Welcome to the CRLCC 

The Centre for Research on Language and Culture Contact is the bilingual research unit of Glendon College, York University.  Its main goal is to foster innovative and collaborative interdisciplinary research on language and language-related areas.

Language contact occurs when individuals or groups acquire the language and culture of other groups or when they interact through the language of members of other groups. Among the topics that fall within the purview of language contact one can mention: second or multiple language acquisition, societal or individual bilingualism, minority language maintenance or loss, bilingualism and cognition, the role of language and cultural contact in language change, genesis of pidgin and Creole languages, the linguistic and cultural dimensions of translation…

Thus the study of language contact can be approached from the perspective of several complementary disciplines (e.g., linguistics, translation, sociology, demography, psychology, political science, human geography, history, comparative literature…).          

The CRLCC is located on the Second Floor in York Hall at the Glendon campus – York University.

What we do: 

The CRLCC is home to multiple research clusters covering s diverse range of topics that contribute to the field of Language and Culture Contact. Current research clusters include:

For more detailed information on the current research activities of the CRLCC members click here.

  • Acquisition of a 5th or 6th language in a multilingual context
  • Acquisition of minority languages
  • Contrastive linguistics
  • Dialect contact and mixing
  • Integrating socio-cultural and linguistic contact into a theory of linguistic variation and change
  • Language ecology
  • Language and technology
  • Linguistic description of pidgins and creoles
  • Linguistic variation and change in contact languages
  • Minority language maintenance
  • Multilingual/bilingual/minority language education
  • Second language acquisition (SLA) and pedagogy
  • Translation

To further research collaboration, we will be hosting a series of brown bag lunches (12h00-13h30 – Glendon campus – day and location to be chosen on a rotation basis). 

Click here to view the list of upcoming presentations: 

Those who would like to present a paper (published or drafts) should circulate them  1 week before their presentation. Please send these to crlc_crcl@glendon.yorku.ca. Since the aim is to get to know each others’ work, we encourage every effort to participate in as many of these research meetings as you can.

Did you know… ?

Every week, members of the CRLCC will test your knowledge and share various aspects of their research. Play along, send us your own trivias and a link to your research!


From Bruce Connell, Professor, Linguistics & Language Studies (LIN), Glendon College:

Language ecology and endangered languages in Africa The most commonly cited cause of language endangerment globally is the (increasing) dominance of a colonial or imperial language: witness, for example, the demise of languages indigenous to the Americas and Australia. The situation in Africa is often claimed to be different, that the threat here is more from national languages or regional lingua francas that are themselves African languages, rather than from colonial languages […]. However, some languages are disappearing due to the effects of not a single factor, but a combination of several, which can best be described as changes to their ecology. 

An endangered language of the Nigeria-Cameroon borderland in Africa was only ever spoken by blacksmiths and their families. Do you know which one?  

a) Mambila 

b) Ibibio 

c) Somyev/Sombe 

d) Bamileke 

e) Kapsiki/Higi 

(answer at the bottom of the page) 

To learn more about language ecology and this endangered African language, follow this link: 

https://main.journalofwestafricanlanguages.org/index.php/downloads/download/107-volume-37-number-1/547-language-ecology-and-language-endangerment-an-instance-from-the-nigeria-cameroon-borderland 

answer: c 


From Susan Ingram, Professor, Dept of Humanities (Keele campus) and Graduate Studies Program in Translation, York University 

Vienna’s culture of appearance  

Modernity means something quite different, something much more inflected and influenced by the weight of the historical, especially the baroque, in the Viennese context than it does in other modern Euro-American cities, such as London, Paris, Berlin, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.  

This is why, according to its most popular advertising campaign, Vienna prides itself on being…

  1. a)schön
  2. b)einmalig
  3. c)anders
  4. d)wunderbar

(answer at the bottom of this page)

Your German is not good enough? You would like to know more?
More information can be found in the introduction to Wiener Chic, available as an ebook in the York

Library https://ocul-yor.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/discovery/search?query=any,contains,wiener%20chic&tab=Everything&search_scope=MyInst_and_CI&sortby=date_d&vid=01OCUL_YOR:YOR_DEFAULT&facet=frbrgroupid,include,9054584071211756487&offset=0.  

answer: c (anders = other, strange, different, quirky) 


From Elaine Gold: 

Executive Director

Canadian Language Museum

Did you know…? 

As in French, the nouns in Algonquian languages are divided into two grammatical ‘genders’ that affect the forms of accompanying determiners and verbs. However, unlike French, these categories are animate and inanimate.  All people are in the animate category, and so there are no issues around gender-neutral language! 

      You may be surprised to learn that only one of the following nouns belongs to the inanimate category. Do you know which one? 

  1. Dewehgan (drum)
  2. Mtig (tree)
  3. Kidwin (word)
  4. Semaa (tobacco)(answer at bottom of page)To learn more, visit the Canadian Language Museum’s Cree exhibit page www.languagemuseum.ca/exhibit/cree-peoples-language or consult our new booklet ‘Indigenous Languages in Canada’ www.languagemuseum.ca/indigenous-languages-in-Canada
    The French exhibit page and booklet can be found at: www.museedeslangues.ca/exhibit/le-cri-la-langue-du-peuple and www.museedeslangues.ca/les-langues-autochtones-au-Canada.

Answer : c