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Tracing the origin of modality in the creoles of Suriname

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Abstract

Creole TMA systems have figured prominently in debates on creole genesis. Bickerton argued that the similarities between creole TMA systems support the operation of a language bioprogram in creole formation. Lefebvre maintains that the similarities between the Haitian and Fongbe TMA system are evidence of the importance of substrate influence.While insightful, these studies are not conclusive. This paper therefore investigates the origin of two subsystems of modality in the creoles of Suriname. Based on a comparison of the strategies employed by three maroon creoles and their main substrate, and a consideration of early textual evidence, it argues that contact-induced and language-internal change contributed to the emergence and development of the modality system of the creoles of Suriname.

References

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