Edited by Cecelia Cutler, Zvjezdana Vrzić and Philipp Angermeyer
[Creole Language Library 53] 2017
► pp. 225–250
Unity in diversity
The homogeneity of the substrate and the grammar of space in the African and Caribbean English-lexifier creoles
John Singler’s principle of the homogeneity of the substrate can account for the shape of locative structures in the Afro-Caribbean English-lexifier Creoles (AECs). These are modelled on typologically highly uniform substrate and adstrate structures across a broad swath of West and Central Africa. Common to the creoles and the African languages are the scarcity of Path-incorporating prepositions, the use of general locative prepositions in static and motion events, as well as the use of pre‑ or postpositional relator nouns. At the same time, the grammars of space of individual AECs like Sranan (Suriname) and Pichi (Equatorial Guinea) have diverged from each other due to differing lengths of contact with the lexifier English, and contact with different European superstrate languages.
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