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The Homogeneity of the Substrate as a Factor in Pidgin/Creole Genesis

John Victor Singler
Language
Vol. 64, No. 1 (Mar., 1988), pp. 27-51
DOI: 10.2307/414784
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/414784
Page Count: 25
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The Homogeneity of the Substrate as a Factor in Pidgin/Creole Genesis
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Abstract

The likelihood that substrate languages play a key role in pidgin/creole genesis is widely acknowledged; still, because so many instantiations of substratal influence involve phenomena that occur widely in the world's languages, the question arises, for a given pidgin or creole, whether the responsible factor is the substrate or linguistic universals. To separate the specifically substratal from the universal, the present study examines highly marked substratal input and its impact. Resumptive pronouns in relative clauses are considered in two varieties of pidginized Liberian English and in the relevant Niger-Congo languages. The evidence indicates that degree of homogeneity in substratal input bears crucially on the extent of substratal influence in a pidgin or creole.

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