Origine du créole

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Presentation Handout

Jonathan Sony

Reasons for creoles: bio-program vs. relexification



|Standard British English | Réunionnais Creole |Hawaian Creole |Português de Corlai |
|He walked |Li té march |He been walk |io ti marcha |
|Did he walk?|Li té march? |He been walk? |io ti marcha? |

Even though on different European languages and spread around the world grammatical/syntactical similarities between these creoles, too important, to be accredited to mere randomness. Construction of tense with an auxiliary (based on the past participle of the derived language)rather than affixation, questions formed by simply a shift in the tone of the voice… There are two main theories that opposes to try and bring an answer to this issue:

Creole languages emerged independently the one from the others, and similarities are due to rules of Universal Grammar and children second language acquisition as claimed by Bickerton. (polygenesis theory).

Or all pidgins andcreoles emerged from a single proto-pidgin and then diversified, regarding the other languages which it came into contact with. (Monogenesis/ Relexification)

1. The polygenetic hypothesis

Creole as a nativised pidgin

Creole languages are traditionally defined as : “hav[ing] developed from pidgins into full-fledged, complete languages.” Hugo SCHUCHARDT

A primordial ground for theemergence of a Creole is a multilingual community, with a single socially dominant or primary language (the superstrate language) and a number of socially dependent or secondary languages (substrate languages). Prime examples of these would be former slave plantations colonies as in the west-indies or in the Indian Ocean.

Hall (1966) puts forward the notion of the Pidgin-Creole life cycle: "ACreole language arises when a pidgin becomes the native language of a speech community."

Life-Cycle Model of Pidgins and Croles (Bakker):

Jargon ⎝ Pidgin ⎝ Pidgincreole ⎝ Creole

⇩ ⇩ ⇩

⇩ Post-Creole continuum ⇩

Post-pidgin continuum ⇘ ⇙Nativised version

of lexifier

Examples: Russenorsk, Haitian, Tok Pisin, Jamaican

Universal Grammar

The distinctive pattern of creole features represents “the surfacing of an innate program for creation of language that forms part of ourspecies‘ biological endowment. Program may be subject to modification” (cf. Chomsky: potential variability of innate grammar). Universalists assert that creoles developed according to universals of language development. According to the version of this hypothesis called the language bioprogram hypothesis (detailed further down), children who were exposed to a pidgin at an early age created a Creolelanguage by adopting only the lexicon of the pidgin. They expanded new grammars following the default specifications of the biological blueprint for language, known as universal grammar (= Bioprogram). In comparing cases where the lexifier language (that from which most of the vocabulary has been inherited) is the same, cross-creole structural differences are thought to arise from the variableamount of substrate influence retained by each creole from its pidgin stage. Other universalist hypotheses claim that creoles were developed by adults according to universals of second language acquisition, which allow substrate influence under specific conditions.

The Language Bioprogram Hypothesis

We can summarize the assumptions made by Bickerton’s LBH as follows:

Creoles develop in...