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Lecture 5

LINC47H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Haitian Creole, Chinese Pidgin English, French West Indies

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Karen Mc Crindle

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FRE/LINC47H Pidgin and Creole Languages
Session 5 - Class outline
Revision of Session 4:
Why is it important to take into account social factors when studying pidgins and creoles?
No equality in terms of power
o Pidgins and creoles aren’t created from two equal subordinates
Social factors dictated the creation of these pidgins and creoles
How would we define pidgins from a sociolinguistic perspective?
Second language (not anyone’s native language)
They arise in a particular social context (trade/business)
They are the result of non-intimate social contact of two groups who don’t have
equal power
o It could lead to an intimate contact, but initially its not
They can become stable over time and turn into creoles over time, or they can die
Process for pidgins: Jargon Pre-pidgin (tertiary hybridization) pidgins
Expanded pidgins
Linguistically they are reduced and simplified compared to other languages
How would we define creoles from a sociolinguistic perspective?
Whoever speakers creole as their first language, their parents spoke the pidgin
More complex structure compared to pidgins
Lexicon of superstrate languages and the grammar of the substrate languages
Tertiary Hybridization
o It’s a claim that upper language speakers played no role or minimal role in
o As opposed to the claim, European languages had deliberately &
systematically were simplified
o Pidgins were facilitated communication for the needs of substrate
language speakers
No power here
What types of sociolinguistic influences are most pronounced in studies of P&C?
o Primary factor in defining pidgins and creoles
o Social factors remain stable (don’t change)
Colonialism & Slavery
o A forced process
Social power & prestige
o Usually between a superstate and a substrate language
o There are rarely any pidgins created with two languages of equal power
Ex. Chinese pidgin and Russenork (Norwegian & Russian)
How do we know that there are varying degrees of creolization?
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Its not a process of all or noting
There’s a spectrum on the continuum
o Ex. French Haitian creole (farthest), Guadeloupe (in the middle),
Réunion (closet)
Case studies - Sociohistorical events & current sociolinguistic situation
Finish material from last week (refer to previous PowerPoint):
Portuguese-based creoles, Angolar Creole Portuguese, Spanish-based creoles,
Papiamentu Creole Spanish, Dutch-based creoles, Negerhollands Creole Dutch
More Case Studies (Reading: Chapter 3, p. 86-105)
French-based creoles
Colonization 17-19C
Former French West Africa still exists
Vietnam and Nouvelle Calédonie disappeared
Tayo creole Nouvelle Calédonie
o Newly found creole
Other creoles are divided into two subgroups
1. New World group - Caribbean islands, South America, Louisiana
Caribbea islands, South America, Louisiana
Plantation colonies
Large slave population
French Antilles Guadeloupe and Martinique
o Coexist with French
Commonwealth Antilles Dominica, St. Lucia, Grenada, Trinidad
o Coexist with English
Creoles in Grenada and Trinidad are disappearing
2. Isle de France group - Indian Ocean - Mauritius, Rodrigues, Seychelles, Réunion
Indian Ocean Mauritius, Rodrigues, Seychelles, Réunion
Settles in 18C
Workers from West Africa, East Africa, Madagascar and (on Mauritius) India
Structurally quite similar to New World group
Also vernacular French of St. Thomas, St. Barts, Louisiana, Réunion
Réunion a semi-creole?
Louisiana - Cajun
*1st group: slaves mainly from West Africa
*2nd group West Africa, East Africa, Madagascar and India
*Both groups are French based creoles
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