Creole

karen

Creole

Postby karen » 2002-08-16, 1:54

Hi. I am a preschool teacher. We have an increasing number of Creole speaking children enrolled in our classrooms. the question we have is: is Creole a slang of the French language? We label items around the classroom for children to learn English. We also label the items in the child's native language. should we be labelling in Creole or in French? To teach the children the proper way to write things in their native language. Any advise in this area would be appreciated. Thankyou.

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Creole

Postby Anthony » 2002-08-16, 3:14

Hi Karen,

Creole is indeed it's own language derived from French. You see, a creole is when a pidgin language become the native language of a group of people and thus becomes more sophistcated and able to express more abstract forms of thought. It is basically a, for lack of better terms, "bastardized" from of French, but it is it's own language and your labels should be put in Creole. I hope that helps.

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Postby Aymeric » 2005-05-18, 14:08

But you have to know what kind of Creole you're dealing with.
I personally speak French Creole from Martinique, which is a French island. But North and South of Martinique, you have Saint Lucia and Dominica, which are both former British colonies, and their creoles are based on an English lexicon.

For example "he will come back" :
Martinican creole : "I ke ruvire" (ruvirer from revirer in (dialectal) French)
Dominican creole : "I ke bak" (bak from back in English).

(I= he, she and ke= will)

Another thing : I don't think creole could be considered as a slang, since it's entire grammar is based on African languages.
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Postby Aymeric » 2005-05-18, 14:16

As for the writing, I'm not sure really...
I don't know how they worked out things in Haiti, but here in Martinique, people are still fighting over how to transcribe sounds, and rules are totally floating...
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Postby Pittsboy » 2005-05-18, 15:09

Aymeric wrote:Another thing : I don't think creole could be considered as a slang, since its entire grammar is based on African languages.


This is very discussible, we can't say that it is African language grammar.
Creoles, according to Derek Bickerton (who led the creole studies into the generative grammar) the grammar of creoles (depending on how long it took to be fully formed) are rather tied to the universal grammar constraints than to any stratum language grammar. It means that creoles have their own grammar, they are neither slangs, nor bastardized versions of any language.

What the other languages (be them African or European languages) contributed to the creoles was the lexicon (vocabulary) which was nevertheless modified to a greater or lesser extent. And, as I said, depending on the time it took to a creale come into being you will have a greater or lesser influence of the African/European languages grammars.

It is great that the school you work at wants to received children from creole background. It is important that their language be respected. They have a language like any other, the basic difference between a creole and an European language, for instance, is that the latter has a political representation/power/prestige that enables it to be respected, just it.

It will be amazing if you guys can use their own languages too. I am strongly for it. The other children will have the opportunity as well to learn that there are different languages and will learn to respect this diversity and hopefully will learn to respect it.
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Postby Aymeric » 2005-05-18, 20:45

What the other languages (be them African or European languages) contributed to the creoles was the lexicon (vocabulary) which was nevertheless modified to a greater or lesser extent.


Well I find this strange, since everybody has always said, for Caribbean creoles at least, that the grammar is typically African.
In Martinican creole, very few words actually come from African, almost all of them come from the French.
What makes the similarities between all creoles precisely is their grammar.
For example, we use auxiliaries to express tenses and aspects along with an infinitive verb, while French verbs are fully conjugated.
It would be interesting though to know what languages auxiliaries like ka, te, te ka, te kai, te ke, se (the main auxiliaries used in Caribbean creole), come from...
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Postby Pittsboy » 2005-05-19, 13:04

Aymeric wrote:What makes the similarities between all creoles precisely is their grammar.
For example, we use auxiliaries to express tenses and aspects along with an infinitive verb, while French verbs are fully conjugated.
It would be interesting though to know what languages auxiliaries like ka, te, te ka, te kai, te ke, se (the main auxiliaries used in Caribbean creole), come from...


Exactly, what makes creoles grammars similar is not the fact that they are African-like languages but rather when they are created they are based upon the universal (=cognitive) grammar constraints. And there are creoles of many other languages, not only of French, and surprisingly enough, they are all alike even though their "source" languages are completely different.

As for the auxiliaries, as I said, lexicon (vocabulary) is usually copied from the european language and then modified (this process is called relexification). Of course you have also borrowings from lexicon of the African langs, depending on the case, but usually to a lesser extent. That's why French creoles resemble a lot in their vocabulary, as well as Portuguese creoles do too, with some differences, of course. But as for grammar, it is not a copy of the African nor the European language. Creoles all over the world resemple in the way they mark tense/mood/aspec, this is known as the TMA system, attested accross creoles.

