Mauritian Creole Reflexives
A Reply to Corne
Present-day Mauritian Creole has a complex reflexive system with the typologically interesting property that plain pronouns are unmarked for reflexivity [uR]. Corne (1988) describes this system, and argues that the [uR] pronouns developed late, as a result of French influence after the creole had jelled. We propose instead that the [uR] use of the pronouns developed during pidginization to fill a functional gap when the French clitics were lost. Early attestations of [uR] pronouns in Mauritian and comparative evidence from Seychelles Creole converge to support an early development of [uR] pronouns. Our proposal that the early development took place during pidginization is indirectly supported by cross-linguistic evidence: [uR] pronouns appear to be common in pidgins and Creoles, but rare elsewhere, suggesting that [uR] pronouns are one characteristic result of the pidginization process.
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