LINGUIST List 9.38

Sun Jan 11 1998

Books: Pidgins & Creoles

Editor for this issue: Martin Jacobsen <>

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  1. Tony Schiavo, New Books: Pidgins & Creoles

Message 1: New Books: Pidgins & Creoles

Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 09:18:16 -0500
From: Tony Schiavo <>
Subject: New Books: Pidgins & Creoles


Arthur K. Spears & Donald Winford (eds.) due 1997 ix, 436 pp. Creole
Language Library, 19 US/Canada: Cloth: 1 55619 174 X Price: US$99.
Rest of the world: Cloth: 90 272 5241 6 Price: Hfl. 175,-- John
Benjamins Publishing web site: For further
information via e-mail:

Destined to become a landmark work, this book is devoted principally
to a reassessment of the content, categories, boundaries, and basic
assumptions of pidgin and creole studies. It includes revised and
elaborated papers from meetings of the Society for Pidgin and Creole
Linguistics in addition to commissioned papers from leading scholars
in the field. As a group, the papers undertake this reassessment
through a reevaluation of pidgin/creole terminology and contact
language typology (Section One); a requestioning of process and
evolution in pidginization, creolization, and other language contact
phenomena (Section Two); a reinterpretation of the sources and genesis
of grammatical aspects of Saramaccan and Atlantic creoles in general
(Section Three); a reconsideration of the status of languages defying
received definitions of pidgins and creoles (Section Four); and
analyses of aspects of grammar that shed light on the issue of what a
possible creole grammar is (Section Five). Contents: Intro: On the
structure and status of pidgins and creoles: Donald Winford.

Section One: 
1. Jaargons, pidgins, creoles and koines: What are they?: Salikoko
S. Mufwene; 2. A typology of contact languages: Sarah G. Thomason.

Section Two: 
3. Directionality in pidginization and creolization: Philip Baker;
4. Mixing, leveling, and pidgin/creole development: Jeff Siegel; 5.
Matrix language recognition and morpheme sorting as possible
structural strategies in pidgin/creole formation: Carol Myers-Scotton;
6. The creolization of pidgin morphophonology: William J. Samarin.

Section Three: 
7. Saramaccan Creole origins: Portuguese-derived lexical
correspondences and the relexification hypothesis: Michael Aceto;
8. Lost in transmission: A case for the independent emergence of the
copula in Atlantic creoles: John H. McWhorter.

Section Four: 
9. Creole-like features in the verb system of an Afro-Brazilian
variety of Portuguese: Alan N. Baxter; 10. The verb phrase in
Afrikaans: Evidence of creolization?: Christa de Kleine; 11. Shaba
Swahili: Partial creolization due to second language learning and
substrate pressure: Vincent A. de Rooij; 12. The status of
Isicarntho, an Nguni-based urban variety of Soweto: G. Tucker
Childs. Section Five: 13. New light on Eskimo pidgins: Hein van der
Voort; 14. Reduplication in Ndyuka: Mary L. Huttar and George
L. Huttar; 15. Tense-aspect-mood in Principense: Philippe Maurer.

Clancy J Clements
1996 xviii, 282 pp. Creole Language Library, 16
US/Canada: Cloth: 1 55619 171 5 Price: $79.00
Rest of the world: Cloth: 90 272 5238 6 Price: Hfl. 140,--
John Benjamins Publishing web site:
For further information via e-mail:

Korlai Portuguese (KP), a Portuguese-based creole only recently
discovered by linguists, originated around 1520 on the west coast of
India. Initially isolated from its Hindu and Muslim neighbors by
social and religious barriers, the small Korlai community lost
virtually all Portuguese contact as well after 1740. This volume is
the first-ever comprehensive treatment of the formation, linguistic
components, and rapidly changing situation of this exotic creole.
The product of ten years of research, Korlai Creole Portuguese
provides an exciting, in-depth diachronic look at a language that is
now showing the strain of intense cultural pressure from the
surrounding Marathi-speaking population. Framed in Thomason and
Kaufman's 1988 model of contact-induced language change, the
author's analysis is enriched by numerous comparisons with sister
creoles, apart from medieval Portuguese and Marathi. This book
contrastively examines the following areas: phonemic inventories,
phonological processes, stress assignment, syllable structure,
paradigm restructuring, paradigm use, lexicon, word formation,
semantic borrowing, loan translations, grammatical relation marking,
pre- and postnominal modification, negation, subject and object
deletion, embedding, and word order.

