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Multilingualism, language contacts and (meta)linguistic awareness

Keywords: linguistic awareness, multilingualism, language contacts


The article discusses the concept of (meta)linguistic awareness and its importance for contact linguistic research. The concept is used on a regular basis in second and third language acquisition and in multilingualism studies but not in contact linguistics. The reason is the prevalence of formal approaches in contact linguistics. Few scholars have so far acknowledged the role of conscious decisions in contact-induced language change. The article analyses the following instances of multilingual linguistic awareness: its role in corpus planning, which results, among other things, in contact-induced language change; individual language planning, including computer-mediated multilingual communication; receptive bilingualism and multilingual creativity.


Anna Verschik (b. 1968), PhD, Tallinn University (Narva mnt 25, 10120 Tallinn), Professor of General Linguistics,


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