John H. McWhorter

List of John Benjamins publications for which John H. McWhorter plays a role.



Language Change and Language Contact in Pidgins and Creoles

Edited by John H. McWhorter

[Creole Language Library, 21] 2000. viii, 503 pp.
Subjects Contact Linguistics | Creole studies | Historical linguistics | Sociolinguistics and Dialectology


McWhorter, John H. 2020 Chapter 11. Concluding reflectionsAustronesian Undressed: How and why languages become isolating, Gil, David and Antoinette Schapper (eds.), pp. 483–506 | Chapter
The languages of central Flores are all but devoid of affixation, despite that this is hardly typical of the Austronesian languages of their family, including closely related languages elsewhere on the island and nearby ones. A traditional approach to these central Flores languages’ typology is to… read more
It is assumed among linguists that radical analyticity is a typological state that a language might develop into as the result of ordinary stepwise grammatical change. It is well-known that extensive second-language acquisition tends to make languages more, or even completely, analytic. Contact,… read more
McWhorter, John H. 2014 A response to MufweneJournal of Pidgin and Creole Languages 29:1, pp. 172–176 | Article
McWhorter, John H. 2011 Tying up loose ends: The Creole Prototype after allDiachronica 28:1, pp. 82–117 | Article
Since the introduction of the Creole Prototype hypothesis in 1998, much of the controversy it has occasioned has centered on a question as to whether it is scientifically appropriate to reconstruct creoles as born as pidgins, rather than as results of only moderately transformational… read more
McWhorter, John H. 2008 Hither and thither in Saramaccan CreoleStudies in Language 32:1, pp. 163–195 | Article
Manhattan Institute read more
McWhorter, John H. 2008 Deconstructing CreoleJournal of Pidgin and Creole Languages 23:2, pp. 289–306 | Article
McWhorter, John H. 2008 Why does a language undress? Strange cases in IndonesiaLanguage Complexity: Typology, contact, change, Miestamo, Matti, Kaius Sinnemäki and Fred Karlsson (eds.), pp. 167–190 | Article
I have argued in various presentations that it is inherent to natural grammars to maintain a considerable level of complexity over time: simplifications occur, but are counterbalanced by complexifications due to grammaticalization, reanalysis, and new patterns created by phonetic erosion. I argue… read more
McWhorter, John H. 2008 Reply to LefebvreStudies in Language 32:1, pp. 207–209 | Article
McWhorter, John H. 2006 Creole transplantation: A source of solutions to resistant anomaliesHistory, Society and Variation: In honor of Albert Valdman, Clements, J. Clancy, Thomas A. Klingler, Deborah Piston-Hatlen and Kevin J. Rottet (eds.), pp. 103–133 | Article
McWhorter, John H. 2006 What the creolist learns from Cantonese and KabardianDiachronica 23:1, pp. 143–184 | Article
McWhorter, John H. 2005 Review of Smith & Veenstra (2001): Creolization and ContactStudies in Language 29:3, pp. 729–734 | Review
McWhorter, John H. 2005 Review of Lefebvre (2004): Issues in the study of pidgin and creole languagesCreole Language in Creole Literatures, Mühleisen, Susanne (ed.), pp. 211–218 | Review
McWhorter, John H. 2002 What happened to English?Diachronica 19:2, pp. 217–272 | Article
Summary It has become widely accepted that English has undergone no interruption in transmission, its paucity of inflection treated as a random loss paralleled in Scandinavian. This paper argues that English has in fact lost more of the Proto-Germanic inheritance than any other Germanic language… read more
McWhorter, John H. 2000 Defining “creole” as a synchronic termDegrees of Restructuring in Creole Languages, Neumann-Holzschuh, Ingrid and Edgar W. Schneider (eds.), pp. 85 ff. | Article
McWhorter, John H. 2000 Review article:Strange bedfellows: Recovering the origins of Black EnglishDiachronica 17:2, pp. 389–432 | Review article
McWhorter, John H. 1999 John McWhorter in response to Derek BickertonJournal of Pidgin and Creole Languages 14:1, pp. 215–216 | Miscellaneous
McWhorter, John H. 1998 The Heart of the Issue: Input DeprivationJournal of Pidgin and Creole Languages 13:1, pp. 208–210 | Miscellaneous
Comparative and sociohistorical facts suggest that Sranan arose among castle slaves on the Gold Coast in the 1630s. Jamaican Maroon Spirit Language is an offshoot of early Sranan, which allows the deduction that créole English had developed in Suriname by 1671. However, during the English hegemony… read more
Unlike most Caribbean English-based creoles, Saramaccan has two predicate negator allomorphs, á and ná. While aspects of their distribution suggest that the former is simply a phonologically eroded reflex of the latter, synchronic, diachronic, and comparative evidence indicate that á actually… read more
McWhorter, John H. 1996 John H. McWhorterJournal of Pidgin and Creole Languages 11:1, pp. 180–183 | Miscellaneous
This paper shows that the Atlantic English-based Creoles share six features which are derivable neither from superstratal, substratal, nor universal influences, and therefore constitute idiosyncratic correspondences. The six features indicate that these Creoles all derive from a single ancestor of… read more
McWhorter, John H. 1994 Rejoinder to Derek BickertonJournal of Pidgin and Creole Languages 9:1, pp. 79–93 | Reply
Bickerton's bioprogram hypothesis uses serial verbs as a primary demonstration that Saramaccan represents the closest approximation to Universal Grammar extant, judging from the fact that speakers of mutually unintelligible West African languages formulated it with little contact with European… read more
McWhorter, John H. 1992 NI and the Copula System in Swahili: A Diachronic ApproachDiachronica 9:1, pp. 15–46 | Article
SUMMARY The copula in present-day Swahili is primarily expressed with the non-variant item ni in all persons. Historical documents show that the copula situation was markedly different as recently as two centuries ago. There was a full verb -li "to be" which was used only with locative sentences,… read more