image of Reciprocal constructions
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



This study analyzes the borrowing of Dutch reciprocal pronouns in a corpus of primary field data of Sranan, Sarnami, and Surinamese Javanese, three languages of Suriname. The expression of reciprocity in relevant African and Asian substrates of the languages under study is also presented and discussed. I suggest cognitive and sociolinguistic explanations for the preference of Dutch-sourced reciprocal pronouns during multilingual contact. The three languages show convergent borrowing processes favoring the dedicated Dutch reciprocal pronoun over ‘scattered’ native strategies. Further, Suriname is a hierarchical post-colonial language ecology in which borrowing proceeds mostly in one direction, either directly from Dutch, or from Dutch via Sranan. The parallel multilingual trajectory of contact-induced change in the expression of a complex notion like reciprocity showcases the attractiveness for borrowing of forms and structures with transparent relations between form and content.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Aboh, Enoch & Norval Smith
    2015 Migrations, ethno-dynamics and geolinguistics in the Eastern Aja-Tado cultural area. InPieter Muysken & Norval Smith (eds.), Surviving the Middle Passage: The West Africa-Surinam Sprachbund (Trends in Linguistics, Studies and Monographs (TiLSM) 275), –. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. 10.1515/9783110343977.43
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110343977.43 [Google Scholar]
  2. Adamson, Lilian & Norval Smith
    2003 Productive derivational predicate reduplication in Sranan. InSilvia Kouwenberg (ed.), Twice as meaningful: Reduplication in pidgins, creoles and other contact languages. London: Battlebridge.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y.
    2003 Evidentiality in typological perspective. InAlexandra Y. Aikhenvald & R. M. W. Dixon (eds.), Studies in evidentiality, –. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/tsl.54.04aik
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tsl.54.04aik [Google Scholar]
  4. Arends, Jacques
    1995 Demographic Factors in the Formation of Sranan. InJacques Arends (ed.), The early stages of creolization (Creole Language Library (CLL) 13), –. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/cll.13.11are
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cll.13.11are [Google Scholar]
  5. Auer, Peter
    1999 From codeswitching via language mixing to fused lects: Toward a dynamic typology of bilingual speech. International Journal of Bilingualism(). –. 10.1177/13670069990030040101
    https://doi.org/10.1177/13670069990030040101 [Google Scholar]
  6. Backus, Ad
    2015 A usage-based approach to code-switching: The need for reconciling structure and function. InGerald Stell & Kofi Yakpo (eds.), Codeswitching between structural and sociolinguistic perspectives (Linguae et Litterae 43), –. Berlin: De Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110346879.19
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110346879.19 [Google Scholar]
  7. Baldewsingh, Rabin S. & Gaston Dorren
    2000 Het Sarnami: Een bijna-wereldtaal zonder prestige. Onze Taal (). –.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Berg, Margot van den
    2007 A grammar of Early Sranan. PhD dissertation, University of Amsterdam.
  9. Borges, Robert
    2013 Linguistic Archaeology, Kinship Terms, and Language Contact in Suriname. Anthropological Linguistics(). –. 10.1353/anl.2013.0001
    https://doi.org/10.1353/anl.2013.0001 [Google Scholar]
  10. Carlin, Eithne B. & Jacques Arends
    (eds.) 2002Atlas of the languages of Suriname (Caribbean Series). Leiden: KITLV Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Damsteegt, Theo
    1988 Sarnami: A living language. InRichard K. Barz & Jeff Siegel (eds.), Language Transplanted: The Development of Overseas Hindi, –. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. 1990 Hindi and Sarnami as literary languages of the East Indian Surinamese. InMariola Offredi (ed.), Language versus dialect, –. New Delhi: Manohar.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. 2002 Sarnami as an immigrant koiné. InEithne B. Carlin & Jacques Arends (eds.), Atlas of the languages of Suriname, –. Leiden: KITLV Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. De Kleine, Christa
    2007A morphosyntactic analysis of Surinamese Dutch. München: Lincom Europa.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Dimitriadis, Alexis
    2008 Irreducible symmetry in reciprocal constructions. InEkkehard König & Volker Gast (eds.), Reciprocals and Reflexives: Theoretical and Typological Explorations (Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs [TiLSM] 192), –. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. 10.1515/9783110199147.375
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110199147.375 [Google Scholar]
