Linguistics Creoles
by
Pieter Muysken, Margot van den Berg
  • LAST MODIFIED: 28 October 2011
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199772810-0011

Introduction

Languages in contact can result in the emergence of several new languages, ranging from pidgins and Creoles to intertwined or mixed languages and world Englishes. This article focuses primarily on Creoles and only marginally on pidgins. Pidgins are languages used in contacts between members of different language groups who have no language in common. They are often reduced in their structure and vocabulary and are primarily used as an intergroup means of communication in a particular domain, for example, trade. Creoles, which are often (but not always) derived from pidgins, are full-fledged languages with native speakers that can (but might not) be used in all aspects of life. Despite their ordinariness, Creoles may be considered a class apart, because they did not develop gradually like other languages but rather at a specific period and hence rather suddenly. Pidgin and Creole studies have become a diverse and lively subdiscipline within linguistics, with links to contact linguistics, sociolinguistics, historical linguistics, language acquisition, and linguistic theory and typology. The main question in this area of study is whether the specific origin of pidgins and Creoles is reflected in their grammatical properties and, if so, how. However, a number of other questions are also debated in the field, including variability in the Creoles, their relation to the (often European) colonial languages, and their place in education.

Introductory Works

A number of books have appeared over the years that bring together what is known about Creoles. The first and still one of the best is Reinecke 1975. Holm 1988 and Holm 1989 were a second attempt to provide maximal coverage of the domain in terms of topics, languages, and references. Also a number of introductions have appeared. Different books stress different aspects or have a different regional focus. Arends, et al. 1995 is particularly focused on the Atlantic area, while the introductions Mühlhäusler 1997 and Romaine 1988 offer richer data on the Pacific. Kouwenberg and Singler 2008 is an up-to-date overview of the field for scholars; Todd 1974, Sebba 1997, and Siegel 2008 are the more basic introductory texts. Holm and Michaelis 2009 samples the history of the field through a selection of its most influential articles.

  • Arends, Jacques, Pieter Muysken, and Norval Smith, eds. 1995. Pidgins and Creoles: An introduction. Creole Language Library 15. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Introductory multiauthor textbook that combines overviews of theories of Creole formation with descriptions of individual languages and discussions of linguistic features that are typically associated with the study of pidgins and Creoles. Focus is on grammatical issues and the Atlantic. Contains a list of all the known pidgins and Creoles as well as maps with their locations.

    Find this resource:

    • Holm, John A. 1988. Pidgins and Creoles. Vol. 1, Theory and structure. Cambridge Language Surveys. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      Detailed overview of the history of Creole studies, the main theories of Creoles’ genesis, and a comparative survey of their structural features.

      Find this resource:

      • Holm, John A. 1989. Pidgins and Creoles. Vol. 2, References survey. Cambridge Language Surveys. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

        A very useful overview of a large series of pidgins and Creoles, with references, sociolinguistic information, and sample texts.

        Find this resource:

        • Holm, John A., and Suzanne Michaelis, eds. 2009. Contact languages: Critical concepts in language studies. 5 vols. London: Routledge.

          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

          With reprints of some of the most influential articles that shaped the field of pidgin and Creole studies from the late 19th century onward, including some that are hard to find.

          Find this resource:

          • Kouwenberg, Silvia, and John Singler, eds. 2008. The handbook of pidgin and Creole studies. Blackwell Handbooks in Linguistics. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.

            DOI: 10.1002/9781444305982Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

            An authoritative collective volume containing state-of-the-art overviews by many leading specialists in the field.

            Find this resource:

            • Mühlhäusler, Peter. 1997. Pidgin and Creole linguistics. Expanded and rev. ed. Westminster Creolistics 3. London: Univ. of Westminster Press.

              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

              This author is a specialist in the pidgin and Creole varieties, notably Tok Pisin, spoken in New Guinea and northern Australia. One of his key contributions is his work on the notions of simplification and of lexical expansion. Originally published in 1985 (Oxford: Blackwell).

              Find this resource:

              • Reinecke, John E. 1975. A bibliography of pidgin and Creole languages. Oceanic Linguistics Special Publication 14. Honolulu: Univ. of Hawaii Press.

                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                A massive 876-page bibliography of pidgins and Creoles; given its publication date, mostly useful for the older sources it supplies.

                Find this resource:

                • Romaine, Suzanne. 1988. Pidgin and Creole languages. Longman Linguistics Library. London: Longman.

                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                  Romaine carried out fieldwork on Tok Pisin. The main interest of this volume consists of the links this author establishes among Creole studies, historical linguistics, and language acquisition.

                  Find this resource:

                  • Sebba, Mark. 1997. Contact languages: Pidgins and Creoles. Modern Linguistics. London: Macmillan.

                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                    This is a very accessible introduction to the field, with interest in sociolinguistic issues, variation, education, and literacy.

                    Find this resource:

                    • Siegel, Jeff. 2008. The emergence of pidgin and Creole languages. Oxford Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                      Introductory textbook on pidgins and Creoles that focuses on the emergence of these languages. Written from the perspectives of second-language acquisition and use as an alternative to the bioprogram hypothesis. Many data from the Pacific.

                      Find this resource:

                      • Todd, Loreto. 1974. Modern Englishes: Pidgins and Creoles. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

                        DOI: 10.4324/9780203381199Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                        Particularly interesting for the observations on Cameroon Pidgin. Todd later published a second introduction, Pidgins and Creoles (London: Routledge, 1991).

                        Find this resource:

                        Early Creolists and the History of the Field

                        Although there were some precursors, such as the Yale librarian Addison Van Name (Van Name 1869–1870), the most-important early Creolists were the Romance scholar Hugo Schuchardt (b. 1842–d. 1927) and the Greek scholar and philologist Dirk Christiaan Hesseling (b. 1859–d. 1941). They inventoried important subsets of the Creole languages now known, identified a number of important grammatical features, and explored some of the possible hypotheses about the emergence of the Creole languages. In short, they created the contours for the later field of Creole studies and set the debate (compare Meijer and Muysken 1977). Translations of Schuchardt’s most important essays, originally in German, are Schuchardt 1979 and Schuchardt 1980, two collections with some overlap. A translation of Hesseling’s most important work, originally in Dutch, is Hesseling 1979. Important references from the earlier part of the 20th century include Herskovits and Herskovits 1969 (first published in 1936) and Turner 1974 (first published in 1949). Until the 1960s the area of Creole studies was explored by scholars working primarily on their own. In the conference held in Mona, Jamaica, and the ensuing volume Hymes 1971, we see the beginning of a systematic attempt to understand the study of Creole languages as an organized subdiscipline: the field was born. An overview including reprints of influential articles that shaped the field is in Holm and Michaelis 2009.

                        • Herskovits, Melville J., and Frances S. Herskovits. 1969. Suriname folk-lore. New York: AMS.

                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                          This is the most important early collection of materials recorded in a Creole language, in this case Sranan and Saramaccan. With transcriptions of Suriname songs and musicological analysis by Mieczyslaw Kolinski. Originally published in 1936.

                          Find this resource:

                          • Hesseling, Dirk Christiaan. 1979. On the origin and formation of Creoles: A miscellany of articles. Edited and translated by T. L. Markey and Paul T. Roberge. Linguistica Extranea Studia 4. Ann Arbor, MI: Karoma.

                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                            Papers on Afrikaans, Dutch in Sri Lanka and North America, and Papiamentu and more-general studies on the genesis of pidgin and Creole.

                            Find this resource:

                            • Holm, John, and Suzanne Michaelis, eds. 2009. Contact languages: Critical concepts in language studies. 5 vols. London: Routledge.

                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                              In these volumes some of the most influential articles in the field of pidgin and Creole studies from the late 19th century onward are reprinted.

                              Find this resource:

                              • Hymes, D. 1971. Pidginization and creolization of languages. Proceedings of a conference held at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica, April 1968. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                This collection contains the papers from the crucial conference held at the University of the West Indies. Many important Creole specialists of that time were represented, and some papers remain classic references.

