Demographic factors in the formation of French Guianese Creole

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This article responds to calls by Arends (2002) for further investigation of the historical and demographic factors in creole genesis. It examines early censuses and other archives describing French Guiana in the late seventeenth century and focuses on two principal areas in the sugar-plantation-based slave society at the time the creole arose: children and African languages. The proportion of locallyborn children is determined accurately and discussed with reference to Arends (1995), Singler (1995, 2006) and Hudson Kam (2005). The role of African languages in French Guiana contrasts strongly with Chaudenson’s hypotheses for other French colonies (1992, 2001).


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