LINGUIST List 11.1429

Tue Jun 27 2000

Qs: Morphology in Creole Languages

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  1. Michel DeGraff, Morphology in Creole languages: Request for Comments

Message 1: Morphology in Creole languages: Request for Comments

Date: Sun, 25 Jun 2000 23:29:34 -0400
From: Michel DeGraff <degraffMIT.EDU>
Subject: Morphology in Creole languages: Request for Comments

Dear Colleagues,

This is a request for data and/or comments related to a paper of mine on
(Haitian) Creole morphology. The paper is called "Morphology in Creole
genesis: A prolegomenon". There, I evaluate a variety of widely-believed
received notions about Creole morphology or, rather, about the absence or
simplicity of Creole morphology. This is the sort of truisms one often
reads in introductory linguistics textbooks, including some of the classics
(Jespersen 1922, Bloomfield 1933, Hockett 1958, Martinet 1969, etc).

What I argue in this paper (focusing on Haitian Creole) is that, in spite of
their observational inadequacy, these persistently-popular received notions
span the entire course of Creole studies and a variety of theoretical
approaches. The paper examines relevant Haitian Creole data and related
theoretical observations, and raises various questions about both the
linguistics and the sociology underlying the `simple Creole morphology'
truisms. The essay also revisits some of the historical foundations of
Creole studies and their relationships to contemporary sociological
concerns in, and about, Creole communities.

As this is the beginning of a long-term project with rather broad
scientific and political concerns, I'd very much welcome constructive
comments from all quarters, including comments about (dis)similar
morphological phenomena in other `Creole' varieties and---more
generally---about related phenomena in language contact and language

The paper is available for downloading and circulating in both PDF and
postscript format.

PDF for Acrobat Reader (424,724 bytes):

Postscript (496,574 bytes):

Thank you very much,


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