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Yearbook of MorphologyEditors: Geert Booij Jaap van Marle Stephen Anderson (Yale) Mark Aronoff (Stony Brook, N.Y.) Mark Baker (New Brunswick, N.J.) Laurie Bauer (Wellington) Rudie Botha (Stellenbosch) Joan Bybee (Albuquerque, N.M.) Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy (Christchurch) Greville Corbett (Guildford, U.K.) Wolfgang Dressler (Wien) Martin Haspelmath (Leipzig) Jack Hoeksema (Groningen) Rochelle Lieber (Durham, N.H.) Peter Matthews (Cambridge, U.K.) Franz Rainer (Wien) Sergio Scalise (Bologna) Henk Schultink (Utrecht) Andrew Spencer (Colchester, U.K.) Editors, Yearbook of Morphology Faculteit der Letteren, Vrije Universiteit De Boelelaan 1105 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands e-mail: [email protected]

Consulting Editors:

Editorial address:


GEERT BOOIJVrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands


JAAP VAN MARLEOpen Universiteit Nederland, Heerlen, The Netherlands


eBook ISBN: Print ISBN:

0-306-48223-1 1-4020-1150-4

2003 Kluwer Academic Publishers New York, Boston, Dordrecht, London, Moscow Print 2003 Kluwer Academic Publishers Dordrecht All rights reserved No part of this eBook may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, recording, or otherwise, without written consent from the Publisher Created in the United States of America Visit Kluwer Online at: and Kluwer's eBookstore at:

Table of Contents

The morphology of creole languages (guest editor: Ingo Plag) INGO PLAG / Introduction: the morphology of creole languages PETER BAKKER / Pidgin inflectional morphology and its implications for creole morphology CLAIRE LEFEBVRE / The emergence of productive morphology in creole languages: the case of Haitian Creole MARIA BRAUN and INGO PLAG / How transparent is creole morphology? A study of Early Sranan word formation JEFF GOOD / Tonal morphology in a creole: High-tone raising in Saramaccan serial verb constructions Truncation SABINE LAPPE / Monosyllabicity in prosodic morphology: the case of truncated personal names in English IGGY ROCA and ELENA FELU / Morphology in truncation: the role of the Spanish desinence Affix ordering LARRY M. HYMAN / Suffix ordering in Bantu: a morphocentric approach JOCHEN TROMMER / The interaction of morphology and syntax in affix order245 283 1





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Introduction: The morphology of creole languagesINGO PLAG This special section of Yearbook of Morphology 2002 is dedicated to the morphology of a set of languages which are generally believed to have no or very little morphology. The papers presented here1 tell, however, an entirely different story, and one of the aims of this special section is to spread the news that widely-shared and long-cherished beliefs about creole morphology need to be given up or considerably revised. Creole languages hold in store problems for morphological theory that are as intriguing as those we find in other languages. The articles also address the most fascinating question about creole languages, namely that of how they come about, a question with relevance far beyond creolist circles. Creole languages emerge in situations of extreme language contact and hence are of crucial importance for a more general audience interested in language contact phenomena, including morphologists. The contributions to this special section show that the investigation of creole morphology can add significantly to our still poor understanding of what can happen to morphology in language contact. One of the supposed traits of creole languages is that they have no inflectional morphology. In his article Pidgin inflectional morphology and its implications for creole morphology Peter Bakker investigates the relation between inflectional morphology in creole languages on the one hand and in the varieties that are assumed to be the sources of the creoles, pidgin languages, on the other hand. Based on a broad cross-linguistic investigation, Bakker, quite surprisingly, finds more inflection attested in pidgins than in creoles. This seems to question common beliefs about the nature of pidgin languages vs. creole languages. However, Bakker argues that this result could also be an artefact of the available data and language samples on which common generalizations about pidgin and creole languages are based. In her article The emergence of productive morphology in creole languages: The case of Haitian Creole, Claire Lefebvre first addresses methodological questions that are crucial for a thorough study of morphology in contact languages. She then provides a detailed analysis of the derivational affixes of French-based Haitian creole and proposes relexification as the major mechanism that is responsible for the emergence of the Haitian affix inventory. The Haitian facts can also be interpreted as evidence against the wide-spread assumption that creole derivational morphology is generally semantically transparent. This so-called semantic transparency hypothesis is in the focus of Maria Braun and Ingo Plags contribution How Transparent is Creole Morphology? A study of Early Sranan Word-Formation. Using data from the 18th century, in which the English-based creole language Sranan was just a century old, theGeert Booij and Jaap van Marle (eds), Yearbook of Morphology 2002, 12. 2003 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in Great Britain.