                                Find this resource:

                                • Meijer, Guus, and Pieter Muysken. 1977. On the beginnings of pidgin and Creole studies: Schuchardt and Hesseling. In Pidgin and Creole linguistics. Edited by Albert Valdman, 21–48. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press.

                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                  An attempt to summarize most of the important contributions to the field by Schuchardt and Hesseling and to situate them in their historical context.

                                  Find this resource:

                                  • Schuchardt, Hugo. 1979. The ethnography of variation: Selected writings on pidgins and Creoles. Edited and translated by T. L. Markey. Linguistica Extranea Studia 3. Ann Arbor, MI: Karoma.

                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                    Articles on Réunion Creole, Melanesian Pidgin English, Lingua Franca, Negerhollands, Saramaccan, and the Portuguese Lexifier Creoles. Throughout, Schuchardt makes intriguing remarks on general properties of Creoles and processes of language contact.

                                    Find this resource:

                                    • Schuchardt, Hugo. 1980. Pidgin and Creole languages: Selected essays by Hugo Schuchardt. Edited and translated by Glenn G. Gilbert. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                      Several papers were already published in Schuchardt 1979, but there are additional articles on Native American English and Indo-English.

                                      Find this resource:

                                      • Turner, Lorenzo D. 1974. Africanisms in the Gullah dialect. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                        This constitutes an important source of possible African survivals in a New World Creole, in this case Gullah from coastal Georgia and South Carolina. Originally published in 1949.

                                        Find this resource:

                                        • Van Name, Addison. 1869–1870. Contributions to Creole grammar. New Haven, CT: Van Name.

                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                          A first attempt to describe some of the commonalities in grammar of a number of the Caribbean Creoles. Van Name is credited with the idea that incomplete second-language learning may be at the root of many Creole features. On the cover title is the attribution “From the Transactions of the American Philological Association, 1869–70.” Both publisher and publication location are questioned by sources.

                                          Find this resource:

                                          Book Series

                                          Over the years a number of book series have been dedicated to pidgin and Creole studies, often the result of the efforts of individual scholars and editors. The series of working papers Amsterdam Creole Studies 1977–1985, coedited by Norval Smith and Pieter Muysken, with contributions from researchers from Amsterdam and occasional outside authors, was founded in 1977 and has gone through twelve issues, with others, such as Hans den Besten, sharing the editorial work. The small publisher Karoma in Ann Arbor, Michigan, published a series of Creole-related books between 1979 and 1985, the most notable of which was Derek Bickerton’s The Roots of Language (Bickerton 1981; see also Bickerton’s Bioprogram Hypothesis). Since 1981, Helmut Buske Verlag in Hamburg has published an ambitious series, the Kreolische Bibliothek 1981–, edited by Annegret Bollée, which contains texts in French (and one in Portuguese) with descriptions and text editions of a number of Creole languages. So far twenty-three volumes have appeared. A strong point here is that many primary materials are included. The German publisher Brockmeyer (Bochum) published a number of volumes in the Bochum-Essener Beiträge zur Sprachwandelforschung series 1985–2001, edited by Norbert Borezky, Werner Enninger, and Thomas Stolz. Together with the Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages (cited under Journals), Benjamins started the book series Creole Language Library in 1986 (Creole Language Library 1986–). It has seen various editors, starting with Pieter Muysken, who was then joined by John Singler and subsequently replaced by Jacques Arends. The new team of editors consists of Miriam Meyerhoff and Umberto Ansaldo. So far thirty-seven volumes have appeared, including a number of selected proceedings of meetings of the Society for Pidgin and Creole Linguistics. The University of Westminster’s Westminster Creolistics series 1995– is published by Battlebridge. The series Cambridge Approaches to Language Contact 2001– of Cambridge University Press, under the editorship of Salikoko Mufwene, has several titles related to Creoles.

                                          • Amsterdam Creole Studies. 1977–1985. Amsterdam: Linguistics Department, Univ. of Amsterdam.

                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                            Series of working papers by researchers and visitors working on Creoles at the Linguistics Department of the University of Amsterdam, including papers on the Surinamese Creoles and Negerhollands.

                                            Find this resource:

                                            • Bickerton, Derek. 1981. The roots of language. Ann Arbor, MI: Karoma.

                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                              Most famous work published by Karoma on Creoles, among a number of other Creole-related books it published in the 1970s and 1980s.

                                              Find this resource:

                                              • Bochum-Essener Beiträge zur Sprachwandelforschung series. 1985–2001. Bochum, Germany: Brockmeyer.

                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                Books with many articles on very diverse categories of Creoles and a variety of contact methods. Edited by Norbert Borezky, Werner Enninger, and Thomas Stolz.

                                                Find this resource:

                                                • Cambridge Approaches to Language Contact. 2001–. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                  Primarily concerned with contact linguistics; a number of Creole-related works have appeared in this series under the editorship of Salikoko Mufwene, a distinguished Creolist.

                                                  Find this resource:

                                                  • Creole Language Library series. 1986–. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                    Most books in the series consist of carefully selected and peer-reviewed papers presented at conferences of the Society of Pidgin and Creole Languages. Edited by Pieter Muysken.

                                                    Find this resource:

                                                    • Kreolische Bibliothek. 1981–. Hamburg, Germany: Helmut Buske.

                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                      Ambitious series with texts mostly in French. Includes many primary descriptions and text editions of a number of Creole languages. Edited by Annegret Bollée.

                                                      Find this resource:

                                                      • Westminster Creolistics series. 1995–. London: Battlebridge.

                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                        Affordable and valuable book series published by Battlebridge; founded by Philip Baker, a renowned Creolist. Some recent publications include audio recordings on CD.

                                                        Find this resource:

                                                        Bibliographies

                                                        Before the days of the Internet and digitalized and online-accessible inventories of libraries, printed bibliographies surveyed publications on Creoles. We mention here two influential bibliographies that appeared in the 1970s. The anthropologist Richard Price brought together a number of publications on the Surinamese Creoles in his bibliography (Price 1976). Reinecke 1975 is an extensive bibliography on pidgins as well as Creoles.

                                                        • Price, Richard. 1976. The Guiana Maroons: A historical and bibliographical introduction. Johns Hopkins Studies in Atlantic History and Culture. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press.

                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                          A thorough overview of the earlier literature on the Maroons and their cultures, societies, and languages in Suriname.

                                                          Find this resource:

                                                          • Reinecke, John E. 1975. A bibliography of pidgin and Creole languages. Oceanic Linguistics Special Publication 14. Honolulu: Univ. of Hawaii Press.

                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                            A massive 876-page bibliography of pidgins and Creoles; given its publication date, of course mostly useful for the older sources.

                                                            Find this resource:

                                                            Atlases

                                                            Several collections of descriptions of pidgins and Creoles have appeared as atlases in printed form and more recently also in digital form. Carlin and Arends 2002 and Léglise and Migge 2007 outline the complex language situation in Suriname and French Guiana, while Wurm, et al. 1996 covers the Pacific. Michaelis, et al., Atlas of Pidgin and Creole Language Structures, presents comparable data on the grammatical and lexical structures of seventy-seven pidgins, Creoles, and intertwined languages in the form of maps and sociohistorical and grammatical surveys that can be accessed via printed volumes as well as an electronic database.

                                                            • Carlin, Eithne, and Jacques Arends, eds. 2002. Atlas of the languages of Suriname. Caribbean Series 22. Leiden, The Netherlands: KITLV.

                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                              Rich description of the many languages of Suriname, including several contributions on the Surinamese Creoles.

                                                              Find this resource:

                                                              • Léglise, Isabelle, and Bettina Migge, eds. 2007. Pratiques et attitudes linguistiques en Guyane: Regards croisés. Éditrices Scientifiques. Paris: IRD.

                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                A varied description of the dynamic language situation in French Guiana, with several contributions on the Creoles of French Guiana.

                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                • Michaelis, Susanne, Philippe Maurer, Martin Haspelmath, and Magnus Huber, eds. Atlas of pidgin and Creole language structures.

