Linguistics PhD candidate Ariana Bancu successfully defended her dissertation, “Dynamics of language contact and language variation: the case of Transylvanian Saxon in the homeland and the diaspora,” on July 26.
Congratulations from the Department of Linguistics!
A driving concern of my dissertation is to explore morpho-syntactic variation in Viscri Saxon, a dialect of Transylvanian Saxon (TrSax), originating in Viscri, Romania. I aim to determine how German and Romanian, the languages in contact with Viscri Saxon, affect the structure of the language. Are some domains of Viscri Saxon morpho-syntax more affected by contact effects than others? Do German and Romanian affect Viscri Saxon to different degrees? Can contact effects on Viscri Saxon be identified by comparing a variety from Romania to a variety from Germany? I address these questions by combining methods from language contact, focusing on factors that facilitate morpho-syntactic transfer, with methods from sociolinguistics, focusing on quantitative analyses that explore the effects of sociolinguistic factors on variation.