Other Creoles

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Sisyphe
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Other Creoles

Postby Sisyphe » 2008-02-09, 4:07

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At first glance, these two pictures might appear to be from the same place, but these two pictures were taken approximately 3 000 miles (5 000 km or something like that, I think... :oops:) apart. The first image is from Réunion and the second, from Martinique. Not only do Martinique and Réunion have a relatively similar appearence, but the speech of both of these peoples is surprisingly similar.

As most of you know, Haitian Creole is not the only French-based Creole in existence. There are several more, and the more common ones are highly intelligible with Haitian Creole.

This thread will seek to answer this question:
-How are the various French-based Creoles different from each other?

The first issue is that of vocabulary:

The greatest difference between the Creoles is vocabulary. Although the French and African origins are shared by most the Creoles, there are significant borrowings from different languages in each creole. For example, while Haitian and Antillean Creole contain Arawak words that cannot be found in other Creoles, Réunionnais Creole has words from Tamil, Malagasy and Portuguese that a Haitian, Martiniquais, etc. would not be familiar with at all, and would not be likely to be able to guess the meaning of. There are also significant differences even in words from French. This has to do with the way that the African slaves heard and reproduced French sounds and words. For example, the word for never in French is "jamais". In Haiti, most speakers say "janm", while many from the Antilles say "jamin". As an additional example, the word for me, which is "moi" in French is pronounced "mo" in African Creoles but "mwen" in the Caribbean. Also, the Creoles differ in the African languages from which they borrowed words. This affects grammar, which is the next subject that will be covered....


See this link for a comparison of differences in vocabulary in Haiti, Martinique, Guadeloupe and French Guyana.

In addition to discussing grammar, I will post about specific Creoles in the future, such as the Antillean Creoles and Louisiana Creole. If you have any other ideas, or things you want to see here, please post and tell me. :)
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Postby ego » 2008-02-09, 23:35

I'd say that all Creoles are surprisingly similar, even those that are based on different colonial languages and developped in different areas, like Kreyol ayisyen and Tok Pisin or Caboverdeano. It seems that there's a common logic on the way that the mother languages are simplified in order to produce the various creoles

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Postby Sisyphe » 2008-02-10, 1:37

I'd agree that there seems to be some "bare bones" core to language...You know, of course, though, that I was more referring to mutual intelligibility, as far as 'similarity' is concerned on this thread.
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Postby ego » 2008-02-10, 19:40

Any sources about Creoles?

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Postby Sisyphe » 2008-02-10, 20:45

Assimil has books to learn various French-based creoles - I don't have them myself, though, so I can't vouch for how good they are.
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