                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                  On the basis of a carefully designed questionnaire, multiple authors contributed data on seventy-six pidgins, Creoles, and intertwined languages, resulting in a database that can be assessed in printed form as well as electronically. Thus, this effort gave an enormous impetus to the typological study of pidgins, Creoles, and intertwined languages in comparison to other languages.

                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                  • Wurm, Stephen A., Peter Mühlhäusler, and Darrel T. Tryon. 1996. Atlas of languages of intercultural communication in the Pacific, Asia, and the Americas. 3 vols. Trends in Linguistics. New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

                                                                    DOI: 10.1515/9783110819724Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                    A vast attempt to cover Creoles and other contact languages in the wider Pacific domain.

                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                    Reference Resources

                                                                    Reliable and solid online reference resources on Creole languages are few. Via the general Linguistlist.org, some valuable online information on Creole languages can be retrieved, and some of the contributions to Wikipedia are reliable and correct although others are not. In the past there was a website that focused primarily on pidgins, Creoles, and other outcomes of language contact, the Creolist Archives Papers On-line, which was linked to an active e-mail list, the Creolist (1999–2002). Both were generally considered to be valuable and useful sources of information, but they are no longer active. However, parts of the Creolist Archives can still be accessed. The University of the West Indies (UWI) Jamaican Language Unit under the supervision of Huber Devonish started broadcasting via their own channel on YouTube. They uploaded highly interesting material on several Creole languages (The Kromanti Language of the Jamaican Maroons).

                                                                    Journals

                                                                    There was an early attempt to create a journal in the 1970s. Two issues of the Journal of Creole Studies were published in 1977 by De Sikkel in Kapellen, Belgium, under the editorship of Ian Hancock. However, a more permanent and successful English-language journal was founded in 1986, the Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages, initially under the editorship of Glenn Gilbert (published by Benjamins). In addition, the Carrier Pidgin began in 1973 with news items, short book reviews, and a series called “Focus on a Creolist” with portraits of important scholars in the field of pidgin and Creole linguistics. The journal Papia: Revista brasileira de estudos crioulos e similares, started in 1990, is published in Brazil and focuses on pidgins and Creoles with a Spanish and Portuguese lexicon, including varieties of Brazilian Portuguese. The French-language journal Études Créoles: Culture, langue, société is an interdisciplinary journal focused on Creole cultures, languages, and societies. It is published under the auspices of the Comité International des Études Créoles and edited by Robert Chaudenson. Another French journal, Creolica, appears electronically under the umbrella of the Groupe Européen de Recherches en Langues Créoles at the Université de Provence, edited by Marie-Christine Hazaël-Massieux. The first article appeared in 2003. The Pidgins and Creoles in Education Newsletter was published in Hawaii by Jeff Siegel. It appeared for about eight years in the 1990s. As its title indicates, the newsletter was focused on the use of pidgins and Creoles as vernacular languages in education. The Wiley-Blackwell journal World Englishes “is an international journal committed to theoretical research on methodological and empirical study of English in global, social, cultural and linguistic contexts.” It is edited by Kingsley Bolton and Daniel Davis. With a thirty-year history, it often includes papers on English-lexifier pidgins and Creoles and on sociolinguistic variation in Creole communities. The Benjamins journal English World-Wide likewise carries many articles on English-lexifier Creoles, particularly acrolectal variants. It is edited by Edgar Schneider and was founded in 1980. In the Netherlands the journal Oso: Tijdschrift voor de Surinamistiek en het Caraïbisch Gebied is published under the auspices of the Instituut ter Bevordering van de Surinamistiek, dedicated to Surinam and with regular articles on the Creole languages of Surinam. The Journal of Language Contact, focusing on “evolution of languages, contact and discourse,” started with Brill in 2010 after an earlier few years in electronic form only.

                                                                    The Pidgin/Creole Life Cyle Theory

                                                                    Since the 1960s Creole languages have been generally regarded as languages that develop historically from pidgins. The pidgin-Creole life cycle theory was first proposed by the American Romance scholar Robert A. Hall Jr., an important though controversial early Creolist. In addition to his proposal of the pidgin-Creole life cycle (Hall 1962, Hall 1979 [first published in 1966]), he is best known for his description of Haitian Creole (Hall 1953, cited under Descriptions of Individual Languages). Although the pidgin-Creole life cycle theory may apply to certain contact settings in which Creoles developed from pidgins, its general validity is debated not only because it depicts pidgins and Creoles as developing languages rather than developed languages (see Creole Exceptionalism and Complexity and McWhorter’s Creole Prototype Hypothesis on views of pidgin and Creoles) but also because not every pidgin develops into a Creole and not every Creole is preceded by a pidgin, as shown in Romaine 1988. The pidgin-Creole life cycle theory paved the way for several more on the origin of Creoles, including Bickerton’s bioprogram hypothesis (see Theories of Genesis) and McWhorter’s Creole prototype hypothesis (see Creole Exceptionalism and Complexity and McWhorter’s Creole Prototype Hypothesis), among others. Furthermore, it gave rise to more-articulate definitions of pidgins and Creoles and a clearer understanding of the structural differences between them. For example, while inflectional morphology is rare among Creoles, it is frequently encountered in pidgins (Bakker 2003). If Creoles develop from pidgins, then why in general do Creoles have less inflectional morphology than do pidgins? Loss of inflection is not typically regarded as one of the expansion processes associated with the pidgin-Creole life cycle. Most scholars in the field of pidgin-Creole (P/C) studies and contact linguistics do not support the pidgin-Creole life cycle theory in its original form, but they do generally suppose an interethnic means of communication out of which the Creole developed, abruptly or gradually.

                                                                    • Bakker, Peter. 2003. Pidgin inflectional morphology and its implications for Creole morphology. In Yearbook of Morphology 2002. Edited by Geeert Booij and Jaap van Marle, 3–33. New York: Kluwer Academic.

                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                      Important article on pidgin morphology that refutes the widespread notion that pidgins have no morphology on the basis of a comparative study of morphology in eighteen pidgins.

                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                      • Hall, Robert A. 1962. The life cycle of pidgin languages. Lingua 11:151–156.

                                                                        DOI: 10.1016/0024-3841(62)90021-9Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                        First article in which Hall spells out the pidgin-Creole life cycle.

                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                        • Hall, Robert A. 1979. Pidgin and Creole languages. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univ. Press.

                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                          One of the first systematic overviews. Links the study of pidgins and Creoles to concerns in Romance (historical) linguistics. Discusses the pidgin-Creole life cycle theory. Originally published in 1966.

                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                          • Romaine, Suzanne. 1988. Pidgin and Creole languages. Longman Linguistics Library. London: Longman.

                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                            Introductory textbook on pidgins and Creoles. Focus on the emergence of pidgins and Creoles and the multiple variations and exceptions to the pidgin-Creole life cycle.

                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                            Creole Continuum and Decreolization

                                                                            In the wake of Labov’s sociolinguistic study on the social stratification of English in New York City, several sociolinguistic studies on variation in the Creole languages of Trinidad, Guyana, and Belize appeared in the 1960s and 1970s. DeCamp 1971 was the first to observe that on an island such as Jamaica the Creole is not an entirely separate language from the standard language, Caribbean English, but rather forms a continuum of interlocking intermediate speech varieties with it. Thus, it is a continuum of patterns of social and stylistic variation that are found in the Creole community. The Creole continuum poses a problem for pidgin-Creole (P/C) studies and linguistics in general because the sociolinguistic patterns of variation are not easily captured in a single grammatical model. Some have proposed the existence of discrete grammatical systems on both sides of the continuum; they view the intermediate varieties on the continuum as outcomes of contact between those two systems. Others, such as DeCamp 1971 and Bickerton 1975, reject the existence of two or more coexistent systems and assume that all patterns share a single source from which they are derived by simple rules. The different strata in the continuum came to be known by different names, from “high” to “low” “acrolect,” “mesolect,” and “basilect.” In particular, Winford 1990 convincingly shows that their reasoning is seriously flawed for a number of reasons, including the lack of psychological validity of the derivation rules and the failure to note significant differences in the semantic and syntactic organization among the basilectal, mesolectal, and acrolectal varieties, among others. Some have therefore questioned the usefulness of the Creole continuum for the study of linguistics, but Rickford 1987 presents a thought-provoking plea for the validity and usefulness of the unidimensional continuum model. Excellent contemporary variationist studies of Creole languages are in Patrick 1999, on urban Jamaican Creole, and Hackert 2004, on urban Bahamian Creole. Escure 1997 presents a detailed and interesting comparison of Creole and dialect continua. While most studies focus on the various ways of speaking, Schneider and Wagner 2006 expands the Jamaican-Creole continuum to literary Jamaican Creole, citing the author of the Jamaican Creole novel The Harder They Come, Michael Thelwell, as supercompetent in Jamaican Creole, in that he commands the entire range of basilectal, mesolectal, and acrolectal Jamaican Creole.

