What you see is not always what you get: Apparent simplicity and hidden complexity in creole languages

Lefebvre, Claire (2001). « What you see is not always what you get: Apparent simplicity and hidden complexity in creole languages ». Linguistic Typology, 5(2-3), pp. 186-213.

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Résumé

This paper addresses McWhorter (Linguistic Typology, 2001, 5, 2-3, 125-166) strong claims that the world’s simplest grammars are creole grammars and that creole grammars constitute a synchronically definable typological class. This paper provides an alternative way of addressing the issues of the alledged simplicity of these languages, and of the so-called similarity between them. The following three questions are discussed in turn. First, what do creole languages really have in common? Second, why do creoles tend to be isolating? Third, why do creole languages tend to look simpler? These questions are addressed from the point of view of the relexification account of creole genesis in Lefebvre (1998 and the references cited therein). Grammatical properties of Haitian Creole are shown to be more complex and more opaque than is allowed in McWhorter's approach. It will be shown that the features proposed by McWhorter as identifiying creole languages are derivable from a sound theory of how creole languages come about.

Type: Article de revue scientifique
Mots-clés ou Sujets: grammars, creole, relexification, typological
Unité d'appartenance: Instituts > Institut des sciences cognitives (ISC)
Déposé par: Claire Lefebvre
Date de dépôt: 27 mars 2007
Dernière modification: 01 nov. 2014 02:03
Adresse URL : http://www.archipel.uqam.ca/id/eprint/262

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