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Gradual vs. abrupt creolization and recent changes in Daman Creole Portuguese

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Abstract

This paper recasts the dichotomous view of gradualist vs. abrupt creolization as a continuum. It is suggested that the rapidity of creolization would ultimately depend, not on linguistic factors, but rather on the social conditions of the contact situation (Thomason and Kaufman 1988: 35). In such a continuum model, the cognitive processes (e.g. perceptual salience and frequency effects) play an important role. Within this model, two recent changes in Daman Creole Portuguese (DCP) are examined: the development of <i>s&#1241; nãw </i>‘if not, otherwise’ as a coordinate conjunction ‘and’ that only conjoins sentences, and the emergence of <i>d&#1241; </i>‘of, from’ as a multi-functional preposition with the meanings ‘from, of, in, on, to’. It is argued that both changes can be accounted for by appealing to perceptual salience and frequency effects within the social context of the youngest speakers of DCP.

References

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