Caribbean Language Issues, Old & New: Papers in Honour of Professor Mervyn Alleyne on the Occasion of His Sixtieth Birthday

Caribbean Language Issues, Old & New: Papers in Honour of Professor Mervyn Alleyne on the Occasion of His Sixtieth Birthday

Caribbean Language Issues, Old & New: Papers in Honour of Professor Mervyn Alleyne on the Occasion of His Sixtieth Birthday

Caribbean Language Issues, Old & New: Papers in Honour of Professor Mervyn Alleyne on the Occasion of His Sixtieth Birthday

Excerpt

Some might argue that no issue specifically related to Caribbean language should really be described as old. The relevant varieties have been in existence for less than four hundred years, having resulted from contact between Africans and Europeans begun in the late sixteenth or early seventeenth century. Besides, serious interest in details of Caribbean language structure and other related phenomena belongs to the latter half of the twentieth century, notwithstanding earlier pioneering studies such as J. J. Thomas' description of Trinidad French Creole (1869) and Suzanne Sylvain's (1936) study of Haitian Creole.

It must be remembered, however, that 'old' is a relative term. No one can deny that, when placed alongside speakers' techniques for writing the vernacular, topics such as the role of creole in learning and teaching Standard English and the origin(s) of creole are justifiably seen in the 1990s as old issues, even if the papers in this volume seek to shed new light on them. Another issue raised here, the categorial status of the so-called predicative adjectives, remained largely unexplored until fairly recently, but it has been the subject of so much discussion during this period, for example by Alleyne (1980), Sebba (1986) and Seuren (1986), that it is no longer considered new. Issues dealt with in this volume which might be considered new for the study . . .

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