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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Dissertation Information

Title: Relativization in a Creole Continuum Add Dissertation
Author: William Peet Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, Department of Linguistics
Completed in: 1978
Linguistic Subfield(s): Linguistic Theories;
Subject Language(s): Creole English, Hawai'i
Director(s): Michael Forman
Derek Bickerton
Stanley Tsuzaki
Richard Day

Abstract: Relativization in a Creole Continuum is an in-depth study of the decreolization of the relative clause in Hawaiian Creole. Included in the Appendix are all the data used to draw conclusions for the study, with speaker by speaker analysis of each token.

The main thrust of the study is to relate synchronic variation between three different relative clause types to diachronic evolution of those three types. This general relationship is stressed in recent literature on variation theory (Bailey 1973, 1974, and Bickerton 1973b). It is claimed in this dissertation that the synchronic variation of one group of speakers, those who generally used 'most-creole' forms in all aspects of their speech, according to Bickerton (1977), represents the probable diachronic path of decreolization according to a certain set of constraints. Three possible sets of constraints are compared, and it is shown that either the first or the second set clearly seems to be used by the 'most-creole' speakers, while the third set is more plausible as the one used by adult 'less-creole' speakers. The fact that this third set is the same as Bever and Langendoen (1971) found to contrain the evolution of the relative clause in Standard English texts is cited as evidence that the variation patterns of already decreolized speakers tended not to reflect actual decreolization patterns, but rather those which have operated to constrain variation between relative clause types in Standard English. Since the decreolized speakers are aiming at Standard English grammar, it seems logical that they would conform to variation patterns which existed in Standard English. 'Most-creole' speakers, on the other hand, would be most likely to reflect in their variation patterns the course of decreolization in Hawaiian Creole, rather than the existing variation patterns of Standard English.