This problem's going through my head for a while. Take Indonesia - everybody speaks fluently Indonesian there but Indonesian remains a second, "official language" for most people anyway. In Canada, there's​ a huge percentage of bilinguals - but even though French and English affect each other and create neologisms occasionally, they seem to remain two very distinct communication systems (I have no references for this).

Though, do languages merge together or tend to merge together when coexisting in an area for certain time?

  • Anglo-Saxon and Norman French merged together and as a result Middle English appeared.
    – Yellow Sky
    Commented Apr 28, 2017 at 15:05
  • Related: linguistics.stackexchange.com/questions/989/… Commented Apr 28, 2017 at 22:38
  • 2
    There are contact languages and "mixed languages' like Michif, which is a blend of French and Cree. You could call it merging if you want. But languages like Michif are very rare.
    – jlawler
    Commented Apr 29, 2017 at 1:58
  • Depends on what you mean by 'merge together'. Have a read of WP on language strata. This is a more common situation than the "mixed language" mentioned by jlawler. Commented Apr 29, 2017 at 9:21
  • 1
    Sally Thomason's book Language Contact has a good overview of the various possibilities, and lots of interesting examples.
    – jlawler
    Commented Apr 29, 2017 at 13:27

2 Answers 2


No. History knows no equal merge. If two languages are merging, usually it means one of them is heavily influenced by the other.

  • Some varieties of surzhyk have practically equal proportion of features from both languages. Have you heard surzhyk?
    – Yellow Sky
    Commented Apr 28, 2017 at 17:54
  • @Yellow Sky this may be just because there is still existing dialect continuum between the languages. I do not know Surzhyk but if it is not the case, information in the Internet mostly indicates it is Ukrainian-based language with a lot of Russian vocabulary.
    – Anixx
    Commented Apr 28, 2017 at 19:13
  • It's definitely not a dialect within that continuum, and there are really many variants of surzhyk, some of them are like the one you described, but some are like Russian with half of words and half of grammar forms being Ukrainian.
    – Yellow Sky
    Commented Apr 28, 2017 at 19:30

According to some, yes. I was in the class provided in the link. The example I remember the most was this language somewhere in eastern Russia where all the nouns came from one language and all the verbs from the other (the two languages being a native language and Russian).

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