Creole Genesis and the Acquisition of Grammar: The Case of by Claire Lefebvre

By Claire Lefebvre

This examine specializes in the cognitive approaches interested by creole genesis: relexification, reanalysis, and direct leveling. The position of those strategies is documented through an in depth comparability of Haitian creole with its significant contributing languages, French and Fongbe, to demonstrate how mechanisms from resource languages express themselves in creole. the writer examines the enter of grownup, rather than baby, audio system and resolves the issues within the 3 major methods, universalist, superstratist and substratist, that have been significant to the hot debate on creole improvement.

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While the forms of nouns are approximately 90 per cent from French, the forms of verbs are almost all from Cree. Whereas the forms of possessive pronouns are almost always from French, the forms of personal pronouns and demonstrative pronouns are from Cree. Numerals and adjectives are always from French. As for adpositions, the forms of prepositions in Michif tend to be derived from French and those of postpositions from Cree. Adverbial particles, negative elements and conjunctions appear to be drawn from both of the source languages.

The following sections document this claim. 2 19 The role of relexification in the genesis of mixed languages This section discusses three cases of mixed languages: Media Lengua, Michif and Inner Mbugu or Ma’a. It will be shown that the same cognitive process has played a major role in the formation of all three languages, namely relexification. These three cases are complementary in several ways. First, these mixed languages emerged in different geographical areas: the Andean area of South America, Western Canada (North America) and Tanzania (Africa), respectively.

G. Thomason and Kaufman 1991) where the mental process of relexification must be used as the main tool for creating a new lexicon. In spite of the differences discussed so far, both mixed languages and pidgin/ creole languages share the property of being created in a relatively short time span. Since relexification is proposed to be a process available to human cognition to serve, among other things, as a tool for creating new lexicons, and since this process has been shown to play a significant role in the genesis of mixed languages, it can be hypothesised to play a similar role in pidgin and creole genesis (see Lefebvre 1986).

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