                                                                            • Bickerton, Derek. 1975. Dynamics of a Creole system. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                              Elaborate treatment of the Guyanese continuum from the perspective of language change.

                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                              • DeCamp, David. 1971. Towards a generative analysis of a post-Creole continuum. In Pidginization and creolization of languages. Conference proceedings, April 1968, University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. Edited by Dell Hymes, 349–379. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                Classical article in which implicational scales are introduced to model Creole continua.

                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                • Escure, Geneviève. 1997. Creole and dialect continua: Standard acquisition processes in Belize and China (PRC). Creole Language Library 18. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                  Extensive comparative study on Belize Creole and nonstandard dialects in China (People’s Republic of China, PRC) from an acquisitionist perspective.

                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                  • Hackert, Stephanie. 2004. Urban Bahamian Creole: System and variation. Varieties of English around the World G32. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                    Sophisticated analysis of the variation in the urban variety of Bahamian Creole spoken in Nassau. Breaks with the tradition among Creolists to focus on the basilectal variety as the “proper” variety of the Creole.

                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                    • Meade, Rocky R. 2001. Acquisition of Jamaican phonology. Landelijke Onderzoekschool Taalwetenschap. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Foris.

                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                      Study of language acquisition, focusing on phonology of Jamaican Creole in different communities from an optimality theoretic perspective.

                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                      • Patrick, Peter. 1999. Urban Jamaican Creole: Variation in the mesolect. Varieties of English around the world G17. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                        Fine-grained analysis of the variation in the varieties of Creole spoken in Kingston. Focus on phonology; verbs; and the expression of tense, modality, and aspect.

                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                        • Rickford, John. 1987. Dimensions of a Creole continuum: History, texts, and linguistic analysis of Guyanese Creole. Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ. Press.

                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                          A rich book that combines fieldwork data, analyses, and observations on the basis of historical sources.

                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                          • Schneider, Edgar W., and Christian Wagner. 2006. The variability of literary dialect in Jamaican Creole: Thelwell’s The Harder They Come. Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages 21.1: 45–96.

                                                                                            DOI: 10.1075/jpcl.21.1.02schSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                            Fascinating study on variation in written Jamaican Creole from the perspective of spoken Jamaican Creole. Shows that sometimes a written text may be as reliable as the spoken word.

                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                            • Winford, Donald. 1990. Copula variability, accountability, and the concept of “polylectal” grammars. Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages 5.2: 223–252.

                                                                                              DOI: 10.1075/jpcl.5.2.04winSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                              Careful review of the notions behind the continuum concept.

                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                              • Young, Colville. 1973. Belize Creole: A study of the creolized English spoken in the city of Belize in its cultural and social setting. PhD diss., Univ. of York.

                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                Early sociolinguistic study, Labovian style, on variation in the Creole language(s) of Belize.

                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                African American Vernacular English

                                                                                                Three related sets of issues have played a central role in Creole studies of the Anglophone Caribbean in the North American continent: the Creole continuum, the origins of African American vernacular English (AAVE), and the role of AAVE in education. Given the widespread existence of Creole continua, many researchers, such as in Dillard 1972 and Stewart 1965, came to think that AAVE was simply the remaining acrolect of an original Creole continuum, from which the basilect and the mesolect have disappeared because of pressure from the standard language and mechanisms of social mobility in the postslavery era. Others thought it was better viewed as a (somewhat distinct) variety of American English, a position strongly defended in Poplack 2000 and Poplack and Tagliamonte 2001. The third issue, related though in principle distinct, is the role of AAVE in the schools (the Ebonics issue). Should it be taught as a separate variety? Ignored? Encouraged in oral but not written form?

                                                                                                • Dillard, John L. 1972. Black English: Its history and usage in the United States. New York: Random House.

                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                  A book valuable for bringing together much of what Dillard could gather at the time concerning the history and status of AAVE. It argues for a “separate” position for AAVE.

                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                  • Poplack, Shana. 2000. The English history of African American English. Language in Society 28. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                    Argues for a source for African American vernacular English within early varieties of English rather than Creole.

                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                    • Poplack, Shana, and Sali Tagliamonte. 2001. African American English in the diaspora. Language in Society 30. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                      Using archival materials from slaves’ written records from diaspora communities outside the United States, argues that early forms of AAVE were actually closer to vernacular varieties of American English as brought from Europe, and that later developments were responsible for the divergence between AAVE and mainstream American English.

                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                      • Rickford, John. 1977. The question of prior creolization in black English. In Pidgin and Creole linguistics. Edited by A. Valdman, 190–221. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press.

                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                        A careful overview of the evidence for and against prior creolization in African American vernacular English, certainly leaving open the possibility of an earlier Creole stage.

                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                        • Rickford, John R. 1999. African American vernacular English: Features, evolution, educational implications. Language in Society 26. Oxford: Blackwell.

                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                          In the wake of the Ebonics debate, this authoritative overview sketches all the relevant issues and data.

                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                          • Stewart, William. 1965. Urban Negro speech: Sociolinguistic factors affecting English teaching. In Social dialects and language learning. Edited by R. Shuy, A. Davis, and R. Hogan, 10–18. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.

                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                            A wake-up call at the time, drawing attention to the fact that it was far too simple to say that children from African American family backgrounds spoke “bad English,” as many teachers assumed. Rather, these children speak a different variety, and the school needs to take this into account.

                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                            Grammaticalization

                                                                                                            As Creole grammar systems emerge and stabilize, new syntactic patterns are created, often through the process of grammaticalization. The development of Sranan, as it can be traced through the study of the historical sources in this language, has played an important role in deepening our understanding of the impact of grammaticalization on the Creole formation process, as is exemplified in Plag 1993 and Bruyn 1995. Heine and Kuteva 2005 draws from multiple languages, including Creoles, in its comprehensive study on transfer of grammatical meanings and structures across languages. The authors show that it is a regular phenomenon shaped by universal processes of grammatical change, and Bruyn 1995 in particular shows that grammaticalization in Creoles can sometimes display transfer from the substrate languages as a kind of local relexification that speeds up the grammaticalization process.

                                                                                                            • Bruyn, Adrienne. 1995. Grammaticalization in Creoles: The development of determiners and relative clauses in Sranan. Studies in Language and Language Use 21. Amsterdam: Institute for Functional Research into Language and Language Use.

                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                              Explores the development of the noun phrase in Sranan, with particular reference to the determiners and relative clauses.

                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                              • Heine, Bernd, and Tania Kuteva. 2005. Language contact and grammatical change. Cambridge Approaches to Language Contact. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511614132Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                In a comprehensive study, these authors explore the complex interactions between grammaticalization and language contact, with frequent reference to Creoles.

                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                • Plag, Ingo. 1993. Sentential complementation in Sranan: On the formation of an English-based Creole language. Linguistische Arbeiten. Tübingen, Germany: Niemeyer.

                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                  Explores the development of complementation strategies in Sranan, with particular reference to the complementizers.