  16. Dressler, Wolfgang U.
    1999 On a semiotic theory of preferences in language. InMichael C. Shapiro & M. Haley (eds.), The Peirce seminar papers: Essays in semiotic analysis, –. New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Evans, Nicholas
    2008 Reciprocal constructions: Towards a structural typology. InReciprocal constructions: Towards a structural typology, –. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. 10.1515/9783110199147.33
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110199147.33 [Google Scholar]
  18. Evans, Nicholas, Stephen C. Levinson, Alice Gaby & Asifa Majid
    2011 Introduction: Reciprocals and semantic typology. InNicholas Evans, Alice Gaby, Stephen C. Levinson & Asifa Majid (eds.), Typological Studies in Language (), –. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/tsl.98.01intro
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tsl.98.01intro [Google Scholar]
  19. Gardani, Francesco
    2022 Contact and Borrowing. InAdam Ledgeway & Martin Maiden (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Romance Linguistics (Cambridge Handbooks in Language and Linguistics), –. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/9781108580410.034
    https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108580410.034 [Google Scholar]
  20. Gippert, Jost, Nikolaus P. Himmelmann & Ulrike Mosel
    (eds.) 2006Essentials of Language Documentation. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110197730
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110197730 [Google Scholar]
  21. Gobardhan-Rambocus, Lila & Johan Sarmo
    1993 Het Surinaams Javaans. InLila Gobardhan-Rambocus & Maurits S. Hassankhan (eds.), Immigratie en ontwikkeling. Emancipatieproces van contractanten, –. Paramaribo: Anton de Kom Universiteit.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Hancock, Ian F.
    1987 A preliminary classification of Anglophone Atlantic creoles, with syntactic data from thirty-three representative dialects. InGlenn G. Gilbert (ed.), Pidgin and creole languages: essays in memory of John Reinecke, –. Honolulu: Univ. of Hawai’i Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Haspelmath, Martin
    2007 Further remarks on reciprocal constructions. InVladimir P. Nedjalkov (ed.), Reciprocal constructions (Typological Studies in Language (TSL) 71), –. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/tsl.71.74has
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tsl.71.74has [Google Scholar]
  24. Heine, Bernd
    2000 Polysemy involving reflexive and reciprocal markers in African languages. InZ. Frajzyngier & T. S. Curl (eds.), Reciprocals: forms and functions (Typological Studies in Language 41), –. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 10.1075/tsl.41.02hei
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tsl.41.02hei [Google Scholar]
  25. Hoeblal, Mala
    2015 Taalkeuzegedrag bij Hindoestaanse schoolgaande jongeren. Term paper. Institute for Graduate Studies, Anton de Kom University, Paramaribo, ms.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Huttar, George L. & Judith A. Eslick
    1972 Distinctive Features in Sarnami Hindustani. Phonetica (). –. 10.1159/000259374
    https://doi.org/10.1159/000259374 [Google Scholar]
  27. Huttar, George L. & Mary L. Huttar
    1994Ndyuka. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Johanson, Lars
    2002a Contact-induced change in a code-copying framework. InMari C. Jones & Edith Esch (eds.), Language Change: The Interplay of Internal, External, and Extra-linguistic Factors, –. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110892598.285
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110892598.285 [Google Scholar]
  29. 2002bStructural factors in Turkic language contacts. Oxford: Curzon Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Kachru, Yamuna
    2006Hindi (London Oriental and African Language Library). Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 10.1075/loall.12
    https://doi.org/10.1075/loall.12 [Google Scholar]
  31. König, Ekkehard & Shigehiro Kokutani
    2006 Towards a typology of reciprocal constructions: focus on German and Japanese. Linguistics. De Gruyter Mouton(). –. 10.1515/LING.2006.010
    https://doi.org/10.1515/LING.2006.010 [Google Scholar]
  32. Lefebvre, Claire & Anne-Marie Brousseau
    2002A Grammar of Fongbe (Mouton Grammar Library 25). Berlin: Mouton. 10.1515/9783110880182
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110880182 [Google Scholar]
  33. Léglise, Isabelle & Bettina Migge
    2015 Language Practices and Linguistic Ideologies in Suriname: Results from a School Survey. InEithne Carlin, Isabelle Léglise, Bettina Migge & Paul B. Tjon Sie Fat (eds.), In and out of Suriname: Language, mobility and identity (Caribbean Series 34), –. Leiden: Brill. 10.1163/9789004280120_003
    https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004280120_003 [Google Scholar]
  34. Marhé, R. M.
    1985Sarnami byakaran: een elementaire grammatica van het Sarnami. Leidschendam: Stichting voor Surinamers.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Masica, Colin P.
