|Title:||Crosslinguistic Influence in Second Language Acquisition and in Creole Genesis||Add Dissertation|
|Author:||Patrick-André Mather||Update Dissertation|
|Email:||click here to access email|
|Institution:||University of Pittsburgh, Department of Linguistics|
|Linguistic Subfield(s):||Historical Linguistics; Sociolinguistics;|
Robert De Keyser
|Abstract:||There is increasing evidence that most European-lexifier plantation creoles developed over several generations, as successive waves of African slaves acquired increasingly basilectal varieties of the lexifier language, allowing shift-induced interference to play a central role in creole genesis. If in many cases the creators of creoles were adult learners of a second language, and if many creoles are the result of SLA processes over several generations, the next step is to test this hypothesis and to see whether data from current SLA studies can shed light on the gradual creolization process.
In this dissertation, I show that many of the features found in French-lexifier plantations do occur in L2 French and other interlanguages, as a result of L1 transfer and other acquisition processes, including the position of specifier and adjectives within the noun phrase, the position of verbs, pronouns and full NP complements within the verb phrase, null subjects, copula deletion, reduplication, absence of gender marking and pre-verbal negation.
The major claim of the 'gradualist / SLA' model advocated in this dissertation, is that creole genesis does not involve any specific mental processes or strategies other than those found in ordinary second language acquisition. While in normal, successful SLA, L1 transfer, relexification and reanalysis are relatively marginal in the end, they are nevertheless present, as illustrated by the many examples discussed in this dissertation. It is the social and historical circumstances that accelerated the changes and allowed 'deviant' interlanguage structures to fossilize and to create a new language in plantation societies.