                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                  Variation

                                                                                                                  Do Creoles constitute a separate class of languages or not? Can Creoles be set apart from non-Creoles on the basis of certain structural features, and if so, which features are shared by all the Creoles in the world? These questions touch the heart of pidgin and Creole studies. While some scholars maintain that Creoles form a synchronically distinguishable class of languages, because they are the simplest grammars in the world (McWhorter 1998, cited under Creole Exceptionalism and Complexity and McWhorter’s Creole Prototype Hypothesis), others reject this claim. Scholars set up various types of comparisons of Creoles, revealing numerous similarities as well as differences among them. Extensive grammars of Nigerian Pidgin and the Surinamese Creole Ndyuka are available through the Routledge Descriptive Grammar series, which all follow the same format to facilitate cross-linguistic comparison. Baker and Huber 2001 presents a rich overview of the earliest known attestations of 302 lexical, functional, and grammatical features in thirteen English-lexicon contact languages in the Atlantic and the Pacific. Holm and Patrick 2007 contains comparative grammar sketches of eighteen Creoles, using a fixed set of features. Some sixty to eighty pidgins, Creoles, and intertwined languages are covered in a similar manner in the Atlas of Pidgins and Creoles Structures project, available as paper volumes with maps and sociohistorical and grammatical surveys of each language (Michaelis, et al. 2012) and also as an interactive electronic database of 150–200 structural features that are drawn from all areas of grammar. Thus, new technologies will enable those working in pidgin and Creole studies to address the above question from a new angle, advancing the field significantly.

                                                                                                                  • Baker, Philip, and Magnus Huber. 2001. Atlantic, Pacific, and world-wide features in English-lexicon contact languages. English World-Wide 22.2: 157–208.

                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1075/eww.22.2.02bakSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                    Historically rich overview of the earliest known attestations of 302 lexical, functional, and grammatical features in thirteen English-lexicon contact languages. Available online to subscribers.

                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                    • Holm, John, and Peter L. Patrick, eds. 2007. Comparative Creole syntax. Westminster Creolistics 7. London: Battlebridge.

                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                      Parallel outlines of eighteen Creoles from all over the world, with a strong emphasis on typical Creole topics such as the expression of tense, mood, and aspect.

                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                      • Michaelis, Suzanne, Philippe Maurer, Martin Haspelmath, and Magnus Huber, eds. 2012. Atlas of pidgin and Creole language structures. 4 vols. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                        Paper version of the Atlas of Pidgin and Creole Language Structures database, with maps and sociohistorical and grammatical surveys of seventy-six pidgins, Creoles, and intertwined languages. Accessible online as an interactive electronic database of 150–200 structural features; see Atlas of Pidgin and Creole Language Structures, cited in Atlases for the latest updates.

                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                        Theories of Genesis

                                                                                                                        A number of hypotheses have been put forward from the 19th century onward to account for the emergence of the Creole languages. Here we will discuss the most-important ones.

                                                                                                                        Monogenesis

                                                                                                                        As researchers noted that (a) there were many structural similarities between the different Creoles and (b) there are particular shared elements, such as pikni, “child” (Port. Pequeninho, “very little”), and lo, “future” (? Port. Logo, “soon”), they started to hypothesize the existence of a Portuguese lexifier pidgin that formed the basis for many or all of the modern Creoles, as shown in Whinnom 1956, Whinnom 1965, and Thompson 1961. The prominent role of Portuguese seafarers and traders in the early stages of European colonial expansion supported this idea.

                                                                                                                        • Goodman, Morris F. 1987. The Portuguese element in the American Creoles. In Pidgin and Creole languages: Essays in memory of John E. Reinecke. Edited by Glenn G. Gilbert, 361–405. Honolulu: Univ. of Hawaii Press.

                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                          Provides the final critique of the monogenetic position, showing specific sources for Portuguese elements rather than a general Portuguese lexifier pidgin.

                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                          • Thompson, R. W. 1961. A note on some possible affinities between the Creole dialects of the Old World and those of the New. Creole Language Studies 2:107–113.

                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                            Underscores cross-Atlantic similarities between pidgins and Creoles.

                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                            • Whinnom, Keith. 1956. Spanish contact vernaculars in the Philippine Islands. Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China: Hong Kong Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                              Describes the Ibero-Romance lexifier Creoles of the Philippines.

                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                              • Whinnom, Keith. 1965. The origin of the European-based Creoles and pidgins. Orbis 14:509–527.

                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                Stresses the historical links and formal similarities between many pidgins and Creoles.

                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                Bickerton’s Bioprogram Hypothesis

                                                                                                                                An important figure who has brought Creole studies into the realm of general academic discourse and hence deserves separate mention is Derek Bickerton. His most important book in this respect is Bickerton 1981. The book has been criticized on many points of detail; for a recent assessment, see Siegel 2007. Bickerton’s main contribution is the formulation of the bioprogram hypothesis to account for the workings of the Creole formation process. The bioprogram hypothesis is outlined most clearly in Bickerton 1984, with subsequent open peer commentary. On the impact of Bickerton on pidgin and Creole studies, see Veenstra 2008. While most Creolists nowadays dismiss a two-generational model underlying the Creole formation process, support for a three-generational model is in Siegel 2008, and Roberts 2000 makes the case for Hawaii Creole English, which presents a better fit for the data Bickerton worked on.

                                                                                                                                • Bickerton, Derek. 1981. The roots of language. Ann Arbor, MI: Karoma.

                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                  Eloquently written book with chapters on Hawaiian Pidgin English, Hawaiian Creole English, and child language development. Bickerton argues that the children of the first generation of pidgin speakers in Hawaii created a Creole in a single generation, using their innate linguistic capacities, the bioprogram. The bioprogram differs from Chomskyan universal grammar (UG) in that there is a stronger emphasis on semantic rather than purely syntactic universal features.

                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                  • Bickerton, Derek. 1984. The language bioprogram hypothesis. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 7.2: 173–222.

                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1017/S0140525X00044149Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                    A more formal restatement of the bioprogram hypothesis, with reference to Saramaccan, using a more syntactic framework along the lines of Noam Chomsky’s universal grammar (UG). Also the notion of “radical Creole” (a Creole with minimal grammatical input from the lexifier or superstrate language) is introduced here.

                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                    • Roberts, Sarah J. 2000. Nativization and genesis of Hawaiian Creole. In Language change and language contact in pidgins and Creole. Edited by John H. McWhorter, 257–300. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                      The work of Sarah J. Roberts on Hawaiian Creole is of exceptional quality.

                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                      • Siegel, Jeff. 2007. Recent evidence against the language bioprogram hypothesis: The pivotal case of Hawai’i Creole. Studies in Language 31.1: 51–88.

                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1075/sl.31.1.03sieSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                        Additional expert comments critical of the Bickerton hypothesis.

                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                        • Siegel, Jeff. 2008. The emergence of pidgin and Creole languages. Oxford Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                          Textbook on pidgins and Creoles, with a focus on their emergence, proposing a three-generational model.

                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                          • Veenstra, Tonjes. 2008. Pidgin/Creole genesis: The impact of the language bioprogram hypothesis. In The handbook of pidgin and Creole studies. Edited by Silvia Kouwenberg and John Singler, 219–241. Blackwell Handbooks in Linguistics. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.

                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1002/9781444305982Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                            Assessment of Bickerton’s contributions to the field of pidgin and Creole studies.

                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                            Relexification and Substrate

                                                                                                                                            There is a long tradition in Creole studies that stresses the prominent role of the original first languages of the early pidgin- and Creole-speaking populations in Creole genesis. These studies have been carried out for the Pacific (e.g., Keesing 1988) and for the Atlantic (Alleyne 1980, Boretzky 1983, Lefebvre 1998, Migge 2003). Muysken 1981 developed and formalized the notion of relexification to model the way the substrate language possibly contributed features to the Creoles.

                                                                                                                                            • Alleyne, Mervyn C. 1980. Comparative Afro-American: An historical-comparative study of English-based Afro-American dialects of the New World. Linguistica Extranea 11. Ann Arbor, MI: Karoma.