    1993The Indo-Aryan languages (Cambridge Language Surveys). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Maslova, Elena & Vladimir P. Nedjalkov
    2013 Reciprocal Constructions. InMatthew S. Dryer & Martin Haspelmath (eds.), The World Atlas of Language Structures Online. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. https://wals.info/chapter/106. (11 July, 2022).
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Matras, Yaron
    2015 Why morphological borrowing is dispreferred. InFrancesco Gardani, Peter Arkadiev & Nino Amridze (eds.), Borrowed morphology, –. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 10.1515/9781614513209.47
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9781614513209.47 [Google Scholar]
  38. Matthews, Stephen & Virginia Yip
    2011Cantonese: A Comprehensive Grammar (Routledge Grammars). 2nd edn.London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
    Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics 2010 Language and cognition field manuals and stimulus materials. L&C Field Manuals and Stimulus Materials. fieldmanuals.mpi.nl/. (11 July, 2022).
    [Google Scholar]
  40. McGregor, R. S.
    1995Outline of Hindi grammar: with exercises. 3rd edn.New York: Oxford Univ. Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Muysken, Pieter
    2017 The transformation of a colonial language: Surinamese Dutch. InKofi Yakpo & Pieter Muysken (eds.), Boundaries and bridges: Language contact in multilingual ecologies (Language Contact and Bilingualism (LCB) 14), –. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. 10.1515/9781614514886‑011
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9781614514886-011 [Google Scholar]
  42. Myers-Scotton, Carol
    1992 Comparing codeswitching and borrowing. Journal of Multilingual & Multicultural Development(). –. 10.1080/01434632.1992.9994481
    https://doi.org/10.1080/01434632.1992.9994481 [Google Scholar]
  43. Nedjalkov, Vladimir P.
    (ed.) 2007Reciprocal constructions (Typological Studies in Language (TSL) 71). vols.Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/tsl.71
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tsl.71 [Google Scholar]
  44. Postma, Johannes
    1990The Dutch in the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1600–1815. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511528958
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511528958 [Google Scholar]
  45. Robson, Stuart
    1992Javanese Grammar for Students (Monash Papers on Southeast Asia 26). Clayton: Centre of Southeast Asian Studies, Monash University.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. Saah, Kofi K.
    2018 The Syntax of Reciprocal Constructions in Akan. Ghana Journal of Linguistics(). –. 10.4314/gjl.v7i2.3
    https://doi.org/10.4314/gjl.v7i2.3 [Google Scholar]
  47. Safir, Ken & Naga Selvanathan
    2016 Niger-Congo transitive reciprocal constructions and polysemy with reflexives. InDoris L. Payne, Sara Pacchiarotti & Mokaya Bosire (eds.), Diversity in African languages, –. Berlin: Language Science Press. 10.17169/langsci.B121.496
    https://doi.org/10.17169/langsci.B121.496 [Google Scholar]
  48. Saha, Atanu
    2011 Looking at language contact in the Indosphere through reciprocity. Paper presented atCentre for Language Studies, Radboud University Nijmegen, 15 Nov.
    [Google Scholar]
  49. 2015 Reciprocal constructions in Meitei and Nyishi. PhD thesis, Jawaharlal Nehru University.
    [Google Scholar]
  50. Seuren, Pieter A. M. & Herman Wekker
    1986 Semantic Transparency as a Factor in Creole Genesis. InPieter Muysken & Norval Smith (eds.), Creole Language Library (), –. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. 10.1075/cll.1.05seu
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cll.1.05seu [Google Scholar]
  51. SIL Language Technology
    SIL Language Technology 2022 Fieldworks Language Explorer (FLEx).
