A CREOLE LANGUAGE is a stable natural language developed from a mixture of different languages. While the concept is similar to that of a mixed or hybrid language , in the strict sense of the term, a mixed/hybrid language has derived from two or more languages, to such an extent that it is no longer closely related to the source languages. Creoles also differ from pidgins in that, while a pidgin has a highly simplified linguistic structure that develops as a means of establishing communication between two or more disparate language groups, a creole language is more complex, used for day-to-day purposes in a community, and acquired by children as a native language . Creole languages, therefore, have a fully developed vocabulary and system of grammar .
The precise number of creole languages is not known, particularly as
many are poorly attested or documented, but the list of creole
languages shows that creoles exist around the world. About one hundred
creole languages have arisen since 1500. These are predominantly based
on European languages, due to the
Age of Discovery
The lexicon (or, roughly, the base or essential vocabulary – such as "run" but not "running") of a creole language is largely supplied by the parent languages, particularly that of the most dominant group in the social context of the creole's construction. However, there are often clear phonetic and semantic shifts. On the other hand, the grammar that has evolved often has new or unique features that differ substantially from those of the parent languages.
* 1 Overview
* 2 History
* 2.1 Origin * 2.2 Geographic distribution * 2.3 Social and political status
* 3 Classification
* 3.1 Historic classification * 3.2 Substrate and superstrate * 3.3 Decreolization
* 4 Creole genesis
* 4.1 Theories focusing on European input
* 4.1.1 Monogenetic theory of pidgins and creoles * 4.1.2 Domestic origin hypothesis * 4.1.3 European dialect origin hypothesis * 4.1.4 Foreigner talk and baby talk * 4.1.5 Imperfect L2 learning
* 4.2 Theories focusing on non-European input * 4.3 Gradualist and developmental hypotheses * 4.4 Universalist approaches
* 5 Recent study
* 5.1 Creole prototype * 5.2 Exceptionalism
* 6 See also
* 6.1 See also * 6.2 Creoles by main parent language
* 7 References * 8 Publications * 9 External links
A creole is believed to arise when a pidgin, developed by adults for use as a second language, becomes the native and primary language of their children – a process known as nativization . The pidgin-creole life cycle was studied by Hall in the 1960s.
Creoles share more grammatical similarities with each other than with the languages from which they are phylogenetically derived. However, there is no widely accepted theory that would account for those perceived similarities. Moreover, no grammatical feature has been shown to be specific to creoles, although it is generally acknowledged that creoles have simpler and less sophisticated grammar than longer-established languages.
Many of the creoles known today arose in the last 500 years, as a
result of the worldwide expansion of European maritime power and trade
Age of Discovery
Linguists now recognize that creole formation is a universal
phenomenon, not limited to the European colonial period, and an
important aspect of language evolution (see Vennemann (2003) ). For
example, in 1933
Sigmund Feist postulated a creole origin for the
Other scholars, such as Salikoko Mufwene , argue that pidgins and creoles arise independently under different circumstances, and that a pidgin need not always precede a creole nor a creole evolve from a pidgin. Pidgins, according to Mufwene, emerged in trade colonies among "users who preserved their native vernaculars for their day-to-day interactions." Creoles, meanwhile, developed in settlement colonies in which speakers of a European language, often indentured servants whose language would be far from the standard in the first place, interacted extensively with non-European slaves , absorbing certain words and features from the slaves' non-European native languages, resulting in a heavily basilectalized version of the original language. These servants and slaves would come to use the creole as an everyday vernacular, rather than merely in situations in which contact with a speaker of the superstrate was necessary.
The English term creole comes from French créole, which is cognate with the Spanish term criollo and Portuguese crioulo, all descending from the verb criar ('to breed' or 'to raise'), all coming from Latin creare ('to produce, create'). The specific sense of the term was coined in the 16th and 17th century, during the great expansion in European maritime power and trade that led to the establishment of European colonies in other continents.
The terms criollo and crioulo were originally qualifiers used
throughout the Spanish and Portuguese colonies to distinguish the
members of an ethnic group who were born and raised locally from those
who immigrated as adults. They were most commonly applied to nationals
of the colonial power, e.g. to distinguish españoles criollos (people
born in the colonies from Spanish ancestors) from españoles
peninsulares (those born in the Iberian Peninsula, i.e. Spain).
