The contribution of relexification, grammaticalization, and reanalysis to creole genesis and development

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The theory of creole genesis developed in Lefebvre (1998 and related work) is formulated within the framework of the processes otherwise known to play a role in language genesis and language change in general, that is, relexification, grammaticalization and reanalysis. This paper evaluates the respective contribution of these processes to creole genesis and development. The following issues are taken up. Can functional categories undergo relexification? Is the process at work in creole genesis best characterised as relexification or as transfer? Can there be cases of partial relexification? Are grammaticalization and reanalysis distinct processes? Is keeping them separate useful in studying creole genesis and development? How are these three processes articulated with respect to each other in creole genesis and development?


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