Chapter 1. Introduction

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This book bears on the functional categories of three Caribbean creoles: Saramaccan, Haitian Creole and Papiamentu with two specific goals. The first one is to evaluate the respective contribution of the source languages to the functional categories of the three creoles. The second one is to evaluate the degree of similarity/dissimilarity of the functional categories across these creoles. This chapter begins with a discussion of the aims of this book. It provides an introduction to the languages under analysis. It gives information on the methodology and theoretical framework used to carry out the research and the analyses reported on in this book. This study is cast within the relabeling-based account of creole genesis. Three sections introduce this framework. One bears on the various dimensions of the process of relabeling. A second one bears on how word order is established in creole genesis. A third one is dedicated to the processes that play a role in the development of a creole. Several lexical items discussed in this book appear to have more than one function. A whole section is thus dedicated to the issue multifunctionality and to the various approaches to this phenomenon. The chapter ends with an overview of the organization of the book and a short preview of the major findings.


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