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"Creoles, pidgins and the Middle English creolization ..

With respect to conditions for the creation or development ofcontact varieties on American soil, low proportions of targetlanguage (English) speakers relative to those learning it as asecond language favor pidginization and creolization.

pidgins and the Middle English creolization hypothesis

Table 10: Copula absence in two Barbadian data sets by followinggrammatical environment (adapted from Rickford and Blake 1990,table 3, and Rickford 1992b, table 3)Singler's (1991b, 1993) work on Non-Settler Liberian English (NSLE),a continuum ranging from a highly pidginized basilect to a LiberianStandard English acrolect, was important not only for providingthe first quantitative data on copula absence in an African pidginor creole, but also for suggesting (1991b:155) that the basilectalcopulas (locative , nominal invariant ) werenot replaced directly by in decreolization (as in ModelA, figure 2), but through an intermediatezero stage (Model B, figure 2).

Middle English creolization hypothesis.

pidgins and the Middle English creolization hypothesis.

Proposed by Hancock (1985) for the origin of English-based creoles ofthe West Indies, the Domestic Origin Hypothesis argues that, towardsthe end of the 16th century, English-speaking traders began to settlein the Gambia and rivers as well as in neighboring areassuch as the Bullom and Sherbro coasts. These settlers intermarriedwith the local population leading to mixed populations, and, as aresult of this intermarriage, an English pidgin was created. Thispidgin was learned by slaves in slave depots, who later on took it tothe West Indies and formed one component of the emerging Englishcreoles.

The Middle English creole hypothesis is the concept that the is a , i.e., a language that developed from a . The vast differences between and have led some historical linguists to claim that the language underwent creolisation at the time of either the or , or during both.

Creoles, pidgins and the Middle English creolization hypothesis

I see an undeniable correlation of race of speakers with the distinction presented in the title of this session. The legitimate offspring are roughly those varieties spoken typically by descendants of Europeans around the world, whereas the illegitimate ones are those spoken primarily by populations that have not fully descended from Europeans. Those who are not happy with this dichotomic distinction may also consider distinguishing the offspring of English on a continuum. One of its poles consists of varieties which are spoken typically by descendants of Europeans and whose legitimacy has hardly ever been disputed. The other pole consists of English pidgins and creoles, which have been stipulated as separate languages, despite their speakers' claim that they too speak English. In the middle range come varieties characterized as "non-native" or "indigenized." Below, I show how pernicious this practice is, starting with how the different varieties are named.

It is certain that English underwent changes, e.g., the collapse of all cases into and common. However, the reduction of unstressed to (i.e., to unpronounced vowels), due to a fixed stress location, contributed to this process, a pattern which is common to many (although a few, such as dialects of , , and , have not undergone this reduction of vowel sounds). The process of case collapse was also already underway in Old English. For example, in strong masculine nouns, where the nominative and accusative cases had become identical. Thus the simplification of noun declension from Old English to Middle English may have had causes unrelated to creolization.

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The Middle English creole hypothesis is the ..

With respect to importation, Stewart (1967),Dillard (1972), and Hancock (1986) favor the hypothesis that manyslaves arrived in the American colonies and the Caribbean alreadyspeaking some variety of West African Pidgin English (WAPE) orGuinea Coast Creole English (GCCE).

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