                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                              Study showing similarities between different English lexifier Creoles and the possible basis of these similarities in the languages of West Africa.

                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                              • Boretzky, Norbert. 1983. Kreolsprachen, Substrate und Sprachwandel. Wiesbaden, Germany: Harrassowitz.

                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                A systematic exploration of a number of Creole grammatical features and their possible substrate origins.

                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                • Keesing, Roger. 1988. Melanesian Pidgin and the Oceanic substrate. Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                  Wide-ranging study showing the many Oceanic substrate features in Melanesian Pidgin.

                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                  • Lefebvre, Claire. 1998. Creole genesis and the acquisition of grammar: The case of Haitian Creole. Cambridge Studies in Linguistics 88. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                    Influential and controversial attempt to systematically chart structural similarities and differences among Fongbe, Haitian Creole, and French to find out whether a strict relexification hypothesis will explain the features of Haitian Creole.

                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                    • Migge, Bettina. 2003. Substrate influence in the formation of the Surinamese plantation Creole: A consideration of sociohistorical data and linguistic data from Ndyuka and Gbe. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                      Focused and well-argued study on the history of Eastern Maroon Creole (Ndyuka) in Surinam and possible substrate influence from the Gbe languages. Originally published as a PhD dissertation, Ohio State University, in 1998.

                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                      • Muysken, Pieter. 1981. Halfway between Quechua and Spanish: The case for relexifi­cation. In Historicity and variation in Creole studies. Edited by A. Highfield and A. Valdman, 52–78. Ann Arbor, MI: Karoma.

                                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                        Case study of a mixed language (Quechua-Spanish) spoken in Ecuador and a proposal for the way this language may have emerged through relexification.

                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                        • Parkvall, Mikael. 2000. Out of Africa: African influences in Atlantic Creole languages. London: Battlebridge.

                                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                          Detailed comparison of Creole features and their putative African origins.

                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                          • Singler, John Victor. 1996. Theories of Creole genesis, sociohistorical considerations, and the evaluation of evidence: The case of Haitian Creole and the relexification hypothesis. Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages 11:185–230.

                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1075/jpcl.11.2.02sinSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                            Influential paper bringing in the historical demographic evidence regarding possible Fongbe relexification in Haitian Creole; some questions regarding Claire Lefebvre’s hypothesis.

                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                            Semantic Transparency and Creoles as Outcomes of Second-Language Learning Processes

                                                                                                                                                            Many scholars have argued that Creoles can be seen as the result of second-language learning with reduced input from the target language. Their special features are then seen as resulting from the fact that interlanguages somehow reflect more-basic representations of the meanings conveyed by the speaker/hearer, called semantic transparency. As presented in Seuren and Wekker 1986, semantic transparency is a special feature of Creoles, while Baker 1990 and other works take issue with the view that Creoles result from hampered second-language acquisition due to lack of access to a European target language, on the basis of sociohistorical and linguistic data. Plag 2008a and Plag 2008b provide the most complete argument for Creoles as interlanguages. More-experimental approaches have been undertaken to shed a different light on this issue, as exemplified in Hudson Kam and Newport 2005, in which the acquisition of artificial languages is contrasted with Creole formation.

                                                                                                                                                            Gradualist Approaches

                                                                                                                                                            In contrast to investigators such as Derek Bickerton (see Bickerton’s Bioprogram Hypothesis), who assumed that the process of Creole genesis was a fairly rapid, single-generation event of children transforming their parents’ pidgin speech into a full-fledged Creole, others have stressed the relevance of the historical sources, which suggest a much more gradual, long-term development of the Creole languages (Arends 1989, Carden and Steward 1988, Singler 1986). While in these studies the sociohistorical and demographic data dominate the argument for a gradualist scenario of Creole formation, sociohistorical and demographic data are balanced out by linguistic data in the articles collected in Selbach, et al. 2009.

                                                                                                                                                            • Arends, Jacques. 1989. Syntactic developments in Sranan: Creolization as a gradual process. Nijmegen, The Netherlands: Arends.

                                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                              Arends argues that many features of the Surinam Creole language Sranan did not become fixed until fairly late in the development of the language, because for several generations the fluency level of the majority of the speakers of the Creole was second language rather than first language.

                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                              • Carden, Guy, and William A. Steward. 1988. Binding theory, bioprogram, and creolization: Evidence from Haitian Creole. Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages 3.1: 1–67.

                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1075/jpcl.3.1.02carSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                In this paper the case for gradualism is made on the basis of Haitian Creole reflexive pronouns. In some varieties of Haitian, bare pronouns can function as reflexive pronouns. Since this is a problem for Noam Chomsky’s binding theory, it is assumed that these structures reflect incomplete development as Native languages and hence argue for gradualism.

                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                • Selbach, Rachel, Hugo C. Cardoso, and Margot van den Berg. 2009. Gradual creolization: Studies celebrating Jacques Arends. Creole Language Library 34. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

                                                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                  Collective volume in which various aspects of Arends’s gradualist hypothesis are explored on the basis of both linguistic and sociohistorical studies.

                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                  • Singler, John Victor. 1986. Short note. Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages 1.1: 141–145.

                                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                    Writing in response to Derek Bickerton, Singler shows that the formation of Jamaican Creole must have been a slow process mainly because of a lack of children among the slave population. Underscores the importance of sociohistorical and demographic data for a viable theory of Creole formation.

                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                    Ecological Approaches and the Feature Pool

                                                                                                                                                                    By adapting insights from population genetics to linguistics and language evolution, Salikoko Mufwene gave rise to a new approach within language-contact linguistics, the ecological approach, which makes possible an integrated approach to the emergence of Creoles and other outcomes of language contact as called for by scholars such as Henri Wittmann (Wittmann 1995). In this approach, in short, languages are seen as consisting of features that emerge, change, and die as the result of competition and selection (Mufwene 2001; see also Aboh 2009). The agency of the evolution is situated in the individual communicative acts of the speakers of a particular language, who are largely determined by the socioeconomic ecologies in which these speakers live. Thus, this new approach creates a link between individual communicative speaker acts and language evolution. The genesis of Creoles is viewed in terms of the social relations between the different speaker groups and their languages rather than in terms of linguistic processes (Mufwene 2000). The assumption is that all of the languages in the setting form a potential source from which the Creole is formed, a feature pool, and that the processes of genesis can be modeled in terms of selection of features from this pool.

                                                                                                                                                                    • Aboh, Enoch O. 2009. Competition and selection: That’s all. In Complex processes in new languages. Edited by E. O. Aboh and N. Smith, 317–344. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

                                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                      Interesting paper that demonstrates, on the basis of solid data, that Creoles cannot be regarded as simplified versions of the languages that contributed to their emergence. Thus, the notion of simplicity is not relevant for our understanding of Creole structure or formation.

                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                      • Mufwene, Salikoko. 2000. Creolization is a social, not a structural, process. In Degrees of restructuring in Creole languages. Edited by Ingrid Neumann-Holzschuh and Edgar Schneider, 65–84. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

                                                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                        Argues that Creoles should not be seen as special cases but as ordinary outcomes of language contact under special circumstances.

                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                        • Mufwene, Salikoko. 2001. The ecology of language evolution. Cambridge Approaches to Language Contact. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511612862Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                          Collection of revised essays by the author on the development of Creoles in relation to language evolution, reflecting his evolution in thinking about the development in Creoles, the nature and significance of language-contact ecology in determining their structure, and whether or not Creoles are genetically related to their lexifier.

                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                          • Wittmann, Henri. 1995. Grammaire comparée des variétés coloniales du français populaire de Paris du 17e siècle et origines du français québécois. In Le Français des Amériques. Edited by Robert Fournier and Henri Wittmann, 281–334. Revue Québécoise de Linguistique Théorique et Appliquée 12. Trois-Rivières, France: Presses Universitaires de Trois-Rivières.

                                                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                            Plea for a perspective linking Creoles to other transplanted varieties of their lexifier languages.

