In this study, the focus is on three key differences in five Indo-Portuguese creoles: differences in phonological inventory, in the core lexicons, and in the syllable structure of the creoles. An account for these is based on two criteria and the distinction between borrowing and shift. The criterion used to account for the differences in the phonological inventories and the core lexicons is a dynamic of borrowing, shown to be sensitive to the chronology of the Portuguese presence in the different communities. The distinct treatment of the Portuguese post-tonic syllables, by contrast, is argued to be part of a shift dynamic.
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