|Title:||Chez les Noirs: A comparative-historical analysis of Pidgin and Creole languages||Add Dissertation|
|Author:||Merelyn Bates-Mims||Update Dissertation|
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|Institution:||University of Cincinnati, Interdisciplinary Studies|
Creole French, Louisiana
|Abstract:||The general objectives of this study are to enlarge on the comparative-historical theoretical base which identifies West Africa as the source of origin and development of African Diaspora languages, to comparatively demonstrate the grammatical similarities in features between Cameroon Pidgin and Louisiana Creole languages, to make a case for Louisiana Creole English language, to identify a meta-grammatical 'cultural language' or hegemonic language of African civilization, and finally, to discuss the synchronic state of the development and usage of African pidgins and creoles.
This work seeks to avoid the pitfalls of relying on primarily social data as substantiating evidence for defining and identifying lanaguage. Its major focus is the utilization of structural analyses of the syntax of Cameroon Pidgin English, for example, which imply that is it African lanaguage that provides the grammatical framework for Pidgin language competence. Other analyses will show that this competence engenders similarities in structural composition between Francais Populaire of Abidjan and the French Creole of Louisiana; and among African continent Creoles and Pidgins such as Krio of Sierra Leone, Pidgin English of Cameroon, Gambia, Nigeria, and Ghana. This study also illustrates that African language is the source for certain elements in African Diaspora speech, elements such as the use of /de(h)/ in an existential sense; the incorporation of the present and past into a single verbal entity; the employment of a positive morpheme(s) which agrees wiwth the negative element in discourse, i.e., S1: 'Hi, I haven't seen you in a long while.' S2: 'Sho have! Sho have! (shaking the head 'yes' in agreement that we have not seen each other); the sound-meaning correspondences of verbal /be/ in its 'invariant' form; the existence of noun and adjective in predicative and modigying functions; and the 'absence' of copula in certain constructs.
The most innovative aspects of this study are the reporting on the connections between the earliest written language, Ancient Egyptian, and the languages of 'Black' Africa, and on the recognition of the existence of a second creole language in Southwest Louisiana, Louisiana Creole English.