Proceedings from the CALS conference 2014
Edited By Kristina Cergol Kovačević and Sanda Lucija Udier
Croatian and English in contact: Evribadi spiks ingliš, but do we understand Croatian?
The goal of the present paper is to address and assess some of the consequences of the ever growing presence of English in Croatian public discourse. While our study was intended as a contribution to the study of contact between English and Croatian, we did not set out to catalogue the different English replications (Matras 2009) in contemporary Croatian contexts, describe their adaptations to the Croatian language system, or invite normative responses to the observed contact phenomena. There is a sizeable number of contributions in Croatian linguistics that deal with one or more of these issues (cf. Antunović 1996, Brdar 2010, Ćurković 2013, Mihaljević 1999, Morić-Mohorovičić and Vlastelić 2012, Muhvić-Dimanovski 1996, Muhvić-Dimanovski and Skelin Horvat 2006, Opačić 2006, Opačić 2012, Sočanac 2009, Starčević 2006, Turk 2003, etc.). Least of all was our intention to hypothesize about the potential effects of English on the integrity and coherence of the Croatian language system. We took a more dynamic view, by considering the observed English-Croatian contacts as processes taking place, first and foremost, within the minds of (imperfect) bilingual individuals (cf. Matras 2009, Romaine 1996, Weinreich 1953). More specifically, we focused on a sample of replications of English patterns and matter attested in Croatian online news sources to test their reception and production in native speakers of Croatian. Starting from the assumption that most of the Croatian population does not qualify as bilingual in English and Croatian, not even under...
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