The Gulf of Guinea creoles

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This paper argues that creole languages do not face some of the typical problems that have been discussed with respect to syntactic reconstruction of older languages. Creoles often belong to young language families and are therefore expected to show a significant amount of syntactic identity among sister languages. Other factors, such as their isolating typology and geographical isolation, may be additional advantages in the success of syntactic reconstruction. This hypothesis is tested on the four Portuguese-related Gulf of Guinea creoles, where a high degree of identity and the use of other processes, such as directionality, prove to provide good insights into the syntactic features of the proto-language.


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