Grammaticalization in creoles

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Cases from Sranan are presented in order to illustrate the various processes and mechanisms involved in developments in a creole language that could be interpreted as grammaticalization. While we do find “ordinary” grammaticalization, substrate patterns sometimes provided a model. In the extreme case, where the development consists of a large shortcut, grammaticalization as a usage-based process is no longer at issue, but rather a kind of local relexification variously referred to as “calquing” (Keesing 1991), “apparent grammaticalization” (Bruyn 1996), or “polysemy copying” (Heine and Kuteva 2005). Yet other cases involve reanalysis of a lexifier form without grammaticalization (Detges 2000). Distinguishing between the various types of developments is essential both for understanding the processes shaping creoles, and for delimiting the concept of grammaticalization.


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