Volume 37, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0920-9034
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9870
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



This article bears on (SVCs) in French-based creoles. Starting with a working definition of our topic of study, we present a detailed description of the data in Martinican Creole (MQ) – whose grammar is similar in the relevant respects to that of Haitian (HC). Four different structural patterns are distinguished. Our results bring partial support to Aboh’s (2015) assumption that the emergence of Haitian SVCs might have resulted from congruence between Gbe SVCs (analysed as ‘causative-like’) and French Clause Union. We argue that this idea finds further confirmation in cross-creole comparison, but only concerns one type of (directional) SVC.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Aboh, Enoch O.
    2009 Clause structure and verb series. Linguistic Inquiry40(1). 1–33. 10.1162/ling.2009.40.1.1
    https://doi.org/10.1162/ling.2009.40.1.1 [Google Scholar]
  2. 2015The emergence of hybrid grammars: language contact and change. Cambridge: CUP. 10.1017/CBO9781139024167
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139024167 [Google Scholar]
  3. Adone, Dany, Melanie A. Brück & Astrid Gabel
    2018Kot nou vire tourne nou tand li. Serial Verb Constructions at the interface between grammar and culture: Case-study Kreol Seselwa (Seychelles Creole). Quaderni di Linguistica e Studi Orientali4. 15–46. Firenze University Press. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/327790811_Kot_nou_vire_tourne_nou_tand_li_Serial_Verb_Constructions_at_the_Interface_between_Grammar_and_Culture_Case-Study_Kreol_Seselwa_Seychelles_Creole
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Aikhenvald, Alexandra
    2006 Serial verb constructions in typological perspective. InAlexandra Aikhenvald & R. M. W. Dixon (eds.), Serial verb constructions: A cross-linguistic typology, 1–68. Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Aikhenvald, Alexandra & R. M. W. Dixon
    2006 (eds.), Serial Verb Constructions: a cross-linguistic typology. Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Awòyalé, Yiwola
    1988 Complex predicates and verb serialization. Lexicon Project Working Paper28. 1–35. Cambridge MA: M.I.T. Center for Cognitive Science.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Baker, Philip
    1982 On the origins of the first Mauritians and of the Creole language of their descendants. InPhilip Baker & Chris Corne (eds.), Isle de France creoles: affinities and origins, 131–259. Ann Arbor (Michigan): Karoma.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. 1987 Combien y a-t-il eu de genèses créoles à base lexicale française?Etudes créoles10. 60–76.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Baker, Philip & Sibylle Kriegel
    2013 Mauritian Creole database. InSusanne Michaelis, Philippe Maurer, Martin Haspelmath & Magnus Huber (eds.), Atlas of Pidgin and Creole Language Structures. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. https://apics-online.info/contributions/55 accessed on2020-11-01.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Baptista, Marlyse
    2020 Competition, selection, and the role of congruence in creole genesis and development. Language96(1). 160–199. 10.1353/lan.2020.0005
    https://doi.org/10.1353/lan.2020.0005 [Google Scholar]
  11. Bernabé, Jean
    1983Fondal natal, volume3. Paris: L’Harmattan.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Bickerton, Derek
    1989 Seselwa serialization and its significance. Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages4. 155–183. 10.1075/jpcl.4.2.02bic
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jpcl.4.2.02bic [Google Scholar]
  13. Bohnemeyer, Jürgen, Nicholas J. Enfield, James Essegbey, Iraide Ibarretxe-Antuñano, Sotaro Kita, Friederike Lüpke & Felix K. Ameka
    2007 Principles of event segmentation in language: The case of motion events. Language83(3). 495–532. 10.1353/lan.2007.0116
    https://doi.org/10.1353/lan.2007.0116 [Google Scholar]
  14. Broekhuis, Hans
    2019 Asymmetrical coördination. Nederlandse Taalkunde23(3). 325–357. 10.5117/NEDTAA2018.3.004.BROE
    https://doi.org/10.5117/NEDTAA2018.3.004.BROE [Google Scholar]
  15. Carnie, Andrew
    2010Constituent structure. Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Chaudenson, Robert
    2003La créolisation: théorie, applications, implications. Paris: L’Harmattan.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. 2007 Le substrat dans la créolisation: mythes et réalité. InKarl Gadelii & Anne Zribi-Hertz (eds.), Grammaires créoles et grammaire comparative, 27–48. Saint-Denis (France): Presses Universitaires de Vincennes.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Cinque, Guglielmo; & Luigi Rizzi
    2009The cartography of syntactic structures. Oxford University Press. 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199544004.013.0003
    https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199544004.013.0003 [Google Scholar]
  19. Colot, Serge & Ralph Ludwig
    2013a Martinican Creole dataset. Mauritian Creole database. InSusanne Michaelis, Philippe Maurer, Martin Haspelmath & Magnus Huber (eds.), Atlas of Pidgin and Creole Language Structures. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. https://apics-online.info/contributions/51 accessed on2020-11-01.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. 2013b Guadeloupean Creole dataset. InSusanne Michaelis, Philippe Maurer, Martin Haspelmath & Magnus Huber (eds.), Atlas of Pidgin and Creole Language Structures. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. https://apics-online.info/contributions/50 accessed on2020-11-01.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Corne, Chris
    1999From French to Creole. Westminster University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Corne, Chris, Deirdre Colman & Simon Curnow
    1996 Clause reduction in asyndetic coordination in Isle de France creole: the ‘serial verbs’ problem. InPhilip Baker & Anand Syea (eds.), Changing meanings, changing functions, 129–154. London: University of Westminster Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Crystal, David
    1991A dictionary of linguistics and phonetics. London: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Déchaine, Rose-Marie
    1993 Predicates across categories: towards a category-neutral syntax. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Massachusetts.
