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#316: New book on creolization: DeGraff replies to Corbett (fwd)
From: Michel DeGraff <degraff@MIT.EDU>
Emmanuel Vedrine and Bob Corbett were kind enough to post announcements for
an anthology on linguistic creolization. This is a book I had much
pleasure working on as editor. Bob gave the following publication
> LANGUAGE CREATION AND LANGUAGE CHANGE: CREALIZATION, DIACHRONY, AND
> DEVELOPMENT. Edited by Michel DeGraff. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1999.
> ISBN # 0-262-04168-5. Published in cloth at $65.00
Bob also asks:
> If any of you find any on-line reviews please let me know and I'll post
> one to the group to give a more coherent view of what the book is all
> about, or I would welcome Michel or other scholars to send in a note.
Obviously, I am not able to act as reviewer here (I've already done that
for each particular article in the editing process). But I can try to give
a short introduction to the list. The book has two articles specifically
on the syntax of Haitian Creole, with observations on how Haitian Creole
may have emerged in history. More generally, the entire volume is
dedicated to elucidating the language-related cognitive processes and
mental representations that are implicated in the formation and use of
creole languages by native creole speakers. To this end, I enlisted the
helpful collaboration of linguists working on theoretical syntax, language
acquisition, historical linguistics and sign languages. My hunch is that
creole languages emerge in history as the result of the same sort of mental
mechanisms that are found in language acquisition by children and adults.
What makes creoles `special' is the `extraordinary' socio-historical
circumstances surrounding their birth, but at the individual and mental
level, linguistic creolization is ultimately the results of
species-specific `ordinary' mental processes, the kind of processes that
characterize all human beings.
A blurb of the book can be found at:
MIT Linguistics & Philosophy, 77 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge MA 02139-4307