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#3789: On linguists absence of creativity: Valdman replies to Poincy





From: Albert Valdman <valdman@indiana.edu>

I believe Poincy confuses linguists with "illustrators" of krey˛l, 
that is, the people who try to adapt to the new domains of language 
use.  As krey˛l gains legitimacy among bilingual Haitians--all those 
that participate in the Corbett list, for example--the is a need to 
express new concepts and name artifacts not know by monolingual 
speakers.  Linguists do not create new words, they simply note what 
people say by.  Mow that we have computers, Linguists, such as 
myself, who do lexicography, in short, dictionary makers, collect 
written and oral samples of the language, analyze them, and then, on 
the basis of such criteria as frequency, etc. determine whether they 
have become part of the language.  So Poincy needs to give his advice 
not to linguists but to those who are creating the written norm for 
krey˛l.  I might point out that our own policy at the Creole 
Institute is to be very critical of any new word borrowed from 
French.  An examiantion of how we render English words and 
expressions in krey˛l in the Learner's Dictionary will demonstration 
our "basilectal" orientation,that is, we try to determine how people 
who don't speak French would render the English.
-- 
Albert Valdman
Rudy Professor of French & Italian and Linguistics
Indiana University
Ballantine Hall 604
1020 E. Kirkwood Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405-7103

Phone: 812/ 855-4988
Fax:   812/ 855-2386