Creole Language in Creole Literatures
  • ISSN 0920-9034
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9870
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Language and dialect choice are frequently thematized in creole literature, notably in Alfred Parépou's 1885 Guianese novelAtipa. The concept of the basilect has accordingly played an important role in creole writing, critical thinking, and polemic. Given the assimilative pressure exerted by the superstrate, writers and critics often argue that the ideal creole literary dialect should be as divergent from it as possible. During the 1980s the P.A.I.C.V. government in Cape Verde tried to promote a revolutionary literature in what was described as the deep, original dialect of Crioulo, that of the hinterland of Santiago Island. Of particular interest were the agency of theInstitutu Kauberdianu di Livruin Praia and the intellectual work of Manuel Veiga, especially hisDikrison Strutural di Lingua Kabuverdianu. Around the same time, writers in Martinique, most prominently Raphaël Confiant, embraced the vision of a literary basilect ‘maximally deviant’ from standard French, which Jean Bernabé defined as a ‘nuclear creole.’ This article concludes with an extract from one of Confiant's novels in which ‘hyper-acrolectal’ French is humorously contrasted with the author's figuration of deep Kréyol.


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