Deconstructing Creole

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Umberto Ansaldo, Stephen Matthews, Lisa Lim
John Benjamins Publishing, 2007 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 290 pages
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Deconstructing Creole is a collection of studies aimed at critically assessing the idea of creole languages as a homogeneous structural type with shared and peculiar patterns of genesis. Following up on the critical discussion of notions of 'creole exceptionalism' as historical and ideological constructs, this volume tests the basic assumptions that underlie current attempts to present 'creole structure' as a special type, from typological as well as sociohistorical perspectives. The sum of the findings presented here suggests that careful empirical investigation of input varieties and contact environments can explain the structural output without recourse to an exceptional genesis scenario. Echoing calls to dissolve the notion of 'creolization' as a special diachronic process, this volume proposes that theoretically grounded approaches to the notions of simplicity, complexity, transmission, etc. do not warrant considering so-called 'creole' languages as a special synchronic type.

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About the author (2007)

Umberto Ansaldo is Associate Professor in Linguistics at the University of Hong Kong. He was formerly a Senior Researcher and Lecturer with the Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication at the University of Amsterdam. He has also worked in Sweden and Singapore and conducted fieldwork in China, the Cocos and Christmas Islands and Sri Lanka. He is the co-editor of the Creole Language Library Series and has co-edited various journals and books including Deconstructing Creole (2007).

Stephen Matthews is Associate Professor in Linguistics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

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