The Saramaccan lexicon: Verbs

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In this paper the inventory of verbs of Saramaccan Creole is investigated. Saramaccan is a lexically mixed creole, with mostly English and Portuguese lexicon. Even though it has been shown earlier that the Portuguese elements were superimposed on a preexisting English frame (Smith 1987), more verbs are from Portuguese than from English. Furthermore, there are a number of doublets: Two (near) synonomous verbs from the languages have found their way into the language. In addition, significantly higher numbers of frequent verbs from English than from Portuguese have found their way into Saramaccan. An attempt is made to derive conclusions about the diachronic aspects of these findings. The tentative results confirm an intrusion of Portuguese elements into English.


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