Review: Muysken, P. and Smith, N. (eds.) Surviving the Middle Passage: The West Africa-Surinam Sprachbund, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter

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Title: Review: Muysken, P. and Smith, N. (eds.) Surviving the Middle Passage: The West Africa-Surinam Sprachbund, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter
Authors: Migge, Bettina
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/7365
Date: 2016
Abstract: Creole genesis has occupied pride of place in research on creole languages, and both the creoles of Suriname and investigations into the survivals from African languages have figured prominently in these lively debates. So why another book? The contributors’ original motivation was to rehabilitate the substrate hypothesis of creole genesis because they felt that it had received “an unnecessarily bad press” (p. 11), mostly due to problematic research practice. Three goals guided the research program that culminated in this edited volume. First, drawing on research from a variety of perspectives and research agendas, the book aims to bring new evidence to existing controversies about cross-linguistic effects. Second, it explores alternatives to the classic relexification scenario. Third, in conceptualizing the creoles of Suriname and the Gbe languages of Benin as “a Trans-Atlantic area or Sprachbund” (p. 8), it contributes to current research about linguistic areas. The team posits that Africanisms were the result of adstratal, rather than substratal influence because the initial formation of creoles took place rapidly and was followed by a prolonged process of bilingualism.
Type of material: Review
Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers
Keywords: Substrate;Cross-linguistic influence;Creoles of Suriname
Language: en
Status of Item: Not peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Languages, Cultures and Linguistics Research Collection

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