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 Professor in Linguistics at the University of Hong Kong. His book Contact Languages: Ecology and Evolution (Cambridge, 2009) garnered the 2010 faculty research output award. He is co-editor of the Creole Language Library and editor-in-chief of Language Sciences.

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

Lisa Lim is Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Language and Communication programme at the University of Hong Kong. She co-edited The Typology of Asian Englishes (2009) and English in Multilingual, Globalising Asia (2009). She has developed the online resource LinguisticMinorities.HK, for which she won the Faculty Knowledge Exchange Award 2014.

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