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Lecture 8

LINC47H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Lexifier, Saramaccan Language, Bantu Languages


Department
Linguistics
Course Code
LINC47H3
Professor
Karen Mc Crindle
Lecture
8

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FRE/LINC47H Pidgin and Creole Languages
1
Session 8 - class outline
The English vowel system
The chart represents your tongue
Features of the English Vowel System
o Height
High: when you articulate the sound, the position of the tongue is
high
Mid: when you articulate the sound, the position of the tongue is in
the middle
Note: The vowel for court is not seen in Canadian English
Low: when you articulate the sound, the position of the tongue is
low
o Tense vs. Lax
Tense when you produce a sound, the tongue muscle tenses.
The sounds are longer in duration. The sounds that are circled in
the picture are tense vowels.
Lax when you produce a sound, the tongue muscle is in a
relaxed position. The sounds are shorter in duration. The vowels
that are not circled in the picture are lax vowels.
o Frontness/Backness
Front: when you articulate the sounds, the tongue comes to the
front of the mouth
Mid: when you articulate the sounds, the tongue goes to the middle
of the mouth
Back: when you articulate the sounds, the tongue goes to the back
of the mouth
Simple vowels/ monophthongs consists of one vowel
Complex vowels/diphthongs combination of vowels and glides
o aj fly
o aw cow
o oj toy
o ej pray
Finish Lexicosemantics (ch. 4)
Phonology - Vowels Ch. 5, p. 137-153
Synchronic approach
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FRE/LINC47H Pidgin and Creole Languages
2
Examining phonological traits of P&C
Some features in creoles not in superstrates
The phonology/features of creoles result from…
1. The influence of superstrate and substrate languages
You are able to see the traces of superstrate and substrate languages in the
creole’s phonology
2. Universals of adult second language acquisition
This is similar to pidginization because of the following factors
o Limited lexicon and other linguistics elements
Pidgins and second languages have the same cognitive and
linguistics universals
o You are using the first language in order to learn the target language
(second language or pidgin)
o You adapt the sounds of the second language by using your first language
A Spanish Native speaker who is learning English adds a vowel in
front of sp, st, sk consonant clusters because this consonant cluster
doesn’t exist in Spanish
When words from any superstrate languages are borrowed, you
tend to adapt the phonology of your Native language to the words
The person who speaks creoles is not aware of the features of the
pidgin/creole’s superstrate language because the superstrate
language disappear in the earlier stages of
pidgnization/creolization
3. Adstrate languages languages that have same status in terms of prestige
4. Internal processes that have nothing to do with the supestrate and substrate
langugaes
These processes happen naturally
Theoretical position:
Creole features illustrate influence of superstrate and substrate languages,
universals of adult second-language acquisition, borrowing from adstrate
languages, internal creole processes, mixture of all or some of these forces
Difficult to determine which features came from superstrate and which came from
substrate
"Linguistic detective work" (Holm)
Less continuity between European languages and their creoles than between them
and their overseas regional dialects
Creoles are different in terms of
Social and economic status
Educational level of the speakers
Creole continuum
o Basilect spoken by people who are in lower status
Basilect is spoken by those who are at lower status or don’t have
much education
o Mesolect
o Acrolect spoken by people who are in the higher status
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FRE/LINC47H Pidgin and Creole Languages
3
Features of the West African language phonology
(1) Syllable structure is CV
Teacher /tiər/ it has 2 syllables because there are 2 vowels in the
pronunciation
o First syllable: CV
o Second syllable: CVC
When you syllabify words in African languages, CV is common. If there are 3
syllables in a word, CVC is seen
(2) There are co-articulated consonants
Co-articulated 2 sounds are articulated at the same time and as a result it is
considered to be one sound
o e.g. kp, gb
(3) Consonants are pre-nasalized
When producing nasal sounds, the air passes through the nose
Nasal sounds n, m, ŋ
Pre-nasalized consonants when the consonant comes before the nasal will be
nasalized
o e.g. mb, nd
o They are considered to be one sound
The features of the West African languages is a strong evidence that creoles are
affected by their substrate languages
o The phonology of the creoles are not seen in their superstrate languages
(i.e. European languages)
Phonological changes from language contact
Monolingual creole speakers have features of substrate languages in their speech
even though they have no knowledge of the substrate languages themselves
Speakers identify a phoneme in the second language with one in their first
language and then subject it to the first language's phonetic rules
Transfer of phonemes (sometimes modified)
Transfer of intonation and syllabic structure
Universals play a role (ex. /d/ or /m/)
o Ex. Eng that /ðæt/ => JCE dat /dat/
Phonotactic Rules
Most West African languages have a basic CV syllabic structure, carried over into
many creoles
Words borrowed from lexifier had to undergo significant transformation, such
as...
1. Aphesis
Omission of one or more sounds at beginning of a word
o Ex. Sranan CE til / krub ≈ E still / scrub
HCF gade / bliye ≈ F regarder / oublier
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