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A mixed language is a language that arises among a bilingual group, typically very abruptly, combining aspects of two or more languages but not clearly deriving primarily from any single language. It differs from a
Because all languages show some degree of mixing by virtue of containing
Other terms used in
Thomason (1995) classifies mixed languages into two categories: Category 1 languages exhibit "heavy influence from the dominant group's language in all aspects of structure and grammar as well as lexicon" (Winford 171). Category 2 languages show a "categorial specificity of the structural borrowing" or a uniform borrowing of specific categories (Winford).[
Mixed language and intertwined language are seemingly interchangeable terms for some researchers. Some use the term "intertwining" instead of "mixing" because the former implies "mixture of two systems which are not necessarily the same order" nor does it suggest "replacement of the either the lexicon or of the grammatical system", unlike
Arends et al. classify an intertwined language as a language that "has lexical morphemes from one language and grammatical morphemes from another". This definition does not include Michif, which combines French lexical items in specific contexts, but still utilizes Cree lexical and grammatical items.
Yaron Matras distinguishes between three types of models for mixed language: "language maintenance and
Lexical reorientation, according to Matras, is defined as "the conscious shifting of the linguistic field that is responsible for encoding meaning or conceptual representations away from the language in which linguistic interaction is normally managed, organised, and processed: speakers adopt in a sense one linguistic system to express lexical meaning (or symbols, in the Buhlerian sense of the term) and another to organize the relations among lexical symbols, as well as within sentences, utterances, and interaction. The result is a split, by source language, between lexicon and grammar."