Some notes on bare noun phrases in Haitian Creole and Gùngbè

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This paper discusses noun phrases in Haitian Creole (HC), a French-derived Creole, and in Gungbe, a Gbe language. These languages exhibit “bare noun phrases” (BNPs) in a wider range of positions than in French, English and the other most commonly studied Romance and Germanic languages. Studies on the formation of HC show that many of the creators of the earliest Creole varieties in 17th-century Saint-Domingue were native speakers of Niger-Congo languages including Gbe language. We believe that by close analysis of specific domains of the Creole (e.g. BNPs) and by comparing these patterns to their analogues in the languages in contact during the emergence of the Creole, we can better understand how Universal Grammar regulates the emergence of new varieties out of language contact.


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