Sarah G Thomason (ed.)
1996 xi, 487 pp. Creole Language Library, 17
US/Canada: Cloth: 1 55619 172 3 Price: $165.00
Rest of the world: Cloth: 90 272 5239 4 Price: Hfl. 275,--
John Benjamins Publishing web site:
For further information via e-mail:

This book contributes to a more balanced view of the most dramatic
results of language contact by presenting linguistic and historical
sketches of lesser-known contact languages. The twelve case studies
offer eloquent testimony against the still common view that all
contact languages are pidgins and creoles with maximally simple and
essentially identical grammars. They show that some contact languages
are neither pidgins nor creoles, and that even pidgins and creoles can
display considerable structural diversity and structural complexity;
they also show that two-language contact situations can give rise to
pidgins, especially when access to a target language is withheld by
its speakers. The chapters are arranged according to language type:
three focus on pidgins (Hiri Motu, by Tom Dutton; Pidgin Delaware, by
Ives Goddard; and Ndyuka-Trio Pidgin, by George L. Huttar and Frank
J. Velantie), two on creoles (Kituba, by Salikoko S. Mufwene, and
Sango, by Helma Pasch), one on a set of pidgins and creoles
(Arabic-based contact languages, by Jonathan Owens), one on the
question of early pidginization and/or creolization in Swahili (by
Derek Nurse), and five on bilingual mixed languages (Michif, by Peter
Bakker and Robert A. Papen; Media Lengua and Callahuaya, both by
Pieter Muysken; and Mednyj Aleut and Ma'a, both by Sarah
Thomason). The authors' collective goal is to help offset the
traditional emphasis, within contact-language studies, on pidgins and
creoles that arose as an immediate result of contact with Europeans,
starting in the Age of Exploration. The accumulation of case studies
on a wide diversity of languages is needed to create a body of
knowledge substantial enough to support robust generalizations about
the nature and development of all types of contact language.

Genevieve Escure
1997 x, 307 pp. Creole Language Library, 18
US/Canada: Cloth: 1 55619 173 1 Price: $89.00
Rest of the world: Cloth: 90 272 5240 8 Price: Hfl. 150,--
John Benjamins Publishing web site:
For further information via e-mail:

Although there is a substantial amount of linguistic research on
standard language acquisition, little attention has been given to the
mechanisms underlying second dialect acquisition. Using a combination
of function-based grammar and sociolinguistic methodology to analyze
topic marking strategies, the unguided acquisition of a standard by
speakers of nonstandard varieties is examined in two distinct
linguistic and geographical situations: in a Caribbean creole
situation (Belize), with special attention to the acquisition of
acrolects by native speakers of basilects, and in a noncreole
situation (PRC), documenting the acquisition of standard Chinese
(Putonghua) by speakers of nonstandard varieties represented in
Cultural Revolution literature, Wuhan Chinese, and Suzhou Wu
story-telling style. In both cases psychosocial factors, linguistic
bias toward nonnative renderings of the standard varieties, the social
status of their speakers, and related political and educational
consequences play an important role in the development of second
dialects. The broad-ranging analysis of a single feature of oral
discourse leads to the formulation of cross-linguistic
generalizations in acquisition studies and results in an evaluation of
the putative uniqueness of creole languages. Related issues addressed
include the effect of linguistic bias on the development and use of
language varieties by marginalized groups; the interaction of three
major language components - semantics, syntax, and pragmatics - in
spontaneous communication; and the development of methods to identify
discourse units. The ultimate goal underlying the comparison of
specific discourse variables in Belizean and Chinese standard
acquisition is to evaluate the relative merits of substratal,
superstratal, and universal explanations in language development.

For further information please e-mail
Bernadette Keck:
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