The late transfer of serial verb constructions as stylistic variants in Saramaccan creole
Verb serialization in Saramaccan is a transferred feature from Fongbe, where in both languages there are non-serial alternatives to serial verb constructions (SVCs).McWhorter (2002) argues that only features minimally necessary to language would transfer during creole genesis, isomorphically precluding stylistic variants. In a pidgin stage with speakers of English and Fongbe there would be no need for SVCs, as both languages have the same basic word order. But in modern Saramaccan and the historical texts there are non-serial constructions with SVCs as stylistic variants, not an unexpected aspect of creole expansion. Verb serialization would then have transferred during creole expansion, when the language was primarily a medium for community solidarity by Africans, and would represent the transfer of a non-essential feature.