slovene word order is gradually beginning to resemble that of English. In the case of Slovenia we are witnessing an unprecedented surge in the influence of English on Slovene, especially in the media (both classic and electronic), advertising, science, and the language of the young. This influence will be discussed on a number of levels, such as lexical, syntactic and intercultural, and illustrated by relevant examples.


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14. 05. 2011

How to Cite

Šabec, N. (2011). Slovene-English Language Contact and Language Change. ELOPE: English Language Overseas Perspectives and Enquiries, 8(1), 31-49.