Sociolinguistic Studies, Vol 10, No 3 (2016)

Plurilingual corpora and polylanguaging, where corpus linguistics meets contact linguistics

Isabelle Léglise, Sophie Alby
Issued Date: 20 Jan 2017


Language contact and multilingualism issues are addressed by such diverse research traditions that we consider corpora and data exchange as good ways to make these traditions speak to one another. In this paper, we describe a methodology for detailed analysis of heterogeneous corpora which can be used to take into account both sychronic phenomena (linguistic variation and instances of polylanguaging or code switching) and diachronic phenomena. We point out the epistemological questions that arise in the analysis of plurilingual data and discuss the choices made with respect to the current norms and standards followed in corpus linguistics with a view to providing multi-factoral explanations in the field of language contact and multilingualism. We rely here on the methodology developed in the research project CLAPOTY.

Download Media

PDF (Price: £17.50 )

DOI: 10.1558/sols.v10i3.27918


Alby, S. (2001) Contacts de langues en Guyane française: une description du parler bilingue kali’na-français. PhD dissertation, Université Lumière Lyon II.

Alby, S. and Migge, B. (2007) Alternances codiques en Guyane française. Les cas du kali’na et du nenge. In I. Léglise and B. Migge (eds) Pratiques et représentations linguistiques en Guyane: regards croisés 49–72. Paris: Éditions de l’IRD.

Alfonzetti, G. (1998) The conversational dimension in codeswitching between Italian and dialect in Sicily. In P. Auer (ed.) Codeswitching in conversation 180–214. London: Routledge.

Álvarez-Cáccamo, C. (1990) Rethinking conversational code-switching: Codes, speech varieties and contextualisation. Proceedings of the sixteenth annual meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society 3–16. Berkeley: Berkeley Linguistics Society.

Auer, P. (1995) The pragmatics of code-switching: A sequential approach. In L. Milroy and P. Muysken (eds) One speaker, two languages: Cross disciplinary perspectives on code-switching 115–135. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Auer, P. (1999) From codeswitching via language mixing to fused lects: Toward a dynamic typology of bilingual speech. The International Journal of Bilingualism 3(4): 309–332.

Backus, A. (2003) Units in codeswitching: Evidence for multimorphemic elements in the lexicon. Linguistics 41(1): 83–132.

Chamoreau, C. (1995) La comparaison en purepecha. Un exemple d’évolution syntaxique. Faits de Langues 5: 140–143.

Chamoreau, C. (2012) Constructions périphrastiques du passif en purepecha. Une explication multifactorielle du changement linguistique. In C. Chamoreau and L. Goury (eds) Changement linguistique et langues en contact. Approches plurielles du domaine prédicatif 251–270. Paris: Éditions du CNRS.

Déjean, H., Gaussier, E., and Sadat, F. (2002) Bilingual terminology extraction: An approach based on a multilingual thesaurus applicable to comparable corpora. Proceedings of 19th International Conference on Computational Linguistics, COLING 2002, August 24 - September 1, 2002 [7 pp.]. Taipei, Taiwan: Howard International House and Academia Sinica. 10.3115/1072228.1072394.

De Pietro, J.-F. (1988) Vers une typologie des situations de contacts linguistiques. Langage et Société 43: 65–89.

García, O. (2009) Education, multilingualism and translanguaging. In A. Mohanty, M. Panda, R. Phillipson and T. Skutnabb-Kangas (eds) Multilingual education for social justice: Globalising the local 140–158. New Delhi: Orient Blackwan.

Giacalone Ramat, A. (1994) Il ruolo della tipologia linguistica nell’acquisizione di lingue seconde. In A. Giacalone Ramat and M. Vedovelli (eds) Italiano lingua seconda/lingua straniera 27–43.Roma: Bulzoni.

Goebl, H., Nelde, P. H., Stary, Z., and Wölck, W. (eds) (1996) Contact linguistics: An international handbook of contemporary research. Berlin: De Gruyter.

Heine, B. and Kuteva, T. (2003) On contact-induced grammaticalization. Studies in Language 27(3): 529–572.

Heine, B. and Kuteva, T. (2005) Language contact and grammatical change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Jacquemet, M. (2005) Transidiomatic practices: Language and power in the age of globalization. Language and Communication 25(3): 257–277.

Jørgensen, J. N., Karrebæk, M. S., Madsen, L. M., and Møller, J. S. (2011) Polylanguaging in superdiversity. Diversities 13(2). Retrieved from:

Kellerman, E. and Sharwood Smith, M. (eds) (1986) Crosslinguistic influence in Second Language Acquisition. New York: Pergamon Press.