    [Google Scholar]
  52. Smith, Norval
    1987 The genesis of the Creole languages of Surinam. PhD thesis, University of Amsterdam.
    [Google Scholar]
  53. 2002 The history of the Surinamese creoles II : origin and differentiation. InEithne B. Carlin & Jacques Arends (eds.), Atlas of the languages of Suriname, –. Leiden: KITLV Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  54. Stell, Gerald
    2018 Sociolinguistic Indexicalities in Ethnic Diversity. New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids (). –. 10.1163/22134360‑09201054
    https://doi.org/10.1163/22134360-09201054 [Google Scholar]
  55. Trudgill, Peter
    1986Dialects in contact. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  56. Villerius, Sophie
    2018Development of Surinamese Javanese: Language contact and change in a multilingual context. Utrecht: LOT.
    [Google Scholar]
  57. Vruggink, H. D.
    1977 Javaans van Suriname. S.l. PhD dissertation.
  58. Wilner, John
    1994Wortubuku ini Sranan Tongo (Sranan Tongo – English dictionary). Paramaribo: Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL).
    [Google Scholar]
  59. Yakpo, Kofi
    2013 Wayward daughter: Language contact in the emergence of Pichi (Equatorial Guinea). Journal of African Languages and Linguistics(). –. 10.1515/jall‑2013‑0009
    https://doi.org/10.1515/jall-2013-0009 [Google Scholar]
  60. 2015 Code-switching and social change: Convergent language mixing in a multilingual society. InGerald Stell & Kofi Yakpo (eds.), Codeswitching between structural and sociolinguistic perspectives (Linguae et Litterae 43), –. Berlin: De Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110346879.259
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110346879.259 [Google Scholar]
  61. 2017a Out of India: Language contact and change in Caribbean Hindustani. InKofi Yakpo & Pieter Muysken (eds.), Boundaries and bridges: Language contact in multilingual ecologies (Language Contact and Bilingualism (LCB) 14), –. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. 10.1515/9781614514886‑005
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9781614514886-005 [Google Scholar]
  62. 2017b Creole in transition: Contact with Dutch and typological change in Sranan. InKofi Yakpo & Pieter Muysken (eds.), Boundaries and bridges: Language contact in multilingual ecologies (Language Contact and Bilingualism (LCB) 14), –. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. 10.1515/9781614514886‑003
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9781614514886-003 [Google Scholar]
  63. 2019A grammar of Pichi (Studies in Diversity Linguistics 23). Berlin: Language Science Press. CitetononCRdoi:10.5281/zenodo.2546450
    https://doi.org/Cite to nonCR doi: 10.5281/zenodo.2546450 [Google Scholar]
  64. 2021 Unidirectional multilingual convergence: Typological and social factors. International Journal of MultilingualismPublished online. –. 10.1080/14790718.2021.1978453
    https://doi.org/10.1080/14790718.2021.1978453 [Google Scholar]
  65. Yakpo, Kofi, Margot van den Berg & Robert Borges
    2015 On the linguistic consequences of language contact in Suriname: The case of convergence. InEithne Carlin, Isabelle Léglise, Bettina Migge & Paul B. Tjon Sie Fat (eds.), In and out of Suriname: Language, mobility and identity (Caribbean Series 34), –. Leiden: Brill. 10.1163/9789004280120_009
    https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004280120_009 [Google Scholar]
  66. Yakpo, Kofi & Pieter Muysken
    2014 Language change in a multiple contact setting: The case of Sarnami (Suriname). InIsabelle Buchstaller, Anders Holmberg & Mohammad Almoaily (eds.), Pidgins and Creoles beyond Africa-Europe encounters (Creole Language Library (CLL) 47), –. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/cll.47.06yak
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cll.47.06yak [Google Scholar]
  67. 2017 Multilingual ecologies in the Guianas: Overview, typology, prospects. InKofi Yakpo & Pieter Muysken (eds.), Boundaries and bridges: Language contact in multilingual ecologies (Language Contact and Bilingualism (LCB) 14), –. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. 10.1515/9781614514886‑014
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9781614514886-014 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keywords: borrowing ; reciprocal construction ; transparency ; language contact ; polysemy
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