Romance Creoles

Authored by: John N. Green

The Romance Languages

Print publication date:  January  1988
Online publication date:  December  2003

Print ISBN: 9780415164177
eBook ISBN: 9780203426531
Adobe ISBN: 9781134712298


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The aim of this chapter is to present a schematic comparison of the modern Creoles whose vocabulary is derived from Romance (for their geographical location and speaker statistics, see Chapter 1). The Creoles, unlike the majority of Romance varieties described in earlier chapters, have not been fully standardised and most have no universally recognised norm or orthography. Most geographical labels for Creoles in fact subsume a number of varieties, which may be dialectally related, but which more commonly range along a sociolectal continuum whose length is determined by the degree and intensity of historical contacts with the model language. In extreme cases, a considerable linguistic distance separates the basilect (‘bush taak’, ‘habla bozal’, and so on) from the acrolect (in effect, standard Romance with an identifiable local pronunciation). As the relationship among sociolects is often covertly historical, we shall need to make quite frequent reference to diachronic factors, even though our primary focus is synchronic.

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