Morphological Processes in Haitian Creole
The Question of Substratum and Simplification
In this paper we examine the morphology of Haitian with respect to two issues widely discussed in the literature on creoles: 1) the substratum issue, formulated in our view in terms of the role played by relexification in the formation of Haitian Creole; and 2) the widespread assumption that creole languages are morphologically simpler than their lexifier language. These two issues are not unrelated. The morphological simplicity assumption is based on a comparison of creole with European languages that have contributed the bulk of their respective lexicons. In order to discuss the two issues, we will compare the productive morphology of Haitian with that of French (the lexifier language), and Fon, a contributive West African language. The major findings of this paper with respect to the issues addressed here are the following: 1) productive affixes of Haitian Creole pattern in a significant way with the model of contributing West African languages more so than with French; and 2) the presumed morphological simplicity of creoles reduces to the selection of the unmarked option with respect to the position of morphological heads.
Published online: 01 January 1989
Cited by 7 other publications
2015. Review of Michaelis, Maurer, Haspelmath, Huber & Revis (2013): The Survey of Pidgin and Creole Languages English-based and Dutch-based languages Portuguese-based, Spanish-based, and French-based languages Contact languages based on languages from Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas . Studies in Language 39:2 ► pp. 501 ff.
Lefebvre, Claire, Anne-Marie Brousseau & Sandra Filipovich
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