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Putting Back the Clock in Variation Studies

Derek Bickerton
Language
Vol. 53, No. 2 (Jun., 1977), pp. 353-360
DOI: 10.2307/413106
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/413106
Page Count: 8
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Putting Back the Clock in Variation Studies
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Abstract

The presentation of Washabaugh 1977 represents a retrograde step in the analysis of creole systems. Though he may be correct in his belief that the constraints on complementizer variation were inadequately stated in Bickerton 1971, his decision to replace that analysis by one based on lexical diffusion and the perception of surface structures is vitiated by a number of errors, both analytic and statistical, and ignores what is most interesting about linguistic change, i.e. the capacity of the human mind to make quite abstract generalizations about broad linguistic categories.

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