Creole linguistics

Pieter Muysken
Table of contents

Creole languages are languages of which we know more or less precisely when they emerged. Contrary to other languages, which tend to arise through a very gradual process of dialect differentiation in an uninterrupted linguistic tradition, creoles result from interruptions in the ordinary transmission of language from generation to generation. When we say that the moment of emergence is known, we are talking about a fifty year period. Sranan, for instance, the creole of coastal Surinam, emerged between 1650 and 1700.

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