Volume 29, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0172-8865
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9730
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We (wey, whey, way) as relativizer occurs in the English-lexifier creoles on both sides of the Atlantic, and has been assumed to originate in English what (e.g. by Cassidy and Le Page 1967: 459). Instances of this word as a relativizer in English, however, date only from the beginning of the 19th century — too late by over a century to have provided the widespread creole form. This essay examines alternative possibilities for its origin, and concludes that it must be sought in Scottish and/or northern English who. Determining its ultimate origin may shed light upon the age and development of these particular languages.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Atlantic; creole; English-lexifier; relativizer; Scottish dialects
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