“Diacronia” bibliometric database (BDD)

Inflections in 19th c. Upper Guinea Creole Texts

Publication: Revue roumaine de linguistique, LIV (3-4), p. 231-252
Publisher:Editura Academiei
Abstract:Until recently, most creolists assumed that an inherent part of restructuring was the loss of any inflectional morphemes from the lexical donor language in any pidgin or creole resulting from contact. However, this characterization of restructuring is no longer tenable given recent evidence (Clements 1996, Bakker 2002) that not all inflections in pidgin and creole languages can be credibly attributed to recent contact with the superstrate and must, therefore, have existed since the languages’ genesis. What this implies is no less than a paradigm shift in creole linguistics (Holm 2005). This paper examines in detail a number of nineteenth-century grammars and texts of two closely related Portuguese-based creoles, those of Guiné-Bissau (GBC) and Cape Verde (CVC). It focuses on attestations of inflections in both the noun phrase and the verb phrase, comparing them with modern descriptions of these languages. The aim is to critically evaluate the reliability of these older works, which have sometimes been dismissed out of hand by later researchers when the data they reported did not conform to current theory. The purpose of this paper is to assess what light these older works might cast on issues such as when the acrolect emerged and what relation (if any) its emergence had to decreolization.
Language: English

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