Indefinite terms in Ibero-Asian Creoles

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This paper compares the indefinite terms in the Indian Creole Portuguese varieties of Diu and Korlai, Sri Lanka Creole Portuguese, Malacca Creole, Macau Creole and the Spanish-lexified creole languages in the Philippines, referred to as Chabacano of Cavite, Ternate and Zamboanga. The study uses functional criteria for the definition of indefinite terms that include not only pronouns, but also analytic constructions. The comparison builds on three functional categories: realis indefinites, free-choice indefinites and negative indefinites, and the main formal categories of special indefinites, generic-noun-based and interrogative-based indefinites. The comparison shows that both adstrate and superstrate structures have influenced the indefinite terms in these languages. It also reveals parallels between them, especially in areal subgroups, and shows a clear connection with wider cross-linguistic patterns.


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