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Between contact and internal development: Towards a multi-layered explanation for the development of the TMA system in the creoles of Suriname

2008-08, Migge, Bettina, Goury, Laurence

This paper proposes a new analysis of the formation of the TMA system of the Surinamese Maroon Creoles based on a wide range of both contemporary and historical sources. The paper first provides a brief synopsis of the socio-historical context in which the Creoles of Suriname emerged and developed, and a broad overview of the TMA systems of those Creoles and of varieties of Gbe. It then discusses four processes that were involved in the emergence of the creole TMA system: substrate influence, internal change from a substrate calque, superstrate influence, and shift of form and category correlated with innovation. The paper then concludes that Creole formation is to be considered as a gradual and multi-layered process (Arends 1993, Bruyn 1995), involving processes of language change that also operate in other so-called normal contact settings (Thomason & Kaufman 1988).