Modelling Creole Genesis

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In this paper we address two current claims in creole studies: (i) adults in the creolization are the innovators; (ii) the grammatical properties of creoles are either the result of continuities from the superstrate language(s) or from the substrate language(s), i.e. discontinuities are assumed not to exist. On the basis of a careful examination of the structure and emergence of synthetic compounds in the Surinamese creoles, in particular Saramaccan, we conclude that we cannot leave out the contribution of nativizing part of the population in the creolization process, as well as that discontinuities, i.e. properties that diverge from all the languages present in the original contact situation, do exist. As such, the research reported on here can be viewed as supporting the cascade-approach of DeGraff (1999).


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