As a consequence of colonial European trade patterns, most of the
known European-based creole languages arose in coastal areas in the
equatorial belt around the world, including the
Many of those creoles are now extinct, but others still survive in
Atlantic Creole languages are based on European languages with elements from African and possibly Amerindian languages. Indian Ocean Creole languages are based on European languages with elements from Malagasy and possibly other Asian languages. There are, however, creoles like Nubi and Sango that are derived solely from non-European languages.
SOCIAL AND POLITICAL STATUS
Because of the generally low status of the Creole peoples in the eyes of prior European colonial powers, creole languages have generally been regarded as "degenerate" languages, or at best as rudimentary "dialects" of the politically dominant parent languages. Because of this, the word "creole" was generally used by linguists in opposition to "language", rather than as a qualifier for it.
Another factor that may have contributed to the relative neglect of creole languages in linguistics is that they do not fit the 19th-century neogrammarian "tree model" for the evolution of languages, and its postulated regularity of sound changes (these critics including the earliest advocates of the wave model , Johannes Schmidt and Hugo Schuchardt , the forerunners of modern sociolinguistics ). This controversy of the late 19th century profoundly shaped modern approaches to the comparative method in historical linguistics and in creolistics . Haitian Creole in use at car rental counter, USA
Because of social, political, and academic changes brought on by decolonization in the second half of the 20th century, creole languages have experienced revivals in the past few decades. They are increasingly being used in print and film, and in many cases, their community prestige has improved dramatically. In fact, some have been standardized, and are used in local schools and universities around the world. At the same time, linguists have begun to come to the realization that creole languages are in no way inferior to other languages. They now use the term "creole" or "creole language" for any language suspected to have undergone creolization, terms that now imply no geographic restrictions nor ethnic prejudices.
According to their external history, four types of creoles have been distinguished: plantation creoles, fort creoles, maroon creoles, and creolized pidgins. By the very nature of a creole language, the phylogenetic classification of a particular creole usually is a matter of dispute; especially when the pidgin precursor and its parent tongues (which may have been other creoles or pidgins) have disappeared before they could be documented.
SUBSTRATE AND SUPERSTRATE
The terms substrate and superstrate are often used when two languages interact. However, the meaning of these terms is reasonably well-defined only in second language acquisition or language replacement events, when the native speakers of a certain source language (the substrate) are somehow compelled to abandon it for another target language (the superstrate). The outcome of such an event is that erstwhile speakers of the substrate will use some version of the superstrate, at least in more formal contexts. The substrate may survive as a second language for informal conversation. As demonstrated by the fate of many replaced European languages (such as Etruscan , Breton , and Venetian ), the influence of the substrate on the official speech is often limited to pronunciation and a modest number of loanwords. The substrate might even disappear altogether without leaving any trace.
However, there is dispute over the extent to which the terms "substrate" and "superstrate" are applicable to the genesis or the description of creole languages. The language replacement model may not be appropriate in creole formation contexts, where the emerging language is derived from multiple languages without any one of them being imposed as a replacement for any other. The substratum-superstratum distinction becomes awkward when multiple superstrata must be assumed (such as in Papiamentu ), when the substratum cannot be identified, or when the presence or the survival of substratal evidence is inferred from mere typological analogies. On the other hand, the distinction may be meaningful when the contributions of each parent language to the resulting creole can be shown to be very unequal, in a scientifically meaningful way. In the literature on Atlantic Creoles , "superstrate" usually means European and "substrate" non-European or African.
Since creole languages rarely attain official status, the speakers of a fully formed creole may eventually feel compelled to conform their speech to one of the parent languages. This decreolization process typically brings about a post-creole speech continuum characterized by large-scale variation and hypercorrection in the language.
It is generally acknowledged that creoles have a simpler grammar and more internal variability than older, more established languages. However, these notions are occasionally challenged. (See also language complexity .)
There are a variety of theories on the origin of creole languages, all of which attempt to explain the similarities among them. Arends, Muysken & Smith (1995) outline a fourfold classification of explanations regarding creole genesis:
* Theories focusing on European input * Theories focusing on non-European input * Gradualist and developmental hypotheses * Universalist approaches
THEORIES FOCUSING ON EUROPEAN INPUT
Monogenetic Theory Of Pidgins And Creoles
The monogenetic theory of pidgins and creoles hypothesizes that they
are all derived from a single
Mediterranean Lingua Franca
Domestic Origin Hypothesis
Proposed by Hancock (1985) for the origin of English-based creoles of
the West Indies, the Domestic Origin Hypothesis argues that, towards
the end of the 16th century, English-speaking traders began to settle
in the Gambia and
The French creoles are the foremost candidates to being the outcome
of "normal" linguistic change and their creoleness to be sociohistoric
in nature and relative to their colonial origin. Within this
theoretical framework, a French creole is a language phylogenetically
based on French , more specifically on a 17th-century koiné French
Foreigner Talk And Baby Talk
The Foreigner Talk (FT) hypothesis argues that a pidgin or creole language forms when native speakers attempt to simplify their language in order to address speakers who do not know their language at all. Because of the similarities found in this type of speech and speech directed to a small child, it is also sometimes called baby talk .
