Language Contact

Peter Hans Nelde

in The Oxford Handbook of Applied Linguistics

Second edition

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780195384253
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Language Contact


This article focuses on the ideas of multilingualism and language contact against the backdrop of applied linguistics. In the last four decades, scientific research on multilingualism has experienced numerous stimuli, the majority of which can be attributed to language contact research in the Weinreich tradition, going back to his famous Languages in Contact. Although multilingualism and language contact between individuals and groups are age old, language contact research first obtained a secure position in applied linguistics in the 1970s through the development of the social sciences. The great significance of multilingualism in the future of Europe and North America and its greater importance in many other parts of the world led to an interdisciplinary interest in contact linguistics. As an interdisciplinary branch of multilingual research, contact linguistics incorporates three areas of inquiry: language use, language user, and language sphere. This article explains the field of contact linguistics along with its significant parameters.

Keywords: multilingualism; applied linguistics; scientific research; numerous; contact linguists; language sphere; significant parameters; social sciences

Article.  3656 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Sociolinguistics

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