Ledegen, G. (2012) Prédicats ‘flottants’ entre le créole acrolectal et le français à la Réunion: exploration d’une zone ambiguë. In C. Chamoreau and L. Goury (eds) Changement linguistique et langues en contact. Approches plurielles du domaine prédicatif 251–270. Paris: Éditions du CNRS.

Léglise, I. (2007) Des langues des domaines, des régions. Pratiques, variations, attitudes linguistiques en Guyane. In I. Léglise and B. Migge (eds) Pratiques et représentations linguistiques en Guyane: regards croisés 29–47. Paris: Éditions de l’IRD.

Léglise, I. (2013a) Multilinguisme, variation, contact. Des pratiques langagières sur le terrain à l’analyse de corpus hétérogènes. Paris: INALCO. Retrieved from:

Léglise, I. (2013b) The interplay of inherent tendencies and language contact on French object clitics: An example of variation in a French Guianese contact setting. In I. Léglise and C. Chamoreau (eds) The interplay of variation and change in contact settings 137–163. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Léglise, I. (to appear) Pratiques langagières plurilingues et frontières de langues. In M. Auzanneau and L. Greco (eds) Dessiner les frontières. Lyon: Éditions ENS.

Mackey, W. F. (1976) Bilinguisme et contact des langues. Paris: Klincksieck.

MacWhinney, B. (2000) The Childes Project: Tools for analyzing talk. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

MacWhinney, B. (2007) The TalkBank Project. Department of Psychology. Paper 174. Retrieved from:

Matras, Y. (1998) Utterance modifiers and universals of grammatical borrowing. Linguistics 36(2): 281–331.

McEnery, A. M. and Wilson A. (eds) (2000) Multilingual corpora in teaching and research. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

Migge, B. and Léglise, I. (2011) On the emergence of new language varieties: The case of the Eastern Maroon Creole in French Guiana. In L. Hinrichs and J. Farquharson (eds) Variation in the Caribbean 181–199. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Migge, B. and Léglise, I. (2013) Exploring language in a multilingual context: Variation, interaction and ideology in language documentation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Muysken, P. (1995) Code-switching and grammatical theory. In L. Milroy and P. Muysken (eds) One speaker, two languages: Cross-disciplinary perspectives on code-switching 177–198. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Myers-Scotton, C. (1993a) Social motivations for code-switching: Evidence from Africa. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Myers-Scotton, C. (1993b) Duelling languages: Grammatical structure in codeswitching. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Poplack, S. (1980) Sometimes I’ll start a sentence in Spanish Y TERMINO EN ESPAÑOL. Linguistics 18: 581–618.

Rampton, B. (2005) Crossing: Language and ethnicity among adolescents (2nd ed.). Manchester, UK and Northampton MA: St. Jerome Publishing.

Ross, M. (1999) Exploring metatypy: How does contact-induced typological change come about? Australian Linguistic Society’s annual meeting, Perth. Retrieved from:

Sacks, H., Schegloff, E., and Jefferson, G. (1974) A simplest systematics for the organisation of turn-taking for conversation. Language 50(4): 696–735.

Thomason, S. (2001a) Language contact: An introduction. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Thomason, S. (2001b) Contact-induced typological change. In M. Haspelmath, E. Koenig, W. Oesterreicher, and W. Raible (eds) Language typology and language universals. Sprachtypologie und sprachliche universalien. Vol. 2 1640–1648. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter.

Thomason, S. (2003) Social factors and linguistic processes in the emergence of stable mixed languages. In Y. Matras & P. Bakker (eds) The mixed language debate 21–39. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter.

Thomason, S. (2010) Contact explanations in linguistics. In R. Hickey (ed.) The Handbook of Language Contact 31–47. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

Thomason, S. and Kaufman T. (1988) Language contact, creolization, and genetic linguistics. Oxford and Berkeley: University of California Press.

Vaillant, P. and Léglise, I. (2014) A la croisée des langues: annotation et fouille de corpus plurilingues. RNTI Revue des Nouvelles Technologies de l'Information SHS-2: 81–100.

Weinreich, U. (1953) Languages in contact: Findings and problems. New York: The Linguistic Circle of New York.

Winford, D. (2003) An introduction to contact linguistics. Oxford: Blackwell.

Wurm, S. A. (1996) Atlas des langues en péril dans le monde. Paris and Canberra: Éditions UNESCO and Pacific Linguistics.

Zentella, A.-C. (1997) Growing up bilingual: Puerto Rican children in New York. Oxford: Blackwell.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Equinox Publishing Ltd - 415 The Workstation 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield, S1 2BX United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 (0)114 221-0285 - Email:

Privacy Policy