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Linguistic evidence for the influence of indigenous Caribbean grammars on the grammars of the Atlantic Creoles

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Abstract

The now extinct indigenous languages of the insular Caribbean belonged to the North Arawakan sub-family. Given that no written grammatical descriptions seem to have survived of these languages, one of the only ways to gain some idea of what constituted their grammatical features is to make a comparison of the languages most closely related to them. A comparison of the grammatical features which are commonly found in the Atlantic Creoles with those found in the languages most closely related to the North Arawakan languages of the insular Caribbean reveals considerable similarities in structure between the two groups of languages. These similarities are sufficiently systematic and pervasive to suggest some influence of the indigenous languages of the Caribbean on the grammars of the Atlantic Creoles.

References

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