Arends, Muysken * loss of determiners or use as determiners of demonstrative pronouns, adjectives or adverbs; * placement of a negative particle in preverbal position; * use of adverbs to express modality; * fixed single word order with no inversion in questions; * reduced or absent nominal plural marking.
Imperfect L2 learning is compatible with other approaches, notably the European dialect origin hypothesis and the universalist models of language transmission.
THEORIES FOCUSING ON NON-EUROPEAN INPUT
Theories focusing on the substrate, or non-European, languages attribute similarities amongst creoles to the similarities of African substrate languages. These features are often assumed to be transferred from the substrate language to the creole or to be preserved invariant from the substrate language in the creole through a process of relexification : the substrate language replaces the native lexical items with lexical material from the superstrate language while retaining the native grammatical categories. The problem with this explanation is that the postulated substrate languages differ amongst themselves and with creoles in meaningful ways. Bickerton (1981) argues that the number and diversity of African languages and the paucity of a historical record on creole genesis makes determining lexical correspondences a matter of chance. Dillard (1970) coined the term "cafeteria principle" to refer to the practice of arbitrarily attributing features of creoles to the influence of substrate African languages or assorted substandard dialects of European languages.
For a representative debate on this issue, see the contributions to Mufwene (1993) ; for a more recent view, Parkvall (2000) .
Because of the sociohistoric similarities amongst many (but by no
means all) of the creoles, the
Atlantic slave trade
GRADUALIST AND DEVELOPMENTAL HYPOTHESES
One class of creoles might start as pidgins , rudimentary second languages improvised for use between speakers of two or more non-intelligible native languages. Keith Whinnom (in Hymes (1971) ) suggests that pidgins need three languages to form, with one (the superstrate) being clearly dominant over the others. The lexicon of a pidgin is usually small and drawn from the vocabularies of its speakers, in varying proportions. Morphological details like word inflections , which usually take years to learn, are omitted; the syntax is kept very simple, usually based on strict word order. In this initial stage, all aspects of the speech – syntax, lexicon, and pronunciation – tend to be quite variable, especially with regard to the speaker's background.
If a pidgin manages to be learned by the children of a community as a native language, it may become fixed and acquire a more complex grammar, with fixed phonology, syntax, morphology, and syntactic embedding. Pidgins can become full languages in only a single generation . "Creolization" is this second stage where the pidgin language develops into a fully developed native language. The vocabulary, too, will develop to contain more and more items according to a rationale of lexical enrichment.
Universalist models stress the intervention of specific general processes during the transmission of language from generation to generation and from speaker to speaker. The process invoked varies: a general tendency towards semantic transparency , first language learning driven by universal process, or general process of discourse organization . The main universalist theory is still Bickerton\'s language bioprogram theory , proposed in the 1980s. Bickerton claims that creoles are inventions of the children growing up on newly founded plantations . Around them, they only heard pidgins spoken, without enough structure to function as natural languages ; and the children used their own innate linguistic capacities to transform the pidgin input into a full-fledged language. The alleged common features of all creoles would then be the consequence of those innate abilities being universal.
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The last decade has seen the emergence of some new questions about the nature of creoles: in particular, the question of how complex creoles are and the question of whether creoles are indeed "exceptional" languages.
Some features that distinguish creole languages from noncreoles have been proposed (by Bickerton, for example).
John McWhorter has proposed the following list of features to indicate a CREOLE PROTOTYPE:
* a lack of inflectional morphology (other than at most two or three inflectional affixes), * a lack of tone on monosyllabic words, and * a lack of semantically opaque word formation.
