Areal typology, standard average European and verbal expressions of gratitude in European languages
This research paper presents an argument that the current direction of research into the Standard Average European does not accurately portray the language contact situation in Europe. The evidence for such an argument is derived from how gratitude is expressed in the different languages and regions of Europe. The patterns evident in the data indicate that there are numerous contact situations in Europe that are not recognized in the current interpretation of the Standard Average European hypothesis. These contact situations all possess the same degree of validity as those described in the current interpretation of the Standard Average European hypothesis. The conclusion of this research is that the field of contact linguistics would be better served by reframing the Standard Average European hypothesis as a language union composed of numerous overlapping micro language unions rather than one macro language union with concentric “circles” of membership that decrease as distance increases.