The restructuring of tense/aspect systems in creole formation

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This paper attempts to reconcile the so-called ‘superstratist’ and ‘substratist’ views on creole formation, with special attention to the emergence of tense/aspect systems in Haitian French Creole and Sranan Tongo. Creole formation involves a process of restructuring by which interlanguage grammars are created and elaborated in the course of second language acquisition. This process involves three major components: input (intake) from the TL, L1 influence, and internal developments. Differences in the degree of TL and L1 influence result in differences between Haitian Creole and Sranan Tongo in their inventory of tense/aspect categories, and the forms that express them. At the same time, both creoles display similarities due to shared substrate input as well as similar processes by which superstrate lexical forms are reanalyzed as tense/aspect markers.


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