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Lecture 11

LINC47H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Grammaticalization, Realis Mood, Present Tense

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Karen Mc Crindle

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FRE/LINC47H Pidgin and Creole Languages
Session 11 - Class outline
Morphosyntax (Reading: Ch. 6, p. 201-236)
Main influences of creoles
o Substrate languages phonology
o Superstrate language lexicon
o Social history: adstrate influences from neighbouring islands (Caribbean)
and areas
o Mixture of languages because of
Adstrate languages
Moving to different places for work
o Universals of second language (i.e. adult second language learning)
o Internal innovations: language and creoles evolve in their own ways
Morphoyntax is put together because they affect one another
o Morphology: you need to add or subtract morphemes for verbal
o Syntax is involved in sentence structure
Verb Phrase - Tense, Mood and Aspect (TMA) - review
English/French - temporal languages
Creoles - aspectual and modal languages
Temporal languages (e.g. French and English) are more morphological
o Temporal languages view time linearly (i.e. past, present, future)
Present tense is absolute, and the past and future tense are relative
to present tense
o Europeans tend to view the world linearly
Creoles are more syntactic
o Preverbal markers are not attached to words in the sentence
Aspectual and mood look at factors like
o Existence
o True/false
o Real/false
We generally think of verbs as tense
o BUT this is not true
What is TMA?
Tense Looks at how the event or situations happens in time
o Not all languages grammaticalize tense in the same way
Mood possibility, actuality, indicative
Aspect how something is envisioned to the speaker
o Ex. past perfect vs. past imperfect
You can combine tense with mood but this is less common
o Ex. Were it so subjunctive past tense
Why is TMA important in creolistics?
This helps us distinguish a creole from a pre-creole and semi-creole
o The verbal system shows that a creole is similar to the substrate language
o The preverbal markers come from the substrate language
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FRE/LINC47H Pidgin and Creole Languages
A lot of the creoles are mood or aspect based, especially basilect
Aspectual and modal languages
Tense - anterior / non-anterior
Mood - realis / irrealis
Aspect - non-punctual (habitual) / punctual (completive)
In creoles, tense focuses on the relationship between one situation and another
o It shows the order of things in which something happens
o One thing happens posterior or anterior to another event
*Comparison of Creole languages chart from previous lecture*
Haitian versus Fongbè
Inventory of markers nearly identical in meaning
Haitian Fongbè
a-va ná-
Used the same way in a sentence
Organization of verbal grammar essentially the same
Anterior Marker:
HCF Mari te prepare pat
Fongbè Mari kò dà wò
French Marie avait préparé de la pâte
English Marie had prepared some pasta
Anterior + Definite future markers = conditional (irrealis):
HCF Mari te ap prepare pat
Fongbè Mari kò ná dà wò
French Marie préparerait de la pâte
English Marie would prepare some pasta
Preverbal markers’ meanings are the same for Haitian creole and Fongbe
The word forms of the markers are different for Haitian creole and Fongbe
o Haitian creole’s superstrate language is French
The preverbal marker word forms are influenced by French words
TMA system - substrate languages (fongbè and others)
Verbal system relexified by European words (te = été, ap = après, av = va)
Haitian Creole formed by relexification of substrate languages
Relexification the lexicon of the creole is similar to their superstrate language.
The words are superimposed to the grammar of the substrate language
o Relexification can result in different word order
find more resources at
find more resources at
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