Chapter published in:Language Contact in Africa and the African Diaspora in the Americas: In honor of John V. Singler
Edited by Cecelia Cutler, Zvjezdana Vrzić and Philipp Angermeyer
[Creole Language Library 53] 2017
► pp. 305–322
Variationist creolistics, with a phonological focus
John Singler is among a relatively small group of variationist creolists who have worked on phonological variation, which, although less of a research focus in creolistics than grammatical variation, can be illuminated by and illuminate quantitative and other systematic approaches to sociolinguistic variation and change. I illustrate this by introducing quantitative data on vowel laxing, h-deletion, and other phonological processes in the personal pronoun system of Guyanese Creole. In each case the quantitative data contribute to decisions about basic vs derived forms, and enrich our understanding of linguistic constraints and the sociolinguistic milieu (social class, gender, age and style) in which the variation is embedded. Phonological variation in pidgins and creoles can in turn enhance our understanding of larger theoretical issues within variation theory and creolistics.
Keywords: Guyanese Creole, phonological variation, quantitative analysis, social class, gender, age
Published online: 12 July 2017