McWhorter hypothesizes that these three properties exactly characterize a creole. However, the creole prototype hypothesis has been disputed:
* Henri Wittmann (1999) and David Gil (2001) argue that languages such as Manding , Soninke , Magoua French and Riau Indonesian have all these three features but show none of the sociohistoric traits of creole languages. * Others (see overview in Muysken they argue that creoles are structurally no different from any other language, and that creole is a sociohistoric concept – not a linguistic one – encompassing displaced populations and slavery.
Thomason "> question the abnormal transmission of languages in a creole setting and argue that the processes which created today's creole languages are no different from universal patterns of language change.
Given these objections to creole as a concept, articles such as "Against Creole Exceptionalism" by DeGraff and texts like "Deconstructing Creole" by Ansaldo and Matthews have arisen which question the idea that creoles are exceptional in any meaningful way. Additionally, Mufwene (2002) argues that some Romance languages are potential creoles but that they are not considered as such by linguists because of a historical bias against such a view.
CREOLES BY MAIN PARENT LANGUAGE
Arabic-based creole languages
* Assamese based: Nagamese
* Chinese-based: Tangwang ,
Dutch-based creole languages
English-based creole languages
French-based creole languages
* ^ http://semantics.uchicago.edu/kennedy/classes/sum07/myths/creoles.pdf * ^ http://euljss.eul.edu.tr/euljss/si526.pdf * ^ https://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~jcgood/jcgood-JPCL.pdf * ^ Linguistics, ed. Anne E. Baker, Kees Hengeveld, p. 436 * ^ Wardhaugh (2002 :61) * ^ Hall (1966) * ^ Bickerton (1983 :116–122) * ^ Winford (1997 :138); cited in Wardhaugh (2002) * ^ Wittmann (1999) * ^ Mufwene (2000) * ^ A B Gil (2001) * ^ A B Muysken ">"". Humanities.uchicago.edu. Retrieved 2010-04-24. * ^ Holm (1988) . * ^ A B See Meijer & Muysken (1977) . * ^ Traugott (1977) * ^ Holm (1988, 1989) * ^ Arends, Muysken & Smith (1995 :15) * ^ Traugott (1977) * ^ A B Weinreich (1953) * ^ Mufwene (1993) * ^ Singler (1988) * ^ Singler (1996) * ^ Recent investigations about substrates and superstrates, in creoles and other languages, includes Feist (1932) , Weinreich (1953) , Jungemann (1955) , Martinet (1955) , Hall (1974) , Singler (1983) , and Singler (1988) . * ^ Parkvall (2000) * ^ "Creole and pidgin language structure in cross-linguistic perspective". Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology – Department of Linguistics. August 2013. * ^ Arends, Muysken & Smith (1995 :9) * ^ Fournier (1998) ,Wittmann (1995) , Wittmann (1998) . * ^ Whorf (1956) * ^ Bailey & Maroldt (1977) * ^ such as in Taylor (1977) * ^ Whinnom (1956) , Whinnom (1965) * ^ Thompson (1961) * ^ Stewart (1962) * ^ There are some similarities in this line of thinking with Hancock\'s domestic origin hypothesis. * ^ Wittmann (1983, 1995, 2001), Fournier (1998) , Fournier cf. the article on Quebec French and the History of Quebec French * ^ See, for example, Ferguson (1971) * ^ Wardhaugh (2002 :73) * ^ Based on 19th-century intuitions, approaches underlying the imperfect L2 learning hypothesis have been followed up in the works of Schumann (1978) , Anderson (1983) , Seuren & Wekker (1986) , Arends, Muysken & Smith (1995) , Geeslin (2002) , Hamilton & Coslett (2008) . * ^ See the article on relexification for a discussion of the controversy surrounding the retaining of substrate grammatical features through relexification * ^ Wardhaugh (2002 :56–57) * ^ See Bickerton (1981) , Bickerton (1983) , Bickerton (1984) , Bickerton (1988) , and Bickerton (1991) * ^ See Bickerton (1983) * ^ See McWhorter (1998) and McWhorter (2005) * ^ Muysken & Law (2001) * ^ McWhorter (1998) * ^ McWhorter & (2005) * ^ Wittmann-McWhorter debate * ^ Mufwene (2000), Wittmann (2001) * ^ i.e. Degraff (2003) * ^ i.e. Ansaldo & Matthews (2007)
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Language Acquisition, Rowley, MA: Newbury House
* Ansaldo, U.; Matthews, S. (2007), "Deconstructing creole: The
rationale", Typological Studies in Language, 73: 1–20, ISSN
0167-7373 , doi :10.1075/tsl.73.02ans
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