Volume 32, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0920-9034
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9870
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The creoles associated with Suriname have figured prominently in research on creole languages. However, one variety, Matawai, has, to date, remained completely unresearched. This paper attempts to address this lacuna. It discusses its history and selected areas of grammar in order to assess the place of Matawai among its sister languages and its development. The linguistic analysis draws on recordings from 2013 and the 1970s. The paper provides evidence to support the view that Matawai is most closely related to Saamaka. However, there are also features that are unique to Matawai and those that appear to be due to either patterns of language contact with the other creoles of Suriname or common inheritance. The paper argues that systematic corpus-based analysis of lesser-used varieties provides new insights into existing debates.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): copula; Creoles of Suriname; diachronic change; future marking; language contact; Matawai
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