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#4564: Re: #4548: Valdman replies to DeGraff

From: valdman <valdman@taloa.unice.fr>

RE Michel DeGraff's comments, below:

	"One thing though that I object to is Valdman's extension of Confiant's
car-vs-bike metaphor as applied to French-vs-Creole.  This is one of these
seemingly-innocent metaphors with much damage potential in terms of
attitudes toward Haitian Creole. And (negative) attitudes about Creole is
of the core factors that have blocked Haiti's development (e.g. universal
literacy and education) for centuries."

I would like to explicate the intertext of my extension of Confiant's
metaphor as well as his own use, at least the way I understand it.

What Confiant was saying is that if you want to have the Creolite
movement's  view of Martinican culture reach a wider culture use French (a
car) instead of Creole (a bike).
That is a laudable goal and can be defended given the relationship between
Creole and French in that integral part of France. Despite some of the
inconsistencies pointed out by DeGraff, Confiant is one of the pioneers of
hte use of Martinican Creole and a champion of the inherent worth of the

When I stated that given the bad state of roads in Haiti, the use of a bike
(kreyòl) rather than a car (French) might be more efficient, I meant, for
example, that given the poor educational infrastructure and limited
resources in Haiti, it is more efficient to use kreyòl as the classroom
language.  As the organizer of the first conference on the use of kreyòl in
Haiti before the Bernard Reform was launched (Creole et enseignement
primaire en Haiti), I wouldn't want to be painted as a linguist who views
it as an inadequate language--a linguistic bike.
Kreyòl pale, kreyòl konprann!

Albert Valdman