  25. DeGraff, Michel
    2007 Haitian Creole, inJohn Holm & Peter Patrick (eds.), Comparative creole syntax: parallel outline of 18 creole grammars, 101–126. London: Battlebridge. web.mit.edu/linguistics/people/faculty/degraff/degraff2007hc-ccs.pdf>
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Durie, Mark
    1997 Grammatical structures in verb serialization. InAlex Alsina, Joan Bresnan & Peter Sells (eds.), Complex predicates, 289–354Stanford: CSLI.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Fattier, Dominique
    2013 Haitian Creole dataset. InSusanne Michaelis, Philippe Maurer, Martin Haspelmath & Magnus Huber (eds.), Atlas of Pidgin and Creole Language Structures. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. https://apics-online.info/contributions/49 accessed on2020.11.01.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Franco, Ludovido
    2018 Oblique serial verbs in Creole/Pidgin languages. Quaderni di Linguistica e Studi Orientali4. 73–108. Firenze University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Glaude, Herby
    2012 Aspects de la syntaxe de l’haïtien, PhD dissertation. Université Paris 8/Universiteit van Amsterdam. dare.uva.nl/document/2/116959
  30. Glaude, Herby & Anne Zribi-Hertz
    2012 Verb Focus in Haitian: From lexical reiteration to Predicate Cleft. InEnoch O. Aboh, Norval Smith & Anne Zribi-Hertz (eds.), The morphosyntax of reiteration in creole and non-creole languages, 77–134. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 10.1075/cll.43.03gla
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cll.43.03gla [Google Scholar]
  31. 2014 Verb cognates in Haitian Creole. The Linguistic Review31(2). 241–294. 10.1515/tlr‑2014‑0003
    https://doi.org/10.1515/tlr-2014-0003 [Google Scholar]
  32. Haspelmath, Martin
    2016 The Serial Verb Construction: Comparative Concept and Cross-linguistic Generalizations. Language and Linguistics17(3). 291–319.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Hellwig, Birgit
    2006 Serial Verb Constructions in Goemai. InAlexandra Aikhenvald & R. M. W. Dixon (eds.), Serial verb constructions: A cross-linguistic typology, 88–106. Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Joseph, Joseph Sauveur
    1992 Verbes de mouvement + vini, soti, rive, en CH. Travaux de recherche sur le créole haïtien7. 99–112. Université du Québec à Montréal.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Kalin, Laura & Ed Keenan
    2011 TP serialization in Malagasy. AFLA 18 Proceedings: https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/afla/aflaxviii/meeting/10/ accessed2020.11.01.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Kayne, Richard
    1994The antisymmetry of syntax. Cambridge (MA): MIT Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Klingler, Thomas
    2003If I could turn my tongue like that: the Creole language of Pointe Coupée Parish, Louisiana. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Kriegel, Sibylle; Ralph Ludwig; & Fabiola Henri
    2009 Les rapports entre créole et bhojpouri à Maurice: Contact de langues et actes identitaires. InVinesh Hookoomsing, Ralph Ludwig & and Burkhard Schnepel (eds.), Multiple identities in action : Mauritius and some Antillean parallelisms, 203–252. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Larson, Richard
    1988 On the Double Object Construction. Linguistic Inquiry19–3. 335–391.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Law, Paul & Tonjes Veenstra
    1992 On the Structure of Serial Verb Constructions. Linguistic Analysis22.185–217.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Lefebvre, Claire
    (ed.) 1991Serial verb constructions: Grammatical, Comparative and Cognitive Approaches. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/ssls.8
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ssls.8 [Google Scholar]
  42. 1998Creole genesis and the acquisition of grammar. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Lefebvre, Claire & Anne-Marie Brousseau
    2002A grammar of Fongbe (Mouton Grammar Library 25). Berlin: de Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110880182
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110880182 [Google Scholar]
  44. Levin, Beth & Malka Rappaport Hovav
    1992 The lexical semantics of verbs of motion: the perspective from unaccusativity. InIggy M. Roca (ed.), Thematic structure: its role in grammar, vol.16, 247–269. Berlin: Foris. 10.1515/9783110872613.247
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110872613.247 [Google Scholar]
  45. Lovestrand, Joseph
    2019 Serial Verb Constructions and Motion semantics. To appear in DeGruyter-Mouton series Empirical Approaches to Linguistic Typology. https://www.academia.edu/38967782/Serial_verb_constructions_and_motion_semantics accessed2020.10.15.
