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Dhanis Jaganauth


Lecture Hours:
2 hours per week

1 hour per week



L32B - Creole Linguistics
Course Objectives:
  To help you to understand some of the main issues in the field of Creole Linguistics.
(ii) To develop your ability to debate these issues (as stated in the academic literature).
(iii) To develop your ability to conduct your own fieldwork with a view to answering simple but significant research questions relevant to Creole Linguistics.


Areas To Be Covered

Basic concepts and issues:
Creolisation, pidginisation.
Issues of origin: monogenesis, polygenesis, the language bioprogramme hypothesis.
2. Linguistic features of Atlantic and Indian Ocean Creoles: lexicosemantics, phonology syntax
3. Potential sources of Atlantic Creole features:
-from lexically-related European languages (particularly 18th century regional dialects) and/or
-from West African languages.
4. Use of language data to determine small patches of Caribbean Creole language history:
i. Berbice Dutch Creole; ii. Jamaican Maroon Spirit Language.
5. A re-examination of the issue of origin in light of information in language data, historical data, and sociolinguistic theory (notably “Acts of Identity).

Research Papers - Group Tasks:

Identify the major linguistic features of Creole languages using samples of texts from a range of Creole languages, including Berbice Dutch and Jamaican Maroon Spirit Language.
ii) Prepare, in detail, the historical background of the two languages to be examined.
iii) Identify an issue or a hypothesis that you would like to explore.
iv) Prepare fieldwork proposals related to exploring this issue in the relevant languages.
v) Post-fieldwork discussion and final preparation of project reports.


One short research paper (40%)
One final 2-hour exam (60%)

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