13. Between contact and internal development: Towards a multi-layered explanation for the development of the TMA system in the creoles of Suriname

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This paper proposes a new analysis of the formation of the tense-mood-aspect (TMA) system of the Surinamese Maroon creoles based on a wide range of both contemporary and historical sources. The paper first provides a brief synopsis of the socio-historical context in which the creoles of Suriname emerged and developed, and a broad overview of the TMA systems of those creoles and of varieties of Gbe. It then discusses four processes that were involved in the emergence of the creole TMA system: substrate influence, internal change from a substrate calque, superstrate influence, and shift of form and category correlated with innovation. The paper then concludes that creole formation is to be considered as a gradual and multi-layered process (Arends 1993; Bruyn 1995), involving processes of language change that also operate in other so-called “normal” contact settings (Thomason & Kaufman 1988).


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