The role of transfer in language variation and change: Evidence from contact varieties of French
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In this Special Issue, the focus is on contact-induced language variation and change in situations of societal bilingualism that involve long-term contact between French and another language. As is well known, when two or more languages are spoken by groups of speakers in the same geographical area, over time, features from one language can be transferred to the other language, especially when the languages in question are unequal in terms of prestige, institutional support and demographic factors. The process that leads to the adoption of such features in the contact languages is generally known as INTERFERENCE or TRANSFER, and these terms are also used to describe the features in question (i.e. the end product of the process of transfer). In this issue we prefer to use the term TRANSFER over the use of the notion INTERFERENCE, as the former has fewer negative connotations than the latter.