  46. Manzini, Maria Rita & Leonardo Savoia
    2011Grammatical Categories. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511974489
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511974489 [Google Scholar]
  47. Michaelis, Susanne, Philippe Maurer, Martin Haspelmath & Magnus Huber
    (eds.) 2013Atlas of Pidgin and Creole Language Structures. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. apics-online.info, Accessed on2017-02-17
    [Google Scholar]
  48. Muysken, Pieter, Bert Jansen & Hilda Koopman
    1978 Serial verbs in the creole languages. Amsterdam Creole Studies2. 125–159. Radbooud University.
    [Google Scholar]
  49. Muysken, Pieter & Tonjes Veenstra
    1995 Serial Verb Constructions. InJacques Arends, Pieter Muysken & Norval Smith (eds.), Pidgins and Creoles: an Introduction, 289–301. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/cll.15.16muy
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cll.15.16muy [Google Scholar]
  50. 2006 [revised 2018] Serial verbs. InMartin Everaert & Hans van Riemsdijk (eds.), The Blackwell companion to syntax, vol.IV, 234–270. Malden, MA: Blackwell. 10.1002/9780470996591.ch59
    https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470996591.ch59 [Google Scholar]
  51. Osam, E. Kweku
    2003 The verbal and multi-verbal system of Akan. InDorothee Beermann & Lars Hellan (eds.), Proceedings of the workshop on multi-verb constructions. TrondheimUniversity: citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=
    [Google Scholar]
  52. Seuren, Pieter
    1990a Serial verb constructions. InBrian Joseph & Arnold Zwicky (eds.), When verbs collide: Papers from the 1990 Ohio State Mini-Conference on Serial Verbs, 14–33. Columbus (Ohio): The Ohio State University.
    [Google Scholar]
  53. 1990b Still no serials in Seselwa: A Reply to ‘Seselwa Serialization and its Significance’ by Derek Bickerton. Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages, 5(2). 271–292. 10.1075/jpcl.5.2.08seu
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jpcl.5.2.08seu [Google Scholar]
  54. 1991 The definition of serial verbs. InFrancis Byrne & Thom Huebner (eds.), Development and structures of Creole languages: Essays in honor of Derek Bickerton, 193–205. Amsterdam: Benjamins. 10.1075/cll.9.21seu
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cll.9.21seu [Google Scholar]
  55. 1995 Notes on the history and the syntax of Mauritian Creole. Linguistics33. 531–577. 10.1515/ling.1995.33.3.531
    https://doi.org/10.1515/ling.1995.33.3.531 [Google Scholar]
  56. Syea, Anand
    2013 Serial Verb Constructions in Indian Ocean French creoles. Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages28(1). 13–64. 10.1075/jpcl.28.1.02sye
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jpcl.28.1.02sye [Google Scholar]
  57. 2017French creoles. A comprehensive and comparative grammar. London/New York: Routledge. 10.4324/9781315388588
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315388588 [Google Scholar]
  58. Valdman, Albert
    1978Le créole : structure, statut et origine. Paris : Klincksieck.
    [Google Scholar]
  59. Valin, Robert D. Jr. (van) & Randy LaPolla
    1997Syntax: structure, meaning & function. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9781139166799
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139166799 [Google Scholar]
  60. Veenstra, Tonjes
    1993 Serial verb constructions, parameter settings and thematic restrictions on argument sharing. InFrank Drijkoningen & Kees Hengeveld (eds.), Linguistics in the Netherlands, 153–164. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/avt.10.16vee
    https://doi.org/10.1075/avt.10.16vee [Google Scholar]
  61. 1996Serial verbs in Saramaccan: predication and creole genesis. Dordrecht: Holland Institute of Generative Linguistics.
    [Google Scholar]
  62. 2000 Verb serialization and object position. Linguistics38. 867–888. 10.1515/ling.2000.014
    https://doi.org/10.1515/ling.2000.014 [Google Scholar]
  63. 2018 Kreol Morisyen as a Bantu language. Talk presented at the16th International Colloquium of Creole Studies. Mahé: University of the Seychelles.
    [Google Scholar]
  64. Zribi-Hertz, Anne, Loïc Jean-Louis & Moles Paul
    2019 Left-adjoined bi-valent predicates in two Caribbean French-based creoles. Revista Letras99. 75–100. https://revistas.ufpr.br/letras/article/view/65101
    [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): French-Based Creoles; Haitian; Martinican; Mauritian; serial verb constructions
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error