Ingo Plag

authors present a survey of the many different word-formation processes found in this language, and bring to light many cases of semantic opacity. Their analysis shows that opacity in Early Sranan is quite common, and that it arises already in very early stages of the language, primarily as the natural consequence of contact. The semantic transparency hypothesis must therefore be discarded. Finally, Jeff Goods paper Tonal morphology in a creole: High-tone raising in Saramaccan serial verb constructions deals with a phenomenon that was formerly thought to be non-existent in creoles: tonal morphology. The author presents intriguing data and a subtle analysis of certain tone sandhi phenomena in the English/Portuguese-based creole Saramaccan (spoken, like Sranan, in Suriname), arguing that these phenomena constitute a case of tonal inflectional marking. What is particularly striking from a developmental point of view is the fact that supposedly none of the languages involved in the emergence of Saramaccan has tonal morphology. Good suggests that tonal morphology must have come about under these circumstances through a reinterpretation of phonological tone (inherited from the substrate languages) as a kind of tonal marking for certain morpho-syntactic distinctions. Overall, this collection of articles provides new and unexpected perspectives on creole morphology, showing that creole morphology is not a contradiction in terms, but a fascinating field of research.NOTE1 All papers were presented at the International Workshop on the Phonology and Morphology of Creole Languages, held in August 2001 at the University of Siegen, organized by the editor of this special section. I am grateful to the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and the University of Siegen for financial support, and to the editors of Yearbook of Morphology for the opportunity to act as guest editor. Special thanks go to the anonymous and non-anonymous reviewers of the papers contained in this volume, who provided meticulous comments and numerous useful suggestions for improving the quality of the papers.

Pidgin inflectional morphology and its implications for creole morphologyPETER BAKKER0. INTRODUCTION1

This paper goes against a number of widespread assumptions about pidgins and creoles. It is often stated that creoles have little or no morphology and that pidgins have no morphology, e.g. Seuren (1998: 292293): If a language has a Creole origin it is SVO, has TMA [tense-mood-aspect] particles, has virtually no morphology, etc. (cf. also Hjelmslev 1938 on pidgins). Others can be found in DeGraff (2001). Pidgins are maximally reduced, it is often said, and when they become native languages or when they become the main language of a community, they also expand structurally into languages called creoles. This absence or paucity of morphology has long been accepted as the truth in creole studies, but the empirical facts about pidgins and creoles contradict those statements and assumptions. In fact, there is some derivational and inflectional morphology in a number of creoles and pidgins. Surprisingly, however, it appears that pidgins are in fact in some respects morphologically richer than creoles, even though the latter are supposed to be expansions of pidgins. Pidgins, creoles and pidgincreoles2 (the last of which we consider a separate category) have two important traits in common with each other: they are all recognizably derived from one or more other languages, but they are more or less drastically reduced. The lexicon is (much) smaller than that of the language(s) from which the lexicon is derived. In addition, very few of the grammatical traits of the lexifier languages are actually preserved in the pidgin or creole. This reduction is quite clear also in the morphology: very little of the inflectional and derivational possibilities from the contributing languages are preserved. This paper will focus on pidgin morphology, for which I have perused a large database of as many pidgins as possible, using mostly primary documentary sources. Information regarding creoles is more superficial in that I rely often on secondary sources. In section 1 I will define what I mean by pidgins, defined from a social rather than a structur

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