The Acquisition of Mauritian Creole

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This work is based on an investigation of language acquisition process, particularly in regard to syntax, among Mauritian children learning to speak Mauritian Creole as their first language. As such, it is the first major study of the development of child grammar in a Creole context. Mauritian Creole, in common with many Creole languages, emerged under extreme conditions and, as an isolating language, Mauritian Creole is typologically different from languages where syntax is predominantly tied to morphology. There is thus an opportunity to broaden perspectives on language acquisition since until now most work has focused on languages such as English, French, German, Italian. The analysis proceeds within the GB framework of generative grammar, and discussion emanates from psycholinguistic, sociolinguistic and theoretical linguistic viewpoints. The data also provide a means for evaluating Bickerton's theory, especially his conclusion that the acquisition of radical Creoles takes place with fewer errors than is the case for other languages, given that Creole languages are in harmony with the 'Bioprogram'.

Subjects: Generative linguistics; Creole studies; Language acquisition

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