Chapter published in:Noun Phrases in Creole Languages: A multi-faceted approach
Edited by Marlyse Baptista and Jacqueline Guéron
[Creole Language Library 31] 2007
► pp. 243–263
9. The bare NP in Lesser Antillean
This paper examines the structure and behavior of noun phrases in Lesser Antillean French Creoles. It is argued that bare NPs have an indefinite plural reading when appearing in isolation, but that [Indef, Sg], [Def, PL] and [Def, Sg] readings are possible in case a noun phrase with the relevant properties has been previously introduced in the discourse. Lesser Antillean thus displays sensitivity to discourse anaphora in a way that French, the superstrate language in question, does not. When definiteness and number are spelled out in the Lesser Antillean noun phrase, this is done by means of independent particles, leading to a syntax that is superficially more complex than that of an agglutinative/flexional language like French. Post-nominal determiners are shown to be derived via XP-movement, not head movement. Certain contrasts between Guadeloupean and Martinican are shown to be due to different endpoints of the moved XP.
Published online: 14 November 2007