The Genesis of a Language

The formation and development of Korlai Portuguese

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Korlai Portuguese (KP), a Portuguese-based creole only recently discovered by linguists, originated around 1520 on the west coast of India. Initially isolated from its Hindu and Muslim neighbors by social and religious barriers, the small Korlai community lost virtually all Portuguese contact as well after 1740. This volume is the first-ever comprehensive treatment of the formation, linguistic components, and rapidly changing situation of this exotic creole.<br />The product of ten years of research, Korlai Creole Portuguese provides an exciting, in-depth diachronic look at a language that is now showing the strain of intense cultural pressure from the surrounding Marathi-speaking population. Framed in Thomason and Kaufman&#8217;s 1988 model of contact-induced language change, the author&#8217;s analysis is enriched by numerous comparisons with sister creoles, apart from medieval Portuguese and Marathi.<br />This book contrastively examines the following areas: <br />phonemic inventories, phonological processes, stress assignment, syllable structure, paradigm restructuring, paradigm use, lexicon, word formation, semantic borrowing, loan translations, grammatical relation marking, pre- and postnominal modification, negation, subject and object deletion, embedding, and word order.

Subjects: Creole studies; Romance linguistics; Contact Linguistics

  • Affiliations: 1: Indiana University

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