Volume 20, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0920-9034
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9870
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This paper compares the conceptualisation and expression of topological relations in Surinamese creoles with that of Gbe languages (which were part of the substrate) and English (the superstrate). It investigates the components of the Basic Locative Construction (BLC), i.e. the most neutral construction that is used to code topology, and the type of situations for which the BLC is used in the languages. It shows that the BLC in the creole and Gbe languages has a locative phrase which is made up of a noun phrase that expresses the Ground and a spatial element that expresses the Search Domain i.e. the specific part of the Ground where the Figure is located. The locative phrase in the creoles also has a preposition but this does not contribute to its spatial meaning. By contrast, English has a locative phrase which is made up of a preposition that expresses the Relation between the Figure and the Ground, and the Search-Domain information. The paper concludes that the Suriname creoles display a strong substrate influence in this spatial domain. There are some differences, which can be attributed to gradual Dutch influence and generalisation on the part of the creoles.


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