                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                            An Integrative Perspective

                                                                                                                                                                            Scholars such as Donald Winford (Winford 1997, Winford 2003) have tried to integrate these various hypotheses about the origins of Creoles into a single complex model allowing various processes to have played complementary roles in Creole formation. Ansaldo and Matthews 2007 also argues that Creole studies should be part of a larger picture of language-contact processes.

                                                                                                                                                                            • Ansaldo, Umberto, and Stephen Matthews. 2007. Deconstructing Creole: The rationale. Typological Studies in Language 73:1–20.

                                                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                              Argues that Creoles should be considered part of a conglomerate of contact languages of various types, situated in a specific sociohistorical setting.

                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                              • Winford, Donald. 1997. Creole formation in the context of contact languages. Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages 12.1: 131–151.

                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1075/jpcl.12.1.06winSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                Here, Creole studies are viewed as part of a much more comprehensive field of study encompassing all kinds of language contact.

                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                • Winford, Donald. 2003. An introduction to contact linguistics. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                  A very thorough introduction to the study of language contact, including Creole studies, further elaborating the Winford 1997 framework.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                  Creole Exceptionalism and Complexity and McWhorter’s Creole Prototype Hypothesis

                                                                                                                                                                                  McWhorter 1998 argues that Creoles are the simplest languages in the world, sharing a number of traits, the Creole prototype, that can be traced back to the formative stage of the language, when it expanded from a pidgin state: “When a language has little or no inflection, little or no use of contrastive tone to distinguish monosyllables semantically, and little or no non-compositional derivational morphology, it is a Creole.” A number of works challenge this view, including Wittmann 1999 and Gil 2001, revisiting the notions of simplicity and complexity and showing that Creoles are in fact not all that different from languages that did not emerge out of language contact. Muysken and Law 2001 (cited under Formal and Universalist Approaches) shows that the few traits that are typically Creole in the view of John McWhorter are not attested in the classic Creoles Berbice Dutch Creole and Papiamentu. Degraff 2003 attacks the Creole prototype hypothesis from a different angle, tracing the view that Creoles are exceptional back to the days when Creole languages were seen as degenerate forms of speech and their speakers as inferior human beings. Mufwene 2000 and Wittmann 1995 (cited under Ecological Approaches and the Feature Pool) argue further that while Creole languages are structurally no different from any other language, they are in fact different from other languages in sociohistorical terms, because they emerged in situations with displaced populations and slavery.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Computer Modeling

                                                                                                                                                                                  Some scholars maintain that Creoles are sociohistorical concepts rather than a linguistically distinguishable class of languages. Since Creoles emerged in the context of large-scale displacements of populations and slavery that, it is hoped, will never take place again, we cannot observe or test the hypotheses that have been proposed to account for Creole formation. An approach that allows us to test these hypotheses without the loss of human lives is computer modeling, as shown in Satterfield 2008a and Satterfield 2008b.

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Satterfield, Teresa. 2008a. Back to nature or nurture: Using computer models in Creole genesis. In Variation, selection, development: Probing the evolutionary model of language change. Edited by R. Ekardt, G. Jäger, and T. Veenstra, 143–178. Trends in Linguistics 197. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                    Interesting article on second-language-based Creole development in an artificial society, where virtual slaves and slave owners interact on the basis of sociohistorical conditions and create an African-based pidgin. Through the notion of complex adaptive systems linked to processes of first- and second-language development in plantation societies, it is shown that “prototypical Creole” structures can emerge when older bilingual children form a very small percentage of the total population.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Satterfield, Teresa. 2008b. Unique applications of multi-agent models in uncovering language learning processes. In Applications of complex adaptive systems. Edited by Y. Shan and A. Yang, 142–173. Hershey, PA: IGI.

                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-962-5Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                      Further elaboration of the method described in Satterfield 2008a, using multiagent models.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                      Formal and Universalist Approaches

                                                                                                                                                                                      The study of Creoles has often assumed a variationist or historical linguistic perspective, which is of course understandable given the nature of the discipline and the language situations in which these languages are spoken. There are fewer formally oriented studies of Creoles. The work in this area was pioneered in Muysken 1980, and since then a number of studies have appeared with a formal perspective, including Byrne 1987, Veenstra 1996, Adone 1994, Aboh 2006, and Baptista and Guéron 2007. Muysken and Law 2001 summarizes some of the work in this tradition. Note that most formal studies are carried out in the framework of generative grammar. Studies in other formal approaches, such as optimality theory, are few, but see Meade 2001.

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Aboh, Enoch Oladé. 2006. Complementation in Saramaccan and Gungbe: The case of C-type modal particles. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 24.1: 1–55.

                                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1007/s11049-005-1815-4Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                        Excellent study with the generative framework of the similarities between the Surinamese Creole Saramaccan and West African Gungbe (Kwa, Benue-Kwa). Available online to subscribers.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Adone, Dany. 1994. The acquisition of Mauritian Creole. Language Acquisition and Language Disorders 9. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                          Generative account of the acquisition of the French-based Creole language spoken in Mauritius.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Baptista, Marlyse, and Jacqueline Guéron. 2007. Noun phrases in Creole languages: A multi-faceted approach. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                            Collection of detailed descriptive studies of the constituency of noun phrases in a range of Creole languages, from various theoretical perspectives.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Byrne, Francis. 1987. Grammatical relations in a radical Creole: Verb complementation in Saramaccan. Creole Language Library 3. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                              Study of Saramaccan syntax, trying to apply the ideas developed in Bickerton 1984 (cited under Bickerton’s Bioprogram Hypothesis) to the bioprogram in language genesis.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                              • Meade, Rocky R. 2001. Acquisition of Jamaican phonology. Landelijke Onderzoekschool Taalwetenschap. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Foris.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                Study of language acquisition, focusing on phonology, of Jamaican Creole in different communities, with an optimality theoretic perspective.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                • Muysken, Pieter, ed. 1980. Generative studies on Creole languages. Studies in Generative Grammar 6. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Foris.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1515/9783111392844Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Early edited volume with a variety of papers on various aspects of the structure of Tok Pisin, Papiamentu, Sranan, and Providence Island Creole.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Muysken, Pieter, and Paul Law. 2001. Creole studies: A theoretical linguist’s field guide. Glot International 5.2: 47–57.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Literature survey with an overview of the main theoretical issues in Creole studies from the grammatical perspective.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Veenstra, Tonjes. 1996. Serial verbs in Saramaccan: Predication and Creole genesis. Amsterdam: Holland Institute of Generative Linguistics.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                      A study of Saramaccan serial verbs, arguing that they are adjunct predicates rather than verbal complements.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Creole Phonology

