Language Loyalty and Language Purity in a Language Contact Situation

South Australian Czech


  • Chloe Castle University of Adelaide


Czech, language, English, borrowing, contact, attrition, community, bilingual


This paper is a parallel study to “Czeching Out a Language Contact Situation: Grammatical Replication and Shift in South Australian Czech” (Castle forthcoming) and investigates the reasons why grammatical borrowing and attrition processes occur within the South Australian Czech community. In-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with six participants, yielding results including reports of cognitive pressure, structural influence and similarity, and outside societal pressure to speak English. Utilizing Thomason and Kaufman’s (1988) framework, it was found that Czech Australian participant speech was marked by characteristics placing it at level three on the borrowing scale: function words and sentence structure are borrowed from English, which correlates with participant experience with a more intense level of contact and social pressure from the larger Australian majority. Additionally, “need” (van Coetsem 2000: 215), comprising social pressure, structural similarity, and cognitive pressure, is the key factor in grammatical borrowing, transfer, and attrition processes in the Czech South Australian community.




How to Cite

Castle, C. “Language Loyalty and Language Purity in a Language Contact Situation: South Australian Czech”. Journal of Slavic Linguistics, vol. 29, no. 1, July 2021, pp. 1-44,