Cross-linguistic influence in language creation: Assessing the role of the Gbe languages in the formation of the Creoles of Suriname

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Title: Cross-linguistic influence in language creation: Assessing the role of the Gbe languages in the formation of the Creoles of Suriname
Authors: Essegbey, James
Migge, Bettina
Winford, Donald
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Date: 21-Mar-2013
Abstract: The seven related Creole languages spoken in Suriname – Sranan Tongo, Aluku or Boni, Kwinti, Ndyuka or Okanisi, Pamaka, Matawai, and Saamaka – are a unique test case for exploration into the role of language contact and substrate influence in the formation of the Surinamese Creoles, as well as the issues they raise for theories of contact-induced change and Creole formation in particular. Sociohistorical (e.g. Arends, 2002, Hogbergen, 1990a, Hogbergen, 1990b and Thoden van Velzen and Hoogbergen, 2011) and linguistic evidence suggest that they all had their origins in the early Creole that emerged on the plantations of Suriname in the late 17th to early 18th century, that is, roughly between 1660 and 1720. Modern Sranan is a direct continuation of this early contact language while the other Creoles, generally referred to as Maroon Creoles, split off from it as a result of their founders’ flight from the Surinamese plantations at different periods of time. Their common origin is reflected in the similarities they manifest at all levels of linguistic structure, from phonology to morphology, syntax, and lexical semantics (see Winford and Migge, 2004 and Smith and Haabo, 2004 for an overview). Most of these similarities can be attributed to a shared input from the West African substrate languages that were part of the primary input to the formation of these Creoles.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright (published version): 2013 Elsevier
Keywords: Creole formation;Substrate influence;Creole dialects;Suriname
DOI: 10.1016/j.lingua.2013.02.005
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Languages, Cultures and Linguistics Research Collection

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