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The founder principle and Anguilla's homestead society

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Abstract

This work discusses the sociohistorical origins of Anguillian, the English-lexifier Creole spoken on the Caribbean island of Anguilla. It focuses on the earliest period of colonization (1650–1700) because creolists have suggested that social dynamics in this ‘formative period’ are key to understanding the emergence of Creole languages throughout the region. Responding to Arends’ call for “historical correctness”, the author draws from archival sources to describe language contact, social relationships (including relationships between enslaved Africans and their European masters), and indirect evidence of linguistic variation. He offers a critique of creolists’ interpretations of the Founder Principle and their assumptions about patterns of social interaction, questioning Chaudenson’s claim that ‘Robinsonian conditions’ prevailed in the seventeenth century.

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