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Phonology is admittedly a neglected topic in the studies of Creoles, and this is unfortunate. Several areas merit further study, including the historical development of Creoles, as in Smith 1987 and Kramer 2007; the typological profile of Creole phonologies, as in Good 2004 and Plag 2003; variation and change in Creole phonology, as in Gooden and Clements 2009; and the acquisition of Creole phonology, as in Meade 2001, to name but a few of the relevant studies. In general the focus of these studies is on the Creole varieties around the Caribbean, including Suriname, and languages that emerge from contact with English.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Good, Jeff. 2004. Tone and accent in Saramaccan: Charting a deep split in the phonology of a language. Lingua 114.5: 575–619.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1016/S0024-3841(03)00062-7Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                        This paper attacks the complex issue of tone, which is present in several Creole languages, including Papiamentu, Saramaccan, and Guyana Creole.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Gooden, Shelome, and J. Clancy Clements, eds. 2009. Special issue: Language change in Creole languages: Grammatical and prosodic considerations. Studies in Language 33.2.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Latest insights on change in Creole phonologies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Kramer, Marvin. 2007. Tone on quantifiers in Saramaccan as a transferred feature from Kikongo. In Synchronic and diachronic perspectives on contact languages. Edited by Magnus Huber and Viveka Velupillai, 43–66. Creole Language Library 32. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sophisticated comparison of tonal characteristics of Saramaccan and Kikongo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Meade, Rocky R. 2001. Acquisition of Jamaican phonology. Landelijke Onderzoekschool Taalwetenschap. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Foris.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Study of language acquisition, focusing on phonology, of Jamaican Creole in different communities, with an optimality theoretic perspective.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Plag, Ingo, ed. 2003. Phonology and morphology of Creole languages. First International Workshop on the Phonology and Morphology of Creole Languages at the University of Siegen (Germany), 22–24 August 2001. Linguistische Arbeiten 478. Tübingen, Germany: Niemeyer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                State-of-the-art collection of articles on morphology and phonology.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Smith, Norval S. H. 1987. The genesis of the Creole languages of Surinam. PhD diss., Univ. of Amsterdam.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This unpublished but nonetheless influential work traces the historical development and genesis of the Creole languages of Surinam on the basis of a series of phonological developments.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Creole Pragmatics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Another understudied area in Creole studies is pragmatics. Most work in this area has come from the study of English-lexifier Creoles. Pioneering work in this area has come from Gillian Sankoff and Penelope Brown’s (e.g., Sankoff and Brown 1976) work on Tok Pisin. Subsequently, Geneviève Escure has done important work in Belize (Escure 2008) and Susanne Mühleisen in the Anglophone Caribbean (Mühleisen 2002).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Escure, Geneviève. 2008. Pidgins/Creoles and discourse. In The handbook of pidgin and Creole studies. Edited by John Singler and Silvia Kouwenberg, 567–592. Blackwell Handbooks in Linguistics. London: Blackwell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    An overview of this area of research, drawing on materials gathered in Belize by the author.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Mühleisen, Susanne. 2002. Creole discourse: Exploring prestige formation and change across Caribbean English-lexicon Creoles. Creole Language Library 24. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In this book the issue of the prestige of Creoles in the Anglophone Caribbean is explored from a dynamic perspective, analyzing the shift from traditional low prestige to high prestige in specific settings.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Sankoff, Gillian, and Penelope Brown. 1976. The origins of syntax in discourse: A case study of Tok Pisin relatives. Language 52.3: 631–666.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.2307/412723Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        In this influential paper it is shown that relative clause markers in Tok Pisin emerge out of discourse deictics, such as “here.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Acts of Identity

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        While many works focus on the linguistic factors in the processes that lead to the emergence of pidgins and Creoles, Le Page and Tabouret-Keller 1985 stresses social factors, such as the role of identity formation, in Creole genesis and development.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Le Page, R. B., and Andrée Tabouret-Keller. 1985. Acts of identity: Creole-based approaches to language and ethnicity. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A wonderful survey of the complex multilingual situation in Belize, involving Creole, Spanish, Mayan, and Garifuna, arguing that processes of identity formation played a crucial role in shaping and keeping apart the various modes of speaking in this network of communities.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Education

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          There has been some work on the position of Creole languages in education. Issues involve the following questions: Are there an adequate writing system and sufficient school materials to implement this? Given the very low prestige of Creole languages in many societies (often in competition with the high-prestige lexifier language), how can their use in education be transformed into a success? Siegel 1999 outlines the situation, the problems involved, and some of the solutions, while Migge, et al. 2010 offers case studies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Migge, Bettina, Isabel Léglise, and Angela Bartens. 2010. Creoles in education. An appraisal of current programs and projects. Creole Language Library 36. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A wide-ranging overview of case studies in different societies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Siegel, Jeff. 1999. Creoles and minority dialects in education: An overview. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 20.6: 508–531.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1080/01434639908666387Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Probably the best overview article and introduction to the issues involved, with an optimistic tone. Available online to subscribers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Descriptions of Individual Languages

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Although thorough description started relatively late for the Creole languages, a number of good grammars have become available, making detailed comparison more feasible. The sources in this section in particular are listed with the hope of inspiring authors to write more grammars on contact languages. Hall 1953 is a solid structural description of Haitian Creole, though based on a fairly limited set of texts. Verhaar 1995 is a good description of Tok Pisin. In the 1990s several grammars appeared in the Routledge Descriptive Grammars series (Huttar and Huttar 1994, Faraclas 1996), which particularly allow for comparison as they follow the “lingua questionnaire” designed by Bernard Comrie and Norval Smith. While most grammars are written on the basis of a corpus of language data collected by the author via recordings of spontaneous or elicited speech, it is sometimes possible to describe in detail an earlier variety on the basis of written historical sources (van den Berg 2011). In the case of Berbice Dutch (Kouwenberg 1991), however, the author was just in time to catch the language before it was officially declared extinct in 2010. We find it a positive development that recent grammars not only include solid grammatical descriptions of the linguistic system but also provide information on discourse pragmatics and historical and cultural information on the speakers of the language, as in the case of Pichi (Yakpo 2011), Sri Lanka Malay (Nordhoff 2009), and Diu (Cardoso 2009).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Cardoso, Hugo. 2009. The Indo-Portuguese language of Diu. PhD diss., Amsterdam: Univ. of Amsterdam.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Vast linguistic, historical, and sociodemographic description of an Indo-Portuguese Creole spoken in India, Diu Indo-Portuguese. Contrary to most Creoles, the history of this contact language spans nearly five centuries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Faraclas, Nicolas. 1996. Nigerian Pidgin. Descriptive Grammars. London: Routledge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.4324/9780203192801Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  One of the first extensive pidgin grammars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Hall, Robert A. 1953. Haitian Creole: Grammar, texts, vocabulary. Memoirs. Philadelphia: American Folklore Society.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Corpus-based, short, but quite systematic grammar. E-book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Huttar, George, and Mary Huttar. 1994. Ndyuka. Descriptive Grammars. London: Routledge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      First extensive Creole grammar, following the format designed by Barnard Comrie and Norval Smith to facilitate cross-language comparison.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Kouwenberg, Sylvia. 1991. A grammar of Berbice Dutch Creole. Mouton Grammar Library 12. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1515/9783110885705Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Very detailed grammar of a dying Dutch lexifier Creole language spoken on the Berbice River in Guyana.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Maurer, Philippe. 1995. L’Angola: Un Créole afro-portugais parlé à São Tomé; Notes de grammaire, textes, vocabulaires. Kreolische Bibliothek 16. Hamburg, Germany: Buske.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Angolar is a small Creole language spoken alongside Sao Tomense on the island of São Tomé. This is a most-welcome descriptive source.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Maurer, Philippe. 2009. Principense (Lung’Ie): Grammar, texts, and vocabulary of the Afro-Portuguese Creole of the island of Príncipe, Gulf of Guinea. London: Battlebridge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Very thorough and detailed description of a Creole that is key to understanding the early history of West African Portuguese Creoles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Nordhoff, Sebastian. 2009. A grammar of Upcountry Sri Lanka Malay. Landelijke Onderzoekschool Taalwetenschap International Series 228. Utrecht, The Netherlands: Landelijke Onderzoekschool Taalwetenschap.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Rich description of Sri Lanka Malay spoken by descendants of immigrants from Indonesia and Malaysia. Emerged from contact among three languages: Malay, Sinhala (Indo-Aryan), and Tamil (Dravidian).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • van den Berg, Margot. 2011. A grammar of early Sranan. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Description of 18th-century Sranan based on historical sources and a comparison with contemporary Ndyuka, ranging from morphology to complex clauses. Revision of van den Berg’s PhD dissertation (University of Amsterdam, 2007).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Verhaar, John W. M. 1995. Towards a reference grammar of Tok Pisin: An experiment in corpus linguistics. Oceanic Linguistics Special Publication 26. Honolulu: Univ. of Hawaii Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Interesting corpus-based reference grammar written by an expert on the language.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Yakpo, Kofi. 2011. A grammar of Pichi. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Very detailed grammar of the English-lexifier pidgin spoken on Malabo in Equatorial Guinea. Shows influence from another lexifier, Spanish, and from several African adstrate languages as well. E-book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    back to top

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Article

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Up

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Down