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#3991: DeGraff on "regional differences" in Creole (fwd)

From: Michel DeGraff <degraff@MIT.EDU>

I was hoping not get bogged down in yet another debate on Creole, but it
looks like no one else besides Serge Michel was going to point inaccuracies
in Grey's report on Northern `Creole'.  In fact, Grey's report seems
riddled with blatant inaccuracies.  Since people in this forum seem truly
interested in the true nature of the real Creole, I must keep looking over
the shoulder of our self-declared "phonetically correct" mambo of the
"pure" and "real" vodou...

NB: I am NOT a native speaker of the Northern Creole dialect, so I'd very
appreciate any corrections, comments and/or refinements from the
appropriate speakers.  I think there are a few on this list.

Grey writes:

> Of course we all know that Cap Haitian Creole is different, too - I was 
> surprised, really, just how different!  When I went to Cap Haitian the first 
> time I could scarcely understand what people were saying to me! 

> Manje pam --------->  manjam
> Sa ki pou mwen ------->  Sa ki nam
> Pa ou  --------->  Ki na ou
> etc.

Grey's spelling gives a false representation of where the words begin and

> Manje pam --------->  manjam

"manje pam" is really "Manje pa m" (three words, not two)

To wit:

Manje pa m  `food for me'          (literally)
Manje pa w  `food for you'            "
Manje pa l  `food for him/her/it'     "

So "manje pa m" is indeed three words. Remember: The orthography is
MORPHO-phonemic, the "morpho" has to do with "morphology", which has to do
with an approximation of the structure of words, specially word boundaries.

Similarly, "manjam" is really "manje a m" (three words, not one)

To wit:

manje a m  `food for me'          (literally)
manje a w  `food for you'            "
manje a y  `food for him/her/it'     "

As of:

> Pa ou  --------->  Ki na ou

"ki na ou" is really "kin a ou".  

"... kin a ..." is the Northern equivalent of "... pa ..."; the "a" in "kin
a" is etymologically related to the French preposition "a`" as in French
"ca, c'est a` moi" (= Creole "sa a se pa m" or "sa se kin a m").

In fact, some Northerners also say: "kin pa m la" (as variant of "kin a m
la") with both "kin" and "pa".  This variant clearly shows that the
relevant morphemes are "... kin a ...", and not "... ki na ...".

Well ... except perhaps in Grey's "phonetically correct" Creole (as spoken
by the mambo of the "real" and "pure" Vodou).



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