Take a look at this wonderful article:Creole genesis and the acquisition of language, the case of Haitian Creole
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Postby JackFrost » 2005-05-19, 14:11

Does anyone knows about the Cajun creole spoken in the bayoux of Louisiana? ;)
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Postby Psi-Lord » 2005-05-19, 14:22

JackFrost wrote:Does anyone knows about the Cajun creole spoken in the bayoux of Louisiana? ;)

Hmmm, I know that Gambit (from the X-Men) speaks it. :D
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Postby JackFrost » 2005-05-19, 14:23

Psi-Lord wrote:
JackFrost wrote:Does anyone knows about the Cajun creole spoken in the bayoux of Louisiana? ;)

Hmmm, I know that Gambit (from the X-Men) speaks it. :D

Did he speak it in one of the two movies? :D
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Postby Psi-Lord » 2005-05-19, 14:39

JackFrost wrote:Did he speak it in one of the two movies? :D

Nope, he didn't even star any of them. :( I'm only used to his written accent when I get to buy original American editions (the accent doesn't show up that clearly in the Brazilian editions). ;)

P.S.: I got curious and now I'm reading http://www.cajunnetwork.com/ccfma/Ancelet4.htm and http://www.geocities.com/frenchcreoles/louisiana/.
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Postby Pittsboy » 2005-05-19, 16:25

JackFrost wrote:Does anyone knows about the Cajun creole spoken in the bayoux of Louisiana? ;)


I spent two weeks in New Orleans, it was funny hearing people greet each other with "Bonjour y'all" LOL
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Postby JackFrost » 2005-05-19, 16:26

Pittsboy wrote:I spent two weeks in New Orleans, it was funny hearing people greet each other with "Bonjour y'all" LOL

:shock: :shock: :shock:

I just can't stand hearing, "y'all." :P
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Postby Pittsboy » 2005-05-19, 16:29

JackFrost wrote:
Pittsboy wrote:I spent two weeks in New Orleans, it was funny hearing people greet each other with "Bonjour y'all" LOL

:shock: :shock: :shock:

I just can't stand hearing, "y'all." :P


People from New Orleans are so kind and warm. I love that city! And their cajun cuisine is great too.
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Postby Aymeric » 2005-05-19, 18:11

Pittsboy wrote:
Aymeric wrote:What makes the similarities between all creoles precisely is their grammar.
For example, we use auxiliaries to express tenses and aspects along with an infinitive verb, while French verbs are fully conjugated.
It would be interesting though to know what languages auxiliaries like ka, te, te ka, te kai, te ke, se (the main auxiliaries used in Caribbean creole), come from...


Exactly, what makes creoles grammars similar is not the fact that they are African-like languages but rather when they are created they are based upon the universal (=cognitive) grammar constraints. And there are creoles of many other languages, not only of French, and surprisingly enough, they are all alike even though their "source" languages are completely different.

As for the auxiliaries, as I said, lexicon (vocabulary) is usually copied from the european language and then modified (this process is called relexification). Of course you have also borrowings from lexicon of the African langs, depending on the case, but usually to a lesser extent. That's why French creoles resemble a lot in their vocabulary, as well as Portuguese creoles do too, with some differences, of course. But as for grammar, it is not a copy of the African nor the European language. Creoles all over the world resemple in the way they mark tense/mood/aspec, this is known as the TMA system, attested accross creoles.

Take a look at this wonderful article:Creole genesis and the acquisition of language, the case of Haitian Creole


Very interesting, I had no idea !
But then, how do you explain the fact that tense and aspect marks are the same throughout the Caribbean while all the creoles of this region are based on either French, English or Spanish lexicons ? (and even others that I may not know of)
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Postby Pittsboy » 2005-05-19, 18:20

Aymeric wrote:Very interesting, I had no idea !
But then, how do you explain the fact that tense and aspect marks are the same throughout the Caribbean while all the creoles of this region are based on either French, English or Spanish lexicons ? (and even others that I may not know of)


As for the description I have seen, they are not the same, they are usually one-syllable words, yes, but not the same. I will check that then write it down here.
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Re: Creole

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-11-29, 1:49

I know this is the oldest thread in this forum, but just so this is clear:
karen wrote:is Creole a slang of the French language?

No.


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