Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Exploring genealogical blends: The Surinamese Creole cluster and the Virgin Island Dutch Creole cluster

Available online 14 January 2016

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Develops genealogical blend: the potential clash of typological features.
Tests structural dependencies between features of a particular language cluster.
West African pattern with stative verbal predicates prevalent in Surinam Creoles.
Adjectival pattern is much more present in Virgin Island Creole Dutch.
Support for correlation between Aspect prominence and verbal property items.


This paper explores digitally archived data from three genres of 18th and 20th century texts in two Caribbean Creole language clusters: the Suriname Creoles and Virgin Island Dutch Creole. They will be approached from the perspective of variation and change within varieties that were originally genealogical blends: languages that are made up of typological properties from different lineages from different parts of the world, Europe and West-Africa. We will focus on the expression of property concepts in relation to aspect marking, as this feature contrasts typologically for the relevant areas, and argue that genealogical blends are a useful notion to handle the variation found in the Creole language data. Comparing two language clusters in diachronic perspective yields stronger support for our central claim that the typological dependency between verbal property concepts and aspect-orientation is a robust one.


  • COMP, complementizer;
  • COP, copula;
  • DEF, definite;
  • DET, determiner;
  • EXIS, existential;
  • FOC, focalizer;
  • FUT, future;
  • IPFV, imperfective;
  • IRR, irrealis;
  • LOC, locative;
  • N, noun;
  • Neg, negation;
  • PASS, passive;
  • PI, property item;
  • PL, plural;
  • POSS, possessive;
  • PP, past participle;
  • PR, present;
  • PRF, perfective;
  • PST, past;
  • REDUP, reduplication;
  • REL, relative;
  • SG, singular


  • Typology;
  • Creole;
  • Surinam;
  • St. Thomas;
  